Australia take back little urn

By Matthew Sherry

Australia regained the Ashes despite Ben Stokes reaching a sublime 120 on the final day at the WACA.

The tourists – 2-0 down in the rubber – headed into the fifth day of the third Test on 251 for five, with Stokes on 72 and Matt Prior seven, needing a further 253 for victory.

Prior initially resisted with his partner but edged Mitchell Johnson behind for 26 – after which Stokes reached an excellent maiden Test ton.

The Durham man continued on thereafter as a series of punches and pulls briefly worried Australia.

However, Stokes feathered an attempted slog-sweep off Nathan Lyon behind just after lunch – a scalp that prompted an England collapse.

Graeme Swann inside-edged Lyon to Steven Smith at short-leg and Tim Bresnan chipped a Johnson slower ball to mid-off.

Fittingly, Johnson also grabbed the finally wicket as James Anderson picked out George Bailey close to the bat to spark home jubilation.

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6.20am – Steven Smith, who struck his first Test hundred, has been given the man-of-the-match award. Speaking about Australia’s overall triumph, Michael Clarke said at the presentation: “(The feeling is) 10 out of 10, it doesn’t get much better. The team performance has been exceptional. We went through what England are feeling now in England but we’ve now got our earned reward.”

Afternoon Session 

Watch highlights of the afternoon session from the WACA

5.45am – AUSTRALIA WIN BY 150 RUNS AND REGAIN THE ASHES!! – WICKET! Anderson c Bailey b Johnson 2; England 353 all out – That’s that then. Johnson sends down a delivery at James Anderson’s ribs and the number 11 inside-edges straight to short-leg, where George Bailey claims a fine catch diving forward.

5.36am – WICKET! Bresnan c Rogers b Johnson 12; England 349/9 – Australia are nearly there. Johnson sends down a clever slower ball and Tim Bresnan is too early on the shot, chipping to mid-off.

5.29am – WICKET! Swann c Smith b Lyon 4; England 347/8 – Graeme Swann, whose only runs came via a slog-swept four, falls cheaply, inside-edging Lyon to short-leg via his pad.

5.20am – WICKET! Stokes c Haddin b Lyon 120; England 336/7 – That’s the big wicket Australia wanted. A delivery after a Lyon straighter one – which Ben Stokes left – narrowly misses off stump, the left-hander feathers an attempted slog-sweep behind.

5.14am – The action is back under way, with Mitchell Johnson on for a quick burst following Nathan Lyon’s solid over.

Morning Session 

Watch highlights of the morning session from the WACA

4.31am – LUNCH! England 332/6; Stokes 117, Bresnan 7 – A big standing ovation comes from the Barmy Army and why not? It’s been a helluva effort thus far.

4.22am – That’s as close as Australia have come to ousting Stokes. A ball after Tim Bresnan cuts his first boundary, a Stokes inside edge off Lyon just evades short-leg.

4.13am – England appear to have found themselves quite a player here. Stokes greets Nathan Lyon’s introduction by trotting down the pitch and crunching a six over long-on.

4.02am – CENTURY! Stokes (159b 16×4 0x6) – Absolutely brilliant innings from Stokes, who gets to a maiden Test ton when gloving an attempted pull over the wicketkeeper. He had driven the last delivery beautifully straight but it deflected off Johnson’s hand into umpire Marais Erasmus, who apologised. Thankfully, it didn’t matter in the end.

3.50am – WICKET! Prior c Haddin b Johnson 26; England 296/9 – Australia are a lot closer to the little urn now! Johnson sends one across Prior, who cannot resist a drive and edges behind.

3.40am – The fresh cherry is doing plenty, but these two remain. Prior picks up successive boundaries off Harris, first a low edge through the cordon and second a clip off his pad. Australia, though, will just be thankful Mitchell Johnson did not pick up a significant injury after falling nastily on his knee.

3.15am – Boundaries come for each of the batsmen as Prior punches four through point off the back foot and his partner plays a glorious straight drive. There is plenty happening for the bowlers now, though, and the new ball is due in two overs…

3.05am – You just hope not to get a straight one… Peter Siddle sends a delivery down leg that barely bounces above foot height. Crazy stuff.

2.53am – Well, that one hit a crack. Ryan Harris’ delivery moves at a right-angle away from Stokes, missing the edge by some distance. Later in the over, the left-hander whips through midwicket and reaches 80.

2.40am – It’s tough sledding thus far for these two as Australia cause some problems. Ben Stokes and Matt Prior need to battle through it.

Pre-Play News

2.25am – Many English eyes will be on Ben Stokes, who played outstandingly to reach 72 last night. He will resume alongside Matt Prior with the tourists on 251 for five.

2.15am – Hello and welcome to’s live coverage from Perth, where the final day of the third Ashes Test is taking place. In all likelihood, Australia will regain the urn today – but can there be a twist in the tail?

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