Hazlewood, Starc rout England | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 07, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:27 AM, December 07, 2017

Hazlewood, Starc rout England

An inspired and express Josh Hazlewood led the way for Australia as England were ruthlessly dispatched on the fifth afternoon of the day-night Test to give Steve Smith's men a 2-0 lead in the Ashes series.

The second Test had been in the balance when play resumed at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday, with England captain Joe Root still in the middle and his side having six wickets up its sleeve with 178 further runs required to complete a record-breaking run chase of 354.

However, the tourists could score only 57 more runs before being quickly finished off for 233 and Australia sealing a 120-run victory.

Root had not added to his overnight score of 67 when he nicked the fired-up paceman, who was bending his back and bowling at upwards of 148kmh, to wicketkeeper Tim Paine.

That key breakthrough arrived nine balls after Hazlewood dismissed nightwatchman Chris Woakes for five only a minute after play had resumed. While Hazlewood provided the all-important wickets on the fifth afternoon, as important was Mitchell Starc's five for 88 as the left-arm speedster provided inroads on the fourth evening and wrapped up the tail after Hazlewood opened the door.

"I didn't think it could happen that quickly," Hazlewood said. "It's pretty special. [Root] is obviously a class player and probably the key to their batting."

With the win, a repeat of the Ashes whitewash in 2013-14 ago remains on the cards heading into the third Test at the WACA, but Joe Root is adamant his team's tour is not heading in the same shambolic direction as four years ago.

"I think we're playing better cricket this time around. I don't think we're as unevenly matched as maybe we were last time around," Root began.

"Throughout the two games it has ebbed and flowed and you've seen us in control for periods of the game, whereas I don't think that was the case last time around. So I think it's just important we try to harness those periods and just expand them and make them last for longer."

His Australian counterpart Steve Smith admitted he had to take a sleeping tablet on the night before the final day in order to get some sleep.

"I had to have a sleeping pill last night," Smith said after the match. "It has been a tough 24 hours if I'm being honest. It's all part of being captain of your country. You have to make difficult decisions. Sometimes you're going to make the wrong decision. It's all part of the learning experience and hopefully I can learn something from this game."

Smith said he could "breathe more easy" after Hazlewood knocked over Root with his 11th ball of the afternoon's play. The result was emphatic but there had been second thoughts about his heavily scrutinised decision to bat again rather than send England back in under lights with a lead of 215 -- a crucial advantage provided by player-of-the-match Shaun Marsh's first innings score of 126.

"I would say that over the last day or so I have had a few different thoughts and I've read a lot of things. But in the end we've won the game so it's all irrelevant," Smith said.


AUSTRALIA: First innings 442 for 8 decl.

ENGLAND: First innings 227

AUSTRALIA: Second innings 138 (Khawaja 20, Marsh 19; Anderson 5-43, Woakes 4-36)

ENGLAND: Second innings 233 (Root 67, Bairstow 36; Starc 5-88, Hazlewood 2-49, Lyon 2-45)

Result: Australia won by 120 runs and lead the 5-match series 2-0.

Player-of-the-match: Shaun Marsh.

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