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Brilliant Broad seals Ashes glory

By Matthew Sherry at the Emirates Durham ICG and Dominic Farrell

A Stuart Broad-inspired England wrapped up their third successive Ashes series victory on a dramatic fourth evening at the Emirates Durham ICG.

On a day that was a microcosm of a game of twists and turns, the pendulum swung back and forth with remarkable regularity.

However, it was England who ultimately prevailed by 74 runs to move 3-0 ahead in the Investec Series with a game to spare as the Nottinghamshire seamer ended with a decisive haul of 6-50.

With all eyes on Ian Bell, resuming on 105 having completed his third century of the series, Ryan Harris initially stole the show in the morning.

Bell was one of four men to fall as the paceman completed career-best figures of 7-117 but, with Australia suddenly scenting a chance, Tim Bresnan and Graeme Swann's cameos appeared to have put the game out of reach.

The former hit 45 and the latter 30 not out as England edged up to 330 and set the tourists an unlikely 299 to win.

But unlikely suddenly became realistic as, led by David Warner, they got halfway to their target for the loss of just Chris Rogers.

Bresnan and Broad had other ideas and, after Swann had trapped Usman Khawaja lbw, set about undermining Australia’s efforts by claiming five wickets in 73 minutes.

The former was the first to strike, grabbing the key scalp of Warner for 71 with a snorter that bounced and moved away to induce a tiny edge.

If that delivery was impressive, it paled in comparison to the one that did for Michael Clarke.

Immediately after the drinks break, Broad found the perfect line and length, which combined with a hint of movement away to beat the bat and locate off stump.

Suddenly bowling in excess of 90mph, the paceman was not about to let England’s advantage slip.

He soon grabbed a third - and eighth in the match - as Steven Smith’s attempted hook ricocheted into the stumps via glove.

Not about to be outdone, Bresnan trapped Shane Watson in front, the batsman's review ultimately proving unsuccessful in the same manner Brad Haddin’s did when Australia’s wicketkeeper fell in identical fashion to Broad soon after.

At that stage, the only question was whether England could complete victory this evening with poor light closing in.

Broad would take the hosts two steps closer, pinning Harris in front and bowling Nathan Lyon.

A frustrating period ensued, with England forced to employ two spinners or face heading off but, after the sun reappeared, Broad sparked jubilant celebrations by having Peter Siddle taken at mid-off to complete match figures of 11-121.

 

Australia even hinting at a victory seemed unlikely after England overcame Harris’ heroics to build a handsome advantage this morning.

With the new ball quickly available, the bustling paceman wasted little time in building on to his three wickets from yesterday.

Bell was the first to go, beaten by one that kept low and uprooted leg stump via an inside edge.

Matt Prior has not looked himself this summer but could do little about the first delivery he faced; this time, Harris got one to rear off a length and clip the batsman’s elbow en route to the timber. 

 

Broad briefly entertained the crowd with a couple of lusty blows, his 17 adding some momentum. Yet he, too, was undone by a bit of Harris magic.

 

Having watched Broad strike successive boundaries, the fast bowler went around the wicket and produced a vicious throat ball that was gloved to gully.

Nightwatchman Bresnan responded outstandingly thereafter, largely favouring the back foot as a series of cuts and pulls found their way to the fence.

A half-century would have been richly deserved but Harris had other ideas and took a fine return catch off a leading edge.

With England’s advantage at 285, Smith dropped a dolly at long-on to reprieve Swann, who threatened to really make the fielder pay when striking three off-side fours in the next over.

Lyon eventually brought an end to England’s innings on 330, having James Anderson caught behind with a delivery that turned and bounced.

Australia’s chase started rather sedately as first-innings centurion Rogers and Warner initially found an antidote to England’s bowlers, their efforts flying in the face of evidence from earlier in the game that suggested the new nut was crucial.

There were some moments of alarm for Rogers, in particular, following a 67-minute rain delay after lunch.

