Close: second Test, day five, Adelaide
Match score: England 620-5 declared (Pietersen 227, Cook 145) beat Australia 245 & 304 (Clarke 80, Swann 5-91) by an innings and 71 runs
Session score: Australia 66-6 England win
Session in six words: England wrap up a convincing win
The rain never came. England didn’t give it time. Few England sides will have produced as clinical a performance as this, right from a first over in which they dismissed two Australians on Friday, to the moment Graeme Swann spun through Peter Siddle’s inadequate defences this morning. It sealed Australia’s first innings defeat on home soil since 1993, when they lost to West Indies in Perth, and their first to England anywhere since Melbourne in the 1986-87 Ashes. Shockingly, it is also England’s first victory in a live Ashes game in Australia since that match.
Any Australian hoping a Mike Hussey and the rain might prove an irresistible irritation to England was hanging his head by the seventh over of the day, when Hussey pulled a ball too close to him, skying the ball to James Anderson at mid-on. The ball took an age to drop, perhaps giving Anderson time to premeditate a celebration that could have been for victory itself. In reality, that was the moment England knew – it was a rash shot in the circumstances, especially given the abdominal injury that has ruled Stuart Broad out of the rest of the series.
From then it was a procession – Haddin, Harris and North going within three balls of each other a few overs later, Harris for a pretty ignominious King pair, both failed referrals, before Swann finished things off. The Australian press will paint this as home frailty, but this win was as much about the steel of the new England.