Australia inch towards sweep

Last Updated 29 December 2013, 17:57 IST

Chris Rogers smashed just his second test century in emphatic style to lead Australia to an eight-wicket win over England and a fourth successive Ashes victory before tea on the fourth day of the fourth test Sunday.

Resuming on the overnight score of 30-1, David Warner was caught behind off Ben Stokes (1-50) for 25 before Rogers and Shane Watson shared a second-wicket partnership of 136 to aggressively chase down the victory target of 231.

Rogers was caught behind of Monty Panesar (1-41) for 116 attempting to cut through the off-side, ending a 155-ball knock with 13 boundaries.

Watson scored a classy 83, while Michael Clarke added 6 to help see the Australians to 231-2 and the win.

The 36-year-old Rogers produced the innings of his nine-test career to claim his first century on home soil in emphatic fashion. He brought up the milestone driving Jimmy Anderson for four through cover and raised his bat to the resounding applause of the 38,522 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“Amazing feeling to get 100 in a Boxing Day test and get the win,” Roger said.

Watson reached his half century off the first ball of the next over when he cut Bresnan for four.

Australia had already clinched the five test series in commanding fashion with a third-straight win at Perth on December 17, marking a dramatic reversal of form after losing the previous Ashes series 3-0 in England earlier this year.

Despite the series already being decided, more than 271,860 fans were on hand at the MCG over the four days, including a world record single day’s attendance of 91,092 on day 1.
England looked tired and dejected in the field Sunday as Australia confidently batted toward an increasingly inevitable win.

England will rue some early missed chances after Jonny Bairstow failed to move on a Rogers edge off Stuart Broad, leaving a difficult attempt that Cook let slip through for four when Rogers was on 19. Cook then put down a straightforward edge from Warner at first slip two overs later off Stokes.

Stokes gained revenge shortly after when Warner added just three runs before becoming the only wicket of the morning. Warner, who made just 9 in the first innings Saturday, was again attempting a big shot off a short ball only to edge to the wicketkeeper.

England followed its most dominant performance this series with perhaps its poorest when it dismissed Australia for 204 early on the third day only to suffer two dramatic collapses of 3-1 and 5-6 either side of tea. Nathan Lyon (5-50) took five wickets to help dismiss England for 179 and usher Australia in for its victory chase shortly before stumps on Saturday.

(Published 29 December 2013, 04:31 IST)

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