Australia crush England

Brisbane, November 27:

Australia wrapped up a crushing 277-run victory over England 90 minutes into the fifth and final day of the opening Ashes cricket Test at the Gabba here today.

Glenn McGrath caught Steve Harmison at fine leg off Stuart Clark to end England’s resistance and give the Australians a morale-boosting 1-0 lead over the holders in the five-Test series.

Clark finished with 4-72 off 24.1 overs and leg-spinner Shane Warne, who did not take a wicket on the final day, closed with 4-124 off 34 overs.

England’s remote hopes of batting out the final day nosedived in the day’s opening over when Kevin Pietersen was out on the fourth ball to Brett Lee. Pietersen, who buoyed England with his counter-attacking innings, went the same way as his batting partner Paul Collingwood (96) by getting out without adding any run to his overnight score of 92.

Wicketkeeper Geraint Jones chopped a Glen McGrath ball on to his stumps for 33 after hitting five fours in his 68-minute stay. Ashley Giles was out at first-hour drinks when he edged Clark to Warne at first slip for 23, leaving the tourists at 346 for eight.

Matthew Hoggard followed when he edged Clark to Warne at slip for eight and Harmison was the last man out, hooking to McGrath off Clark.

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting, who scored 196 in the first innings and 60 not out in the second, was named the man of the match award. Ponting and McGrath took the field on the final day after treatment overnight for injuries which kept them off the field during Sunday’s play.

The second Test begins in Adelaide from Friday.


AUSTRALIA — 1st innings: 602-9 (declared)

ENGLAND — 1st innings: 157

AUSTRALIA — 2nd innings: 202-1 (declared)

ENGLAND — 2nd innings: (overnight 293-5)

K Pietersen c Martyn b Lee 92

G Jones b McGrath 33

A Giles c Warne b Clark 23

M Hoggard c Warne b Clark 8

S Harmison c McGrath b Clark 13

J Anderson not out 4

Extras: 31 (b8, lb10, w2, nb11)

Total: 370

FoW: 1-29, 2-36, 3-91, 4-244, 5-271, 6-293, 7-326, 8-346, 9-361

Australia bowling: Lee 22-1-98-1, McGrath 19-3-53-1, Clark 24.1-6-72-4, Warne 34-7-124-4, Hussey 1-0-5-0