Australia triumph over limited but willing England

Ross Houston
January 10, 2018

England's hard Ashes campaign ended with an innings defeat at the SCG, a 4-0 series loss and their captain, Joe Root, battling gastroenteritis.

Australia's bowling quartet - Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon all picked up 20 wickets each in the series and with the win, the Aussies have regained the Ashes urn. "The cricket that we have played in the last couple of months has been outstanding", Australia skipper Steve Smith said.

South Africa are now in second place, on 111, with India atop the standings, on 124, though the Proteas are on their way to narrowing that gap, with the sides in the midst of a three-test series and the hosts in Cape Town securing a 72-run win in the first test.

Root was too sick to attend the post-match presentation so Jimmy Anderson deputized for him, telling the crowd his team had been thoroughly beaten over the series.

Joe Root took a nasty blow to the finger but was unbeaten on 42 at stumps and Jonny Bairstow (17 not out) also prevented further damage from being done on another punishing day for England. The fourth Test was drawn in Melbourne.

Smith is hoping not and thinks the existing team might just be able to take Australia back to the top of the test rankings, and more importantly perform the tricky task of retaining the Ashes on English soil in 2019. "We've just not capitalised at the key moments", Anderson said, his caught-behind dismissal having brought the curtain down on the series.

The hosts, who made 649 declared in their reply to England's first innings 346, dismissed the tourists for 180 at the Sydney Cricket Ground to seal a comprehensive victory. "Australia have played great in this series".

For the first instalment, from 2019-2021, it will feature the current top nine sides playing series against six other teams, with the top two to then meet in the final at Lord's in London.

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