England surrender Ashes to Australia

December 17, 2013
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Australia have regained the Ashes after beating England in the third Test in Perth by 150 runs to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.

The tourists needed to bat out the final day at the Waca to keep the series alive but were unable to hang on, despite an impressive maiden Test century by Ben Stokes.

The Durham all-rounder will be the only batsman to emerge from the clash in Western Australia with any credit after his 120 from 195 balls stemmed the tide, all be it only momentarily.

Australia were able to claim the final wicket of the match by early afternoon on Tuesday, potential man-of-the-series Mitchell Johnson dismissing James Anderson to cue scenes of wild celebrations at the Waca.

Having come into this series on the back of a three-series winning streak, England are now in real danger of being whitewashed 5-0 by Australia heading into the final two Tests in Melbourne and Sydney.

Baggy Greens captain Michael Clarke has set his sights on completing the whitewash and says it is a fantastic feeling to pay England back for the three previous series defeats.

"Our goal is to get back to being the number one side in the world," said Clarke.

"No doubt we will celebrate hard tonight and enjoy it, we deserve that. But we have two more Test matches and we'd love to win 5-0."

As for opposite number Alastair Cook and head coach Andy Flower they are left to reflect on a disastrous series so far, with Cook admitting Australia have been better in every department.

"We have been out-skilled in all aspects and it is hard to say that as a player but that is the honest truth," said Cook.

"We have got to keep looking at ourselves and keep doing what we can do and that is working hard to turn things around.

"Everyone is hurting now. That happens in sport - there is a winner and a loser and at the moment we are the losing dressing room and it hurts.

"All we can do now is work as hard as we can on our games, then come out on Boxing Day and put in a better performance."

Flower, whose position as England's head coach has been called into question in the wake of the latest defeat, feels England's batting was their downfall, admitting their inability to handle Australia's fast bowlers had been the difference between the two teams.

"I think it's fair to say that with the bat we've underperformed badly. We've only got one Test century to think seven of theirs. And that's from a young all-rounder playing in his second Test match (Ben Stokes)," said Flower.

"We haven't handled the pace that well. And I think the pace of Johnson has been really well backed up by Harris and Siddle - they've been accurate and skilful - and the off-spinner (Nathan Lyon) has bowled nicely, too.

"The combination of the extra pace and some skilful back-up has not allowed us off the hook."

England must now try and regroup for the fourth Test at the MCG in Melbourne on 25th December.

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