Australia regain the Ashes with Hazlewood’s five-for


Australia 9 for 662 dec (Smith 239, M Marsh 181, Khawaja 50, Anderson 4-116) beat England 403 (Malan 140, Bairstow 119, Stoneman 56, Starc 4-91, Hazlewood 3-92) and 218 (Vince 55, Malan 54, Hazlewood 5-48) by an innings and 41 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

If this is Australia’s last taste of international cricket at the WACA, it is a sweet one. Steven Smith‘s men regained the Ashes on the final day of the third Test against England, despite a controversial three-hour delay to the start of play caused by rain seeping into the pitch through the covers. If that was an inauspicious beginning for the WACA’s last day as an Ashes venue – and possibly as an international ground full-stop – the Australians cared little by the end of the day, with the urn back in their grasp.

England needed to bat close to 70 overs to have any chance of clinging on to the Ashes. They managed to hold on for less than half of that. It was hardly surprising, for the cracks on the pitch made batting really challenging; one delivery from Josh Hazlewood actually flew from a leg-stump line straight to first slip. So, not only were England struggling to find answers, it wasn’t always clear what questions would be asked of them.

Dawid Malan fought hard for 54 to add to his first-innings 140, but an Australian victory seemed only a matter of time.

If England leave the WACA with questions of their own regarding the state of the pitch on which they had to bat, it will not undo the result: an Australian win by an innings and 41 runs, and an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series. Hazlewood completed his first Ashes five-wicket haul, exploiting the conditions effectively, and England were dismissed for 218 before tea.

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