England scores biggest Ashes victory in 24 years

Wednesday, 8 December 2010 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

ADELAIDE (Reuters) - England completed a ruthless humiliation of Australia with their biggest Ashes victory in 24 years on Tuesday, routing their hosts by an innings and 71 runs to take a firm grip on the five-test series.

The tourists skittled Australia’s last six batsmen for 66 runs on a sunny Adelaide morning and were already celebrating the second test triumph in the dressing room when the huge rainstorm that the locals had been praying for finally broke.

It was England’s first test victory on Australian soil since the 2002-03 tour and a first series lead in Australia since 1986-87 -- the last time the side returned home with the urn.

England have clearly lost the fear of playing Australians in Australia but the mantra of this touring party is “no complacency” and skipper Andrews Strauss was barely off the pitch before he was warning against it.

“We need to enjoy this and savour it, because it was a special victory for us,” he said.

“But we need to make sure that we don’t take our foot off the pedal because we know Australia are going to come back at us hard and if we give them any way back into the series, they’ll take it.

“We’ve got to be prepared for a scrap in these last three test matches.”

Every part of the England machine functioned smoothly.

The bowlers dismissed Australia out for 245 on a flat track on the first day, the batsmen accumulated 620-5 declared to capitalise on that, and spinner Graeme Swann mopped up on the last day.

Australia have nine days to get their act together before the third test starts in Perth on December 16 but look bereft of options, particularly in the bowling unit after their overhauled attack managed just five wickets in Adelaide.


ICC rankings: Ponting slips out of top 20, Anderson zooms to third place

Dubai (PTI) Struggling with his form, a downcast Australian skipper Ricky Ponting today crashed out of top 20 Test batsmen list for the first in nearly a decade in the latest ICC ranking.

The Tasmanian, who turns 36 on December 19, dropped 12 places to occupy 25th, his lowest ranking since 2001 and has been replaced by England’s Kevin Pietersen who scored a mammoth 227 to help his team win the Adelaide Test.

Pietersen made a huge leap of 12 places to return to the top 20 at the 16th position. Compatriot Jonathan Trott also continued his rise up the batting rankings and is now occupying sixth place after scoring 78 in Adelaide during the second Ashes Test.

The 29-year-old is the highest-ranked England batsman with the next closest being England vice-captain Alastair Cook who has climbed nine places to sit in 13th place. Australia’s Mike Hussey rose to 14th while West Indies’’ opening batsman Chris Gayle has dropped five places to 19th after his team’s drawn series in Sri Lanka.

However, Gayle’s team-mates Brendan Nash (43) and Darren Bravo (69) have both made in-roads on the Test batsmen’s rankings but Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara still heads the numero uno status with India’s Sachin Tendulkar in second place. In the bowling ranking, England’s James Anderson has displaced Indian pace spearhead Zaheer Khan to claim third place in the Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for Test bowlers.

The 28-year-old claimed six wickets in Adelaide and sits behind fellow England bowler Graeme Swann (second) while the table is headed by South Africa’s Dale Steyn. It is Anderson’s highest ranking to date.

Swann’s five-wicket haul in the second innings of the Adelaide Test has moved him to within 14 ratings points of Steyn, edging him closer to the top spot. A good performance in the Perth and Melbourne Tests could see Swann end the year in the number one position.