Close: third Test, day three, Perth
Match score: Australia 268 (Hussey 61, Haddin 53, Johnson 62; Anderson 3-61, Tremlett 3-63) and 309 (Hussey 116, Watson 95) beat England 123-5 (Harris 6-47, Johnson 3-44) and 187 (Bell 53, Strauss 52, Johnson 6-38) by 267 runs
Session score: England 42-5 Australia win
Session in six words: Australia finish off sorry England tail
This game may be over, but the series has just got started.
The result was a formality this morning, but 8,000 plus Englishmen turned up hoping to see some fight. They left disappointed, with more than an hour to find somewhere good for lunch, or more likely a pint. Gallingly the sun went in with England, so they can’t even take to the beach.
Again Australia were full where England had been short. Consequently they hit stumps and pads in line. England don’t like playing here, but they don’t help themselves. Throughout the game Australian players provided lessons on how to bowl and bat on this pitch, yet England took no notice.
This defeat will hurt England. How much we will see in Melbourne. Andrew Strauss took time out from the cliches to admit that England batted badly, and they did, although he wasn’t quizzed on their harebrained strategy in the second innings. The WACA is a unique surface in this series, but England will still face questions about their balance going into Melbourne. Can they continue with a four-man attack minus the economy of Stuart Broad? Does Paul Collingwood continue to bat at No.5, or warrant a place in the side? How jaded are the bowlers? How will Swann react to being snubbed yesterday?
Australia won this game despite Hughes, Ponting, Clarke and Smith not really doing anything. They have questions too, but Ponting and Clarke must come good at some stage – a slower Melbourne pitch should suit them. On his 36th birthday and after his 99th Test victory, Ponting still has an angry finger to contend with, but a much happier country this afternoon.