England clinched a third straight Ashes series after winning the fourth test by 74 runs following a dramatic Australian batting meltdown in the face of some inspired bowling from paceman Stuart Broad on Monday.
Set a victory target of 299, Australia collapsed from 168—2 to 224 all out in a memorable final session at Chester—le—Street on day four.
Broad took 6—50, claiming all his wickets in an unbelievable 45—ball spell as darkness descended. He completed a second 10—wicket haul in tests and was named man of the match.
England leads the five—match series 3—0 with one test left, starting at The Oval on Aug. 21.
It had all looked so rosy for Australia just after tea, with David Warner who top—scored with 71 in his groove and leading the team forward purposefully to 147—1.
Even when Usman Khawaja (21) was trapped lbw to Graeme Swann, captain Michael Clarke came in, hit three quick fours and ensured the momentum was still with the tourists.
Then it all went wrong.
Warner edged a beauty from Bresnan to wicketkeeper Matt Prior and the fightback was on.
Broad bowled Clarke (21) with a pearler off the seam and Steve Smith (2) dragged a 90 mph delivery from the paceman onto his own stumps as he attempted a pull.
Shane Watson, carrying a hip/groin injury, was lbw to Bresnan for 2 before Haddin fell by the same fate for 4, this time from Broad who wheeled away in celebration puffing his cheeks and with his eyes bulging.
In 55 minutes, the whole middle order had been removed. So had Australia’s hopes of squaring the series.
Then it was just a case of wrapping up the tail.
Ryan Harris (11) was plumb lbw to Broad, who then bowled Nathan Lyon for 8 to bring up his second five—fer of the match.
With shadows lengthening, England was allowed an extra half—hour to take the last wicket and they almost needed all the allotted time before Peter Siddle clubbed Broad to James Anderson to mid—off.
In that final session, Australia lost nine wickets for 104 runs, with Broad hitting one of those purple patches he is known for.
Few were giving the tourists a chance following an absorbing end to the English innings after they resumed on 234—5, with Bresnan (45) and Swann (30 not out) both clattering six boundaries.
Not even Ian Bell an overnight centurion and in the form of his life could cope with the pace and aggression of Harris, adding eight runs before playing on to his stumps for 113.