He utilised the Decision Review System to overturn a caught-behind verdict on 14 and saw Swann drop a one-handed attempt at slip in the next over.

However, many of the qualities on display during his ton were once again in evidence, as an excellent, late defence combined with style on the drive.

Warner was typically punchy during the early exchanges, his confidence best illustrated with a driven six over cover when Swann was handed the ball.

Promoted back to the top of the order for this contest, the left-hander mixed moments of attack with a solidity not usually associated with his game.

The upshot was a century opening stand that no doubt left many home fans experiencing nerves.

However, they need not have worried as, after Swann had Rogers taken at slip and trapped Khawaja lbw, Broad took centre stage in the same manner he did at The Oval four years ago.

Little did he know at that point that, by the end of the day, the 2009 triumph would prove the first in a streak of three, a feat England had not achieved since 1981.

Match Scorecard

Live ball-by-ball commentary

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Australia 2nd Innings

Evening Session

8:04pm - The post-match presentations are concluding and Stuart Broad is the man of the match. What a sensational evening of cricket - one that compares with many of the great stories this rich rivalry has given us down the years. That's all from us on the live text, but stay tuned on ecb.co.uk for the rest of the evening, where we'll have more reaction than you can shake a tiny little urn at.

7:50pm - Speaking to Sky Sports, Broad has just referred to the dialogue between himself and Alastair Cook before his Ashes-winning spell: "Cookie threw me the ball and said, ‘let’s spice it up a little bit’."

Let's spice it up a little bit! I think that's up there with Sir Ian Botham's immortal, "Come on Dill, let's give it some humpty," to Graham Dilley before the Headingley victory charge in 1981. Lovely stuff.

7:41pm - WICKET! Siddle c Anderson b Broad 23; Australia 224 all out. ENGLAND WIN BY 74 RUNS AND TAKE AN UNASSAILABLE 3-0 LEAD IN THE INVESTEC ASHES SERIES - It's all over and, fittingly, Broad applies the last rites. Siddle drives loosely at a full ball outside off stump and the ball is lofted into Anderson's safe hands at mid-off. Broad and England have been simply magnificent this evening - what a way to win an Ashes series.

7:37pm - The sun is back out and Anderson returns. Again England come close to sealing the deal as Siddle's chip into the on-side falls short of a scampering Bresnan.

7:30pm - Another close call as Siddle edges Swann past Jonathan Trott at slip.

7:28pm MISSED CHANCE! Last man Jackson Bird is stranded mid-pitch as Siddle turns down a single but Prior cannot gather the throw from midwicket.

7:27pm - After a fair bit of conferring out in the middle, England will take the extra half hour. It looks like it will be spin from both ends for the duration and Root continues.

7:25pm - Root starts with a maiden. The recently-completed spell from Broad reads 9-1-22-5. Fast bowling of the very highest order.

7:21pm - Swann thought he had it in the bag there with an appeal for caught behind against Siddle, but umpire Dar is not interested. Dar and his colleague Tony Hill then make their concerns over the light known to Cook and Joe Root is into the attack, giving us spin at both ends.

7:15pmWICKET! Lyon b Broad 8; Australia 211/9 - But Broad will not be denied and has his second five-for in the match. Umpire Dar had a look at the light meter following a bouncer from the England quick, who then fizzed in a tracer bullet of a yorker to send Lyon's leg-stump cartwheeling.

7:09pm - MISSED CHANCE! Oh, Broad is so close to 10 wickets in the match! Nathan Lyon looks to pull his bat out of the way but gets a toe-end to the cordon, where Swann can't hold on. Next ball a drive flashes through the bowler's hands on his follow through.

7:04pm - Siddle really has to play his shots now and that's just the ticket - a crunching pull off Anderson brings up Australia's 200. There are six overs left in the day and, with largely blue skies over the Emirates Durham ICG, one suspects the extra half hour will be called for.

