Ruthless England complete Ashes demolition job
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND, UK (AUGUST 8, 2015) (REUTERS) – England ripped out the last three Australia wickets for 12 runs to win the fourth test by a crushing innings and 78 runs and regain the Ashes at a euphoric Trent Bridge on Saturday (August 8).
Ben Stokes had Mitchell Starc caught by Ian Bell at second slip for nought and Mark Wood bowled Josh Hazlewood for a duck.
Wood produced another ferocious full-pitched delivery to shatter Nathan Lyon’s stumps for four and complete the rout, sparking wild celebrations on the pitch and around the ground.
The England players celebrated in a huddle before going on a lap of honour to strains of “Rule Britannia” and “Land of Hope and Glory” as the crowd basked in the sunshine.
“From the team’s point of view to win like we’ve done is beyond belief,” England captain Alastair Cook told reporters.
“I didn’t think we were quite ready to win the Ashes at the beginning of it, because I thought you really needed a group of players who had been match hardened, but the guys out there have surprised me. We’ve won really critical moments and players have really stepped up.”
Cook, who led England to a 5-0 drubbing in the last Ashes series in Australia, also recognised the efforts of experienced players including Stuart Broad, who took 8-15 as the touring side were skittled out for 60 on the first morning of the match.
“Every one of those guys can be very proud of the way they handled the pressure, clearly lead by Stuart in the first hour and a half where we’ve done pretty much all the damage in the game, to bowl a side out for 60 you often pretty much always win the game.
“The big thing this summer has been trying to show people our talent and I think people have seen that.
“The players in the dressing room have thrived on that atmosphere we’ve tried to create and people are prepared to, not exactly take risks but prepared to express themselves more than maybe we’ve done in the past and we’ve got a lot of rewards from that.”
Cook said he felt rewarded after facing criticism in the past from some sections of the media for his captaincy style.
“I’m just proud that I’ve hung in in the really tough times and have managed to stay true to a lot of my principals as a bloke and as a player thinking I was the right man for the job. I’ve always always had the backing of the dressing room which is the most important thing in the tough times,” he said.
Australia captain Michael Clarke announced at the presentation ceremony that he will retire from international cricket at the end of the final test in the series.
“I made the decision last night, it’s not like it’s been coming the last six months, it’s not like I planned it, that wasn’t the case. Like I say win or lose I might have been sitting here saying the same things,” Clarke said later.
“It’s the right time, I’m happy with my decision and I’m thankful that I’ve been given the opportunities I have to play this great game for as long as I have for Australia.
“The selectors have not spoken to me, or didn’t speak to me at all about being dropped, standing down or retiring. I made the decision late last night with my beautiful wife and spoke to my family. And then this morning I had a conversation with Darren Lehmann and Rod Marsh and told them what I was going to do and they were both extremely respectful and thankful for what I’ve given Australian cricket.”
Clarke has played 114 tests and scored over 8,000 runs, including 28 centuries.
“I’m not sad about this being the right time to walk away because I believe it is the right time, I believe I’ve been blessed to have the career I’ve had, I’ve played over 100 test matches for my country, I’ve been part of some amazing teams, we’ve won more than we’ve lost so that’s a nice feeling, and I’ve been lucky enough to captain Australia as well.
“I’m extremely thankful to all of my team mates and all of the people who have helped me make it, firstly into the Australian team and then to help me have the success I’ve had.
“Whether we won this series or lost this series my decision might have been the same, I will never know but that’s the decision I’ve made. I believe it’s the right decision for Australian cricket, I believe it’s the right decision for me.”
England won the first test in Cardiff by 169 runs but Australia bounced back to level the series with a crushing victory by 405 runs at Lord’s.
The hosts dominated the third test at Edgbaston and won by eight wickets inside three days before dismissing Australia for 60 on the first day at Trent Bridge to set up another overwhelming victory.
England lead the series 3-1 with one match to play at the Oval starting on Aug. 20.