Crushing Ashes victory for Aussies

LEEDS, England – Australia have won the fourth Ashes Test by an innings and 80 runs at Headingley to level the series at 1-1. Mitchell Johnson put an exclamation mark on Australia’s crushing victory with a five-wicket haul as his side marched within sight of a successful Ashes defence. Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann’s scintillating century stand had earlier taken a little gloss off the touring side’s performance before Johnson (5-69) cleaned up at the end. It was Australia’s first Test triumph in five outings and captain Ricky Ponting tasted victory in England for the first time in eight contests. Outside of Broad and Swann’s stand, his men displayed the sort of ruthlessness associated with the renowned sides of the past as they demolished a weakened England side in just over seven sessions. Broad (61 off 49 balls) and Swann (62 off 72 balls) handed Australia’s bowlers a late touch-up that brightened the mood of the Headingley crowd in a rollicking eighth wicket stand of 108 off 79 balls. They put pace bowlers Stuart Clark (0-74 off 11 overs) and Peter Siddle (1-50 off 12 overs) to the sword but it only delayed the inevitable as England were all out for 263. The result meant the tourists level the series at 1-1 with one Test to play. It is the first time since 1965-66 that both sides head into the final match of an Ashes series with the scores tied. The fifth Test is at The Oval starting on Thursday week.
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