6:59pm WICKET! Harris lbw b Broad 11; Australia 199/8 - The ball after that fortunate four, Broad nips one back to Harris and that's absolutely plumb. It is just reward for some excellent bowling to the tailenders from Broad, pushing them back with short-pitched deliveries before trapping Harris with a full one.

6:58pm - Another close shave for Harris, who inside edges just past his stumps. But hang on....

6:54pm - The previous over was sent down by Anderson, ending a magnificent six-over stint of 2-13 from Bresnan. Harris and Peter Siddle have seven and four to their respective names with Australia requiring 107 more.

6:47pm - Remember that ball that kept low from Ryan Harris to dismiss Ian Bell this morning? Well, the Aussie quick almost suffered the same fate, crucially getting the toe of his bat to a shooter from Broad.

Coach Darren Lehman looks absolutely sick on the Australia balcony and it is hard not to sympathise. Some wonderful cricket had his team very well placed but England have been irresistible during the past hour.

6:38pmWICKET! Haddin lbw b Broad 4; Australia 181/7 - And another! Broad traps Haddin on the crease. It's out and the wicketkeeper goes upstairs, with height the issue, but, as with Watson, the decision stays on the field. 

6:29pm - WICKET! Watson lbw b Bresnan 2; Australia 179/6 - England are absolutely on fire here. Watson plays a long way across the line to Bresnan and is struck on the pad. Umpire Aleem Dar raises his finger and an 'umpire's call' verdict from Hawkeye means a review cannot save the batsman.

6:22pm - WICKET! Smith b Broad 2; Australia 175/5 - Dear, oh dear - given the match situation I dare say Smith will be livid with himself. Steaming in, Broad unleashes a short ball that the batsman elects to hook. Alas, it's on him too quickly for the stroke and he proceeds to drag the ball on to his leg stump. England in the ascendancy now.

6:15pm - In a way you have to feel for Clarke, who was undone by a similarly unplayable nut from Anderson in the first innings at Trent Bridge. The first ball faced by Watson from Broad was the fastest of the match at 91mph. There is some serious adrenaline pumping out there.

6:11pm - WICKET! Clarke b Broad 21; Australia 174/4 - WOW! I want some of whatever Broad was just drinking! First ball after the break and the Nottinghamshire man comes up with an absolute jaffa; a delivery that angled in, held its line and pegged back the helpless Clarke's off stump. Perhaps a hint of reverse swing in there as well, which will give England all sorts of encouragement. In comes Shane Watson.

6:07pm - Clarke settles for one from another probing Bresnan over and it's time for a drink. Australia need 125 more to win with seven wickets remaining.

6pm REVIEW! - Broad is fired up and an appeal goes up for caught behind against Smith. However, like Rogers earlier in the day, replays show the ball struck the batsman on the thigh pad and England have no reviews left.

5:49pm - England fans will not need reminding that Clarke and new man Steven Smith combined in a huge partnership at Old Trafford last week. Stuart Broad replaces Anderson and starts with a yorker that Clarke digs out well.

5:45pm WICKET! Warner c Prior b Bresnan 71; Australia 168/3 - The change from England skipper Alastair Cook proves to be an inspired one. Bresnan draws Warner forward and a little extra lift catches the outside edge, leaving Matt Prior to pouch a regulation chance and end a fine innings.

5:42pm - Width for Clarke from Anderson and, with little to no evidence of swing around, the batsman clouts to the extra-cover boundary. Four more follow courtesy of an authoritative straight drive before a low edge through first slip brings three. Australia are 167 for two and Tim Bresnan replaces Swann.

5:36pm - Having left a ball from Swann that narrowly missed his off stump, Warner clips confidently through midwicket for three and moves to 71.

5:26pm - WICKET! Khawaja lbw b Swann 21; Australia 147/2 - Well, he was up and running! Khawaja misses a full delivery from Swann and does not hang around to review. In comes Australia's captain Michael Clarke. If England can grab another wicket quickly the pendulum will start to swing once more in this enthralling Test match.

