Australia win the Ashes

And in so doing, show why England failed.

Because will winning the Ashes stop them? No. Why would it? They'll be aiming for 5-0 now. Then they'll be doing their damnedest to win the series after this one and the one after that.

Contrast that with England, for whom winning the Ashes signalled not the start of something, but the end. They built towards it. They never built on it afterwards.

If you think we're being harsh, prior to their now-redundant home Ashes win, they had beaten all-comers again and again. Afterwards you need look no further than the callow performance against Sri Lanka in the first Test of last summer. England had a monstrous lead and ample time to bowl out Sri Lanka. They never managed it, dropping catches regularly and showing precisely no sense of urgency.

If this loss brings about that indefinable something that makes the difference between winning and losing Test matches, then all will not have been in vain. Call it 'edge' or 'intensity'. Call it 'super magic space power' if you want. Just get it back.

Well played Australia - or something similarly banal and bad-tempered.

Australia 244 all out and 527-5 declared
England 215 all out and 350 all out

Australia take a 3-0 lead and therefore the Ashes

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

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