Stylish Australia beats England by eight wickets


LONDON, AP

Australia crushed England by eight wickets at Lord’s on Sunday to take a predictable 2-0 lead in the five-match Ashes series. Fast bowlers Glenn McGrath, 3-60, and Jason Gillespie, 5-53, bowled in tandem to destroy the spirited England second innings after the host had started positively. Batting for the second time 214 runs in arrears, England began the day on 163 for four and 51 runs behind. After adding 25 runs in five overs, Mike Atherton’s team again fell apart, losing the last six wickets for 39 runs in the space of 48 balls. England was finally bowled out for 227 runs leaving Australia to score just 14 to win. The Australians lost opener Michael Slater and Ricky Ponting, each for four, but Matthew Hayden, six not out and Mark Waugh saw them through to victory in 3.1 overs by reaching 14 for two. It meant the world test champions were home before lunch on the penultimate day. It was England’s eighth Ashes defeat at Lord’s. The team has failed to beat Australia at the home of cricket since 1934 when it triumphed by an innings and 38 runs. Gillespie, who came out of the shadow of McGrath with a standout spell, had No.11 Darren Gough caught by Mark Waugh at second slip to end the innings. The catch gave Waugh an Australian record 158 catches as he passed former captain Mark Taylor’s 157 dismissals. Playing in his 113th test, Waugh, the 36-year-old twin of skipper Steve, had hit his first century at Lord’s, a stylish 108 to provide the backbone of the Australian first innings of 401. Mark Butcher, who top scored with 83 runs, fell to Gillespie while McGrath, who had taken 5 54 in the first innings, took 3-4 in 10 balls including Alec Stewart and Ian Ward with success balls. After England had been dismissed for 187, Australia took control of the test by leading by 214 on first innings. England didn’t help its chances with six dropped catches including Adam Gilchrist four times and let the vice captain take the game away with a forceful 90 runs. The dropped catches cost 157 runs and the match as it crashed to its third straight defeat, losing also to Pakistan at Old Trafford in the second test in June. That was after it has won four test series in a row. The home side lost the first test by an innings and 118 runs when it dropped seven catches and missed a stumping. Allrounder Craig White, who denied McGrath of a hat-trick, hit out boldly to save face and avoid the embarrassment of losing by an innings for the second game in a row. With England teetering on 193 for eight and 11 short of making Australia bat again, White, 27 not out off 29 balls with five fours, and Andy Caddick added 32 runs for the ninth wicket. White, counterattacked Gillespie and took 19 runs in an over, including four boundaries. McGrath finished with a match haul of 8-114 while Gillespie took 7-109 to share 15 of the 20 England wickets in the two innings.