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Australia quick to double up

By Rob Barnett

Australia took less than an hour on day five at Adelaide to complete a convincing victory that doubles their lead in the Ashes series.

England resumed on 247 for six but were dismissed for 312 in 11.4 overs this morning as Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris each struck twice to render Matt Prior’s counter-attacking fifty in vain.

Australia celebrate going 2-0 up in the Ashes courtesy of a 218-run victory achieved inside an hour on day five

The tourists, needing 284 more today to win, went for their shots rather than trying to save the game and paid the price as they lost by 218 runs.

Although early-morning showers briefly offered them hope of avoiding defeat, the rain delayed the start by just 10 minutes and that time could have been made up.

Stuart Broad showed England’s intent by hooking Siddle for six in the first over, but he was caught in the deep for 29 attempting to repeat the shot from the next ball.

Prior, on 31 overnight, confirmed a return to form with three pulled fours speeding him to a half-century, the first time he had reached 50 in 17 Test innings.

Yet Harris, having replaced man of the match Mitchell Johnson, had Graeme Swann held at second slip and, in the next over, Siddle snared Prior for 69 in similar fashion to Broad.

James Anderson scored briskly, but the game was up when Chris Rogers caught Monty Panesar for nought at short extra-cover, giving Harris figures of 3-54 to Siddle’s 4-57.

Australia therefore head to Perth, where the next of back-to-back Tests start on Friday, with a 2-0 lead and knowing victory there will regain the urn England have held since 2009.

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1.23am - Mitchell Johnson is man of the match for the second straight game, mainly for his first-innings 7-40. “It’s a pretty special feeling,” he said.

Alastair Cook said: “We missed a few chances on the first day and they really made us pay for that. Australia took their chances very well in the field.

“It is tough times at the moment, but we can’t moan about it. We’ve got to look at ourselves and try to put things right.”

On the threat of rain this morning, Michael Clarke said: “I was as nervous as all the blokes in the team. The last thing we wanted was rain today.”

Morning Session

Watch highlights as Australia complete a comfortable victory to double their series lead

1.06am - AUSTRALIA WIN BY 281 RUNS TO GO 2-0 UP IN THE ASHES! WICKET! Panesar c Rogers b Harris 0; England 312 all out, Anderson 13 - Monty Panesar slaps a catch to Chris Rogers at short extra-cover as the hosts need less than an hour today to seal victory. Siddle took 4-57 and Harris 3-54.

1.01am - James Anderson, who chipped Harris down the ground for three in the over before, picks up a fortuitous four off Siddle, whose short delivery takes the glove and flies to fine-leg. However, later in the over, Anderson unfurls a straight-driven boundary.

12.53am - WICKET! Prior c Harris b Siddle 69; Eng 301/9 - The right-hander falls on the hook as Harris holds on at deep backward square-leg. There was a moment’s hesitation before the fielder confirmed the catch. Australia need one more scalp to go 2-0 up.

12.46am - WICKET! Swann c Clarke b Harris 6; Eng 293/8 - Unfortunate last words in the previous entry from yours truly as Swann plays away from his body at Ryan Harris, who has replaced Johnson, and Michael Clarke takes a regulation catch at second slip.

12.43am - Prior, who slashed Johnson to the third-man rope in the previous over, produces a textbook straight drive for four. Graeme Swann is supporting him well.

12.33am - FIFTY! Prior (88b 9x4 0x6) - The wicketkeeper-batsman pulls Siddle through midwicket for a boundary that heralds a fine counter-attacking half-century and a resounding return to batting form.

12.28am - The onslaught continues as Prior pulls Johnson to the rope with a ‘crack’ as he timed the shot perfectly.

12.20am - Matt Prior gets two fours in Mitchell Johnson’s first over, with a sweet back-foot drive and pull. England look intent on attacking.

12.13am - WICKET! Broad c Lyon b Siddle 29; Eng 255/7 - Stuart Broad pulls Peter Siddle over two fielders on the leg-side rope for a six, but falls attempting to repeat the shot next ball with Nathan Lyon coming in from deep square-leg to hold on.

12.10am - The players are out in the middle and the action is about to start. The 10 minutes lost can be made up later today.

Pre-play News

12am - The scheduled start time arrives with play not yet possible, although it is due to begin at 12.10am barring no further rain.

11.50am - With Prior and Broad at the crease, England can take heart from their contribution to March’s rearguard versus New Zealand at Auckland, where Broad faced 77 balls for six runs and Prior finished unbeaten on 110 as the tourists ended nine wickets down in their second innings to share the series.

11.40pm - England are set to resume on 247 for six with Matt Prior on 31 and Stuart Broad 22. With the showers expected to clear soon, surely these two will have to do the bulk of the work if the tourists are somehow to avoid defeat?

11.30pm - Hello and thank you for joining me for the last day at Adelaide, where Australia require four wickets to double their series lead. England need to bat all day to save the game, although by doing so they may get the 284 more runs required for victory. The weather could help the tourists today, with rain falling an hour before the scheduled start but clearing to allow the covers to be removed.

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