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Cricket

Dominant Aussies destroy England's resistance

Hosts win first Ashes Test in Brisbane by 381 runs as England's batting collapses again on day four.

Last updated: 24 Nov 2013 08:06
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Johnson took nine wickets in the match and polished off England by catching Anderson [GALLO/GETTY]

Mitchell Johnson took five wickets in England's second innings and nine overall as Australia completed a humiliating win over their fiercest rivals with more than a day to spare in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.

England were all out for 179 on Thursday after another collapse as they failed to get close to saving the match, having been set a victory target - never at all likely to have been achieved - of 561.

Australia won by 381 runs but the statistic hides a performance in which they totally dominated England, whose successful first day ended up meaning nothing.

England had been 142 for four when a short but dramatic hailstorm caused an early tea break, with England skipper Alastair Cook was unbeaten on 65 with Joe Root alongside him on six when the players were taken off the field after Kevin Pietersen (26) and Ian Bell (32) had been dismissed earlier in the day.

But the subsequent collapse saw Cook go without adding to his score, with none of the remaining batsmen getting double figures save Root, who ended the day unbeaten on 26 off 118 balls after James Anderson had been caught-and-bowled by man-of-the-match Johnson to finish the contest with match figures of 9-103.

Australia declared on 401-7 on Saturday and removed Michael Carberry and Jonathan Trott in the hour before stumps to leave the tourists struggling on 24-2.

The tourists weathered the first hour reasonably comfortably as Australia skipper Michael Clarke opted not to start with the pace of Johnson.

Pietersen gone

The left-arm quick, who took 4-61 as England were skittled for 136 in their first innings, eventually came on and bowled two overs before the drinks break but without causing the batsmen too much trouble.

Two balls after the resumption of play, though, Pietersen decided to take on a Johnson short ball but mistimed his hook and a thick top edge sent it straight to substitute fielder Chris Sabburg at deep backward square leg.

It was an unnecessary shot from an experienced batsman and robbed Pietersen of a decent score in his 100th Test.

Cook, composed and defiant, reached his 33rd half century soon after lunch with the second of only three fours in his innings but his promising partnership with Bell was broken half an hour later.

Bell, who scored three centuries when England won the opening Ashes series of the year 3-0 at home, hung his bat out to a bouncy Peter Siddle delivery outside off and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin took the catch behind the wickets.

Cook survived a chance when his counterpart Clarke missed a difficult chance at first slip and by then England's Barmy Army of fans were looking hopefully to the thunder and lightning on the horizon.

The storm lasted only 20 minutes, though, and the covers were off with bright sunshine drying out the outfield soon after tea was called, before England strode out for some more painful lessons.

The second Test starts in Adelaide on December 5.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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