5:24pm - Khawaja is up and running. Having worked Anderson to the boundary backward of point in the seamer's previous over, he capitalises on a short delivery by unfurling his favourite pull stroke for four more. A little more fortuitously he edges through the cordon to move to 21. Australia are 147 for one after 39 overs and almost halfway there.

5:14pm - Warner rocks back and cuts Swann to the midwicket fence. He really does look in superb order and England could do with seeing the back of him sooner rather than later.

5:07pm - We're back under way after tea and so is David Warner, who works Graeme Swann through the off side to pick up three before the spinner beats Usman Khawaja's outside edge. James Anderson returns to the attack and we have 30 overs available tonight.

Afternoon Session

4:45pm - TEA! - Australia 120/1; Warner 57, Khawaja 6 - Swann sends down another long-hop, although this one does not precede a wicket; his full toss is smacked down the ground by Khawaja. Time for a break.

4:31pm - WICKET! Rogers c Trott b Swann 49; Australia 109/1 - Oh boy, England needed that. The ball after seeing a long-hop pulled to the midwicket rope, Swann finds Rogers - playing back - and Jonathan Trott takes a difficult, low catch at first slip.

4:29pm - FIFTY! Warner (74b 8x4 1x6) - What a way to bring up a fine half-century; Warner rocks back and guides Bresnan just wide of point for four.

4:19pm - Swann is getting into his work now, causing Warner - in particular - some problems. England need a breakthrough.

4:03pm - There's nothing happening for England at the moment. Swann's fourth over goes for nine as both batsmen strike off-side fours.

4pm - Things have calmed down a touch but these two continue to score at four an over without much trouble.

3:42pm - Warner responds with a glorious, inside-out drive over cover for six and, in the off-spinner's next over, Rogers crunches to the point boundary.

3:33pm - With runs coming freely for the tourists, England turn - see what I did there? - to Graeme Swann.

3:20pm - Runs are coming relatively freely here, Warner clipping through midwicket and cutting off Anderson before Rogers, having been beaten a couple of times, nicks one through the cordon with soft hands.

3:11pm - MISSED CHANCE! - Warner unfurls another crisp shot when cutting Anderson through point and, in the next over, Graeme Swann shells a diving, one-handed chance after Tim Bresnan finds Rogers' edge. It was a tough one but there is plenty happening.

3:03pm - REVIEW! - The Decision Review System worked for Rogers in the first innings, and it has again. James Anderson beats the edge with a beauty and umpire Tony Hill raises the finger. However, replays show the ball clipped his thigh pad rather than bat.

3:02pm - Australia are looking to be positive, Warner finding his first boundary via a back-foot punch off Broad. Rogers then adds another four later in the over, confidently driving down the ground.

2:52pm - Stuart Broad immediately makes it talk, beating Rogers' edge before finding extra bounce to take the glove and see the ball fall just safe.

2:47pm - Here we go then. Chris Rogers and David Warner are back in the middle, tasked with taking the shine off the all-important new ball.

2:19pm - The rain has stopped, the umpires are inspecting conditions and the outer covers are being removed.

2:07pm - Ah, and the rain returns. It's fairly heavy, too. This could turn out to be a frustrating day.

1:56pm - The rain has now stopped, but the radar suggests there will be more downpours passing over later in the day. There will be an inspection in 14 minutes.

1:43pm - I am afraid the heavens have opened at the Emirates Durham ICG. The forecast suggests we're set for a lengthy delay. 

Morning Session

Watch highlights of the opening session of day four from the Emirates Durham ICG

1:01pm - LUNCH! Australia 11/0 chasing 299; Rogers 5, Warner 2 - Part one achieved for the tourists. Rogers and David Warner reach the interval unscathed. Join us again in 40 minutes for what should be a cracking session in the north-east.

