Australia has completed a crushing 405-run win over England in the second Test at Lord’s to tie the 2015 Ashes series at one match apiece.
England was dismissed for the paltry total of 103 while chasing an unlikely target of 509.
Michael Clarke had declared Australia’s second innings at 2 for 254 just before lunch, but even he would not have anticipated the match would be over shortly after tea.
Mitchell Johnson, back to his intimidating best, led the way with figures of 3 for 27 as the English batsmen put up minimal resistance.
Though the series is now level, momentum is now well and truly with the Australians after the brutal nature of their win at Lord’s.
It took the tourists just 172 minutes and 37 overs to wrap up England’s second innings and secure the win by a margin which was the third-highest in Ashes history.
Australia’s number three batsman Steve Smith, who was named man of the match after his brilliant 215 in the first innings, praised the bowlers’ clinical day-four display.
“It all happened pretty quickly here this afternoon, I thought our bowlers executed their plans perfectly,” Smith told Grandstand.
“The guys came out with a lot of steam, Mitchell Johnson bowled some very quick balls there.
“It was nice to knock them over early and have a day off.”
England captain Alastair Cook urged his side not to give up on the series after the heavy defeat.
“It’s tough to take. Certainly it’s frustrating,” Cook told the BBC.
“When you lose like this, when you lose as heavily as you do, you can sometimes take reality out of it and jump to all kinds of conclusions.
“Credit to Australia for totally outplaying us here, but now it’s a three-match series, it’s one-one.”
Australia caps off near-perfect Test performance
Australia started the day in a position of complete dominance at 0 for 108, and the batsmen’s aggressive attitude gave a hint that the visitors were keen to end the Test match as quickly as possible.
Opener Chris Rogers (49 not out) caused concern when he was forced to retire hurt after suffering a dizzy spell in the second over of the day.
Rogers was later seen sitting in the dressing room without any signs of distress as his teammates set about punishing the English attack in entertaining fashion.
146 runs were added in quick time before Clarke decided it was time to see how England’s batsmen were able to handle the pressure of a big fourth-innings deficit.
Steve Smith was particularly brilliant, and somewhat cheeky, as he produced an array of Twenty20-style shots in his quick-fire innings of 58.
David Warner (83), Michael Clarke (32 not out) and the promoted Mitch Marsh (27 not out) all joined in the fun, as Australia cruised to 2 for 254 then declared 20 minutes before lunch.
Cook and Lyth survived the three tricky overs before the break but neither stuck around long after play resumed.
Clarke called on five bowlers on day four and every one of them contributed to England’s rapid demise.
Starc (1-16) started the rot in the second over after lunch with a corker of a delivery which Adam Lyth tickled through to Peter Nevill behind the stumps.
Johnson was introduced to the attack soon after to devastating effect.
The frightening quick snared Cook (11) to a soft caught-behind in his very first over, then nearly had Ian Bell two balls later when he found an inside edge which somehow missed the stumps and ran away for a boundary.
The introduction of Mitchell Marsh (1-8) also drew a wicket, as the all-rounder sent Gary Ballance back to the sheds straight after the drinks break thanks to another caught-behind dismissal.
Marsh’s three wickets in the match alone should be enough to keep Shane Watson out of the side for another Test at least.
Next it was Nathan Lyon’s (2-27) turn to strike, with the wily off-spinner dismissing Ian Bell to a short-leg catch for 11.
A new nadir for England was reached when Ben Stokes (0) was run out in amateurish fashion. The all-rounder was loping over the crease as a Johnson missile hit the target from mid-on, with replays showing his feet were in the air and he had not bothered to ground his bat when the ball crashed into the sticks.
England went to tea on 5 for 64, and if their capitulation was only set to continue in the final session.
Johnson took two wickets in the first over after tea, with his first ball proving far too good for Jos Buttler, who could only edge it to Nevill.
Moeen Ali soon followed his teammate back to the dressing rooms after he popped a savage Johnson bouncer straight to Marsh who was lurking close to the bat.
Stuart Broad (25) and Joe Root (17) decided to go down swinging, but they were eventually sent packing by Lyon and Hazlewood respectively, before the paceman knocked over James Anderson’s stumps to complete the rout in emphatic fashion.
Courtesy: ABC News