UK & World News

  • 17 December 2013, 12:10

The Ashes: England Lose To Rampant Aussies

England have lost the Ashes with a third successive defeat to Australia, despite a maiden Test century from Ben Stokes.

Stokes' 120 was the cornerstone of England's belated defiance on the fifth day in Perth, but the team were still bowled out for 353 early on the final afternoon.

The loss sees Australia regain the urn with a 150-run win and an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series.

England coach Andy Flower said his team batted poorly, aside from the century by Stokes. 

"I think it is fair to say with the bat we have underperformed badly. We've only got one Test century to six or seven of theirs and that's from a young all-rounder playing in his second Test match," he said. 

Flower gave credit to Australia's bowlers and said England struggled to match their pace and accuracy. 

"We haven't handled the pace that well and I think the pace of (Mitchell) Johnson has been really well backed up by (Ryan) Harris and (Peter) Siddle. They've been very accurate and skilful. And their off-spinner has bowled nicely, too," he said.

He said the team was "very disappointed" with the result but are focused on finishing strongly in the series. 

The 45-year-old has come under much scrutiny in the past 12 months, but remained coy about his future.

"We've got two Test matches left in the series and I am absolutely hungry to do well in those games.

"That is as far as I'm looking at the minute."

In pursuit of a world-record 504 to win at the Waca ground, Stokes was the sole bright spot in England's batting performance. 

His century was England's first of a series in which they have fallen short against hosts keen to take revenge for three successive Ashes defeats.

Stokes was eventually caught behind by Brad Haddin off the bowling of spinner Nathan Lyon.

Following the match, Australian captain Michael Clarke praised the young batsman's century.

"I think Ben Stokes deserves a lot of credit for the way he played. To come out and make a tough hard-fought hundred he deserves a lot of credit," he said. 

Clarke said England were "tough" opponents who put in a strong performance throughout the series. 

"It certainly wasn't given to us easy but we expect that. We've known from day one that playing against England's always tough. They've got a lot of good players and we've seen that throughout this series," he said. 

Australia won the opening test of the series in Brisbane by 381 runs and the second in Adelaide by 218 runs.

The series now moves to Melbourne for the Boxing Day test, followed by the final match at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the New Year.

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