KEEPING LORD'S WORLD CLASS
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Andrew Strauss insists England’s mission Down Under is not complete after they retained the Ashes with a crushing innings and 157 run victory over Australia in Melbourne.
Strauss’ men took the three wickets required to ensure the Urn was retained for the first time in 24 years on the final morning of the fourth Test.
Chris Tremlett and Graeme Swann removed Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle before Ashes debutant Tim Bresnan had the honour of dismissing Ben Hilfenhaus for a duck to seal a famous victory.
Objective not achieved
Brad Haddin finished unbeaten on 55 and though the result ensures England will at least draw the series, Strauss said defeat in the fifth Test in Sydney would sour the whole tour.
“Our objective was to come out here and win the series.” said the 33-year-old opener.
“But we have not achieved that yet.
“It is reassuring to know the Ashes are going to remain in England for another couple of years, but it will leave a very sour taste in the mouth if we are not able to go on and convert our position into a series win in Sydney.
“We should enjoy tonight and rightly so, but it is back to square one for Sydney.”
Haddin and Siddle fight
Tremlett hinted at a quick demolition of the Aussie tail on the fourth morning when he bowled the dangerous Mitchell Johnson for just six.
England’s task had been made easier by the confirmation that Ryan Harris – who needs surgery on an ankle injury – would be absent hurt and not bat in the second innings.
Despite plenty of playing and missing though, Haddin and Siddle (40) put up some resistance of the sort which has often been missing from the Australian top six during this series.
Haddin in particular has excelled at number 7 and he looked in marvellous touch, launching Graeme Swann into the stands for a mighty six as he and Siddle put on an entertaining 86.
Siddle finally holed out to Kevin Pietersen to give Swann his second wicket of the Test.
Hilfenhaus lasted just four balls of Bresnan’s next over as he edged through to Matt Prior to confirm England’s comprehensive victory.
Jonathan Trott’s magnificent unbeaten 168 earned him the man of the match award but it might just as well have been handed to England’s bowling quartet for their efforts at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
All four played important roles in a win which was virtually sealed within the first two sessions of the match when the hosts were skittled for just 98.