It was quite a test debut for Australian fast bowler Scott Boland. Player of the match Boland took the remarkable figures of six wickets for seven runs as Australia beat England by an innings and 14 runs before lunch on day three of the third Ashes Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
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The massive win means Australia retain the Ashes, with a 3-0 lead in the five-game series. Resuming on Tuesday 31/4, England were knocked out for 68. Ben Stokes, 11, was knocked down by Mitchell Starc in the fifth inning of the day.
Boland, 32, struck out Jonny Bairstow for five in his first inning of the day, then World No. 2 hitter Joe Root for 28 in his second inning, before firing Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson without scoring in his third inning.
When James Anderson was beaten by Cameron Green for two, England’s resistance had lasted just 27.4 overs.
Boland, who claimed match figures of 7/55 and is only the second Indigenous player to represent the Australian men’s Test-cricket team, was awarded the Johnny Mullagh player of the match medal. The award honors the Aboriginal team from Australia who toured England in 1868.
Australia captain Pat Cummins said his side had been relentless and would now be aiming for a 5-0 series sweep. “Any Ashes streak is when you’re trying to mark your Testing career, so a chance to start cementing our identity,” Cummins said.
England captain Joe Root tried to stay positive. “We have to stay strong and watch the next two games to get something out of the tour,” Root said at the post-match ceremony. Play resumed as scheduled on Tuesday after players from both teams were tested for Covid-19 overnight.
“All results came back negative,” Cricket Australia said. The start of Monday’s second day of play was delayed by 30 minutes due to a COVID-19 scare involving two England support staff.
Australia was eliminated for 267 runs on Monday as the home side took an 82 run advantage in the first set. England couldn’t even hit that number to beat Australia a second time. The fourth test is due to start on January 5 in Sydney, the fifth from January 14 in Hobart.