Brisbane, Dec 11 (IANS) Australia clinched a strong nine-wicket victory over the Joe Root-led England on Day 4 to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match Ashes series.
After a tricky Day 3, where England showed grit in pulling back their large first-innings deficit, Australia came out in a strong fashion on the fourth morning, bowling England out for 297. Australia, requiring just 20 for victory, raced to the target early into the second session of the day, to take a 1-0 lead.
England added just three runs to their overnight score when they lost their first wicket of the day, with Dawid Malan hitting a bat-pad catch to Marnus Labuschagne for Nathan Lyon’s 400th Test wicket. Lyon became the 17th bowler to reach the milestone, and the third Australian, after Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.
After his agonising wait to reach the mark, Lyon waited a matter of minutes for his 401st wicket, dismissing Ollie Pope for just four.
Though, perhaps, the most vital wicked of the day was wedged between Lyon’s double-blow. Cameron Green, brought on before the new ball, forced a false shot from England skipper Joe Root on 89, with Alex Carey taking one of his eight catches in his first Test.
Carey’s eight is a record for catches on Test debut, and was excellent behind the stumps, backing up the work of Australia’s quicks, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, who showed little respite, according to icc-cricket.
Cummins squared up England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who fell for 14, while a Jos Buttler cameo was caught short by Hazlewood, as the English batter fiddled outside his off-stump on 23.
As English hopes faded, Green claimed all-rounder Chris Woakes, and Lyon, finding the rhythm that brought his tally to the 400-mark, cleaned up the tail.
Requiring just 20 for victory, after the lunch break, Carey joined Marcus Harris to open, with an injury cloud looming over opener David Warner.
Carey edged to keeping counterpart Buttler for nine in the chase, with Harris finishing off the job with a boundary through point.
Brief scores: England 147 & 297 in 103 overs (Joe Root 89, Dawid Malan 82; Pat Cummins 2/51, Mitchell Starc 1/77; Nathan Lyon 4/91, Camero Green 2/23) lost to Australia 425 and 20 for 1 in 5.1 overs (Marcus Harris 9 not out) by nine wickets.