24 years, 5 tours and 36 tests it took England to retain Ashes in Australia but they did it today, and how, winning this fourth test match at Melbourne by dominating margin of innings and 157 runs..
Scorecard : 4th Ashes test 2010.
It was an interesting decision to bowl first by England captain but reasons were evident ~ English wanted to utilise whatever little help there was first morning on a flat looking MCG pitch. James Anderson wasn't his lethal best to start things off but Chris Tremlett hit his length straight away, eating up Shane Watson in his second over. Tim Bresnan was surprize inclusion ahead of Steven Finn who'd played first three tests before this match and his proved his worth soon, claiming Philip Hughes who was looking to play his shots. Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting had past multiple fitness tests to prove he could play this boxing test match with broken little finger and he looked good initially too, pulling couple of fours but Tremlett's steep bounce snatched outside edge of the bat to reduce home team to 3 wkts for 37 inside first 15 overs.
Michael Hussey, Australia's batsman of the series so far, negotiated 41 deliveries for his 8 runs which ended up surrendering initiative to visitors and soon, James Anderson returned for second spell to take four wickets in a jiffy on either side of the lunch break as gloomy weather gathered around. Tremlett took last two wickets and Aussie first innings finished inside 42.5 overs, for less than a hundred.
England openers didn't spoil great work done by their bowlers by adding 157 without being separated by the end of play on an eventful day one.
Day two brought couple of quick wickets as Peter Siddle steamed in but Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen soon weathered the stroom, putting up 92 for the 3rd wicket before Siddle once again got the break through. Mitchell Johnson got struggling Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell in back to back overs soon after that but Matt Prior, fresh from century in practice game against Victoria, made a resounding partnership of 158 with Trott to end the day in favor of his team. England were well over 250 in lead and this test match was only going in one way.
Jonathan Trott, having completed his 3rd century against Australia in just 5 tests, remained unbeaten throughout the innings to push English lead to 415.
Barmy Army and fans world wide watching on Television were already celebrating although 10 more Aussie wickets were yet to be taken. Shane Watson and Philip Hughest began counter attackingly but Trott effected his 2nd run out of this series to begin the one way traffic. Aussies ended day 3 six wickets down and only Brad Haddin was the recognised batsman remaining. Peter Siddle gave him good support on day 4 but little over an hour was enough for visitors to seal the match. Ryan Harris didn't bat because he was injured.
Captain's speakAustralia captain Ricky Ponting = "It's pretty hard to accept (the defeat), but we haven't deserved it, that's the bottom line".
England captain Andrew Strauss = "Winning the Ashes in Australia has always been a bit of a Holy Grail for English sides. We haven't won the series yet, but have retained the urn - which was one of our primary goals.".