Another mesmerising spell of bowling from Stuart Broad spearheaded a marvellous victory for England in the 4th Ashes Test at Durham as the hosts secured the 2013 series in style.
Broad romped to his second five wicket haul of the contest as Australia were bowled out late in the day for 224 in reply to England’s target of 299.
It means that Alistair Cook and his men take an emphatic and unassailable 3-0 advantage in the series which has barely been within Australia’s horizons since the narrow margin outcome of the first Test at Trent Bridge in July.
England didn’t quite manage to build upon their second innings progress at the start of play on Monday as they were dismissed for 330, but the additional 96 runs gained on their overnight total nevertheless left them in a handy position at the change over and posed a big question to the tourists’ inconsistent batting line-up.
First innings centurion Chris Rogers returned to the crease alongside David Warner and the pair made an excellent start in pursuit of what seemed a testing yet makeable target.
109 runs were on the board for the Aussies before Rogers fell on 49 after edging Swann to Trott – but it didn’t break Warner’s rhythm down the other end as the recently promoted batsman continued to shine in the moment.
Australia still looked to be coasting towards the win on 147/2 when Usman Khawaja succumbed to Swann lbw and the notions around Chester-le-Street were no different even when Warner departed for 71, Tim Bresnan this time the striker, leaving Michael Clarke’s charges still ticking over nicely on 168/3.
But it was then the match began to turn – and rapidly, as the Aussie skipper found himself on the receiving end of Broad’s first piece of magic.
The 27-year-old, so often regarded as the strong back up to star seamer Jimmy Anderson, shone in the first innings and continued his demolition of the Aussie middle order second time around.
A late tracer bullet clean bowled a helpless Clarke before Broad tore into Steven Smith with a ruthless bouncer.
Australia, suddenly reeling on 175/5, then capitulated as Bresnan waded in with his second scalping Shane Watson lbw before Broad did the same to wicketkeeper Haddin.
With the tourists seven down, an England success became a matter of when rather than if and they were awarded an extra half hour’s play to seal the deal.
Broad took the lead and bulldozed the Aussie tail to wrap up a wonderful 74 triumph which appeared so unlikely at lunch.
The man of the match accolade deservedly went to England’s game-changer who finished the Test with sensational figures of 11-121, an achievement which far outweighed the highly skilled batting performances of Bell and Rogers.
It is hard to envisage how Clarke can now raise his troops for the final instalment of the series at the Oval in 10 days time following a collapse that epitomised the tourists’ summer.
England will celebrate long into the summer after clinching the series but will be keen on keeping a clean sheet when the sides return to London for the finale on August 21.