12:51pm - REVIEW! - Australia get a first boundary as Stuart Broad's wide delivery goes for four byes. In the next over, Anderson raps Chris Rogers on the pad and England unsuccessfully review with the ball pitching outside leg stump.

12:45pm - This is a crucial little period for Australia, who need to avoid losing a wicket. The first over, from James Anderson, passes without incident.

England 2nd Innings

12:31pm - WICKET! Anderson c Haddin b Lyon 0 - England 330 all out; Australia require 299 to win - Well, that's that then. After Swann edges Harris over slip for four, James Anderson feathers Nathan Lyon behind.

12:29pm - MISSED CHANCE! - How frustrating for Australia. Swann skies an attempted big shot and Steven Smith, usually an outstanding fielder, shells a simple chance at long-on. The batsman responds by driving successive fours through and over cover off Harris in the next over!

12:23pm - WICKET! Bresnan c & b Harris 45; England 317/9 - Harris can do no wrong at the moment, taking a fine return catch following a leading edge from Bresnan - who perhaps deserved a half-century.

12:15pm - Lovely stuff from Swann, who is now well and truly in on the act. He slaps Harris over cover for four and England's lead is nearly at 300.

12pm - The boundaries continue to flow; Bresnan, with Harris around the wicket, backs away and flays him through covers and, in the next over, Graeme Swann leans into a Peter Siddle full toss and edges through the cordon. Time for a drink.

11:46am - WICKET! Broad c Smith b Harris 13; England 275/8 - Wow! That is a stunning delivery from Harris. After being flicked and cut for boundaries, the paceman goes around the wicket and delivers a vicious throat ball that takes Broad's glove and balloons to gully.

11:52am - This is wonderful cricket. The riposte comes from Bresnan, who cuts and pulls fours off Jackson Bird either side of a loft over mid-on.

11:43am - Wonderful response from England as Bresnan cuts and clips fours off Bird.

11:36am - Stuart Broad survives and then guides the next ball through backward point for four, but this is cracking stuff once again from Harris.

11:33am - WICKET! Prior b Harris 0; England 251/7 - Harris is on a hat-trick! And there's the challenge illustrated in two deliveries; Matt Prior's first delivery rears up and clatters into his stumps via the batsman's elbow.

11:31am - WICKET! Bell b Harris 113; England 251/6 - And that's what the new nut can do. Harris' delivery keeps low, takes a slight inside edge and castles England's centurion, who departs to an understandably generous ovation.

11:30am - REVIEW! - Ooh, that's a close call. Jackson Bird nips one back and raps Bresnan, shouldering arms, on the pad. Umpire Aleem Dar says not out, a decision that is upheld on review with the ball just clipping the stumps. To explain the below Tweet, Watson left the field midway through an over yesterday with a groin injury.

11:21am - Crucial period of play coming here, although I think I've said that before in this Test. Australia take the fresh cherry, which has generally offered more assistance. For those who might reply "thanks Sherlock" to that, I will defend myself by saying the difference between new and old ball has been noticeable on this track.

11:13am - Ah, a Bell cover-drive this early in the morning is always a good start. Ominous signs for Australia.

11:07am - It's been a fairly low-key start, which will delight England, with Ian Bell and Tim Bresnan nudging the first couple of overs for the odd single.

Pre-Play News

10:52am - Bell will resume alongside nightwatchman Tim Bresnan, who will aim to utilise an opportunity to bat for a significant period of time. Not long now...

10:34am - While you're waiting for today's play, watch what Jonny Bairstow has had to say to ecb.co.uk this morning:

10:24am - Key to England's hopes of extending their lead, currently 202, beyond 300 is Ian Bell, who will resume on 105 having reached three figures for the third time in the series.

10:15am - Hello and welcome to our live coverage of day four at the Emirates Durham ICG, where England are aiming to set a substantial target in the fourth Investec Test.

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