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England out to exorcise Perth demons

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Dennis Lillee

The fielders take a rest during the 1979 Test as Dennis Lillee debates his controversial aluminium bat with the umpires and Mike Brearley

With just one victory in 11 Tests, England's record at Perth is the worst of all the five Ashes venues.

Their one success was in 1978 when David Gower scored a fine century and Bob Willis took 5-44 to help England win the second Test by 166 runs.

Other than that, England have endured tough times whenever they have played at the WACA.

After a draw in 1970, which was the first Test to be held in Perth, Australia routed England by nine wickets four years later as Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson wreaked havoc.

That match was better known for a 41-year-old Colin Cowdrey answering an SOS call and flying halfway around the world to face the menacing Aussie pace duo, and David Lloyd being struck in the nether-regions by a fired-up Thomson.

Lillee's aluminium bat caused a furore in 1979 but the bowler would have the last laugh, dismissing four of England's top six as Australia cantered to a 138-run win. Ian Botham, who took 11 wickets in the match, would have felt aggrieved to be on the losing side.

It was another Australian bowler who grabbed the headlines during the drawn Test in 1982. Terry Alderman, who took 40 wickets in both the 1981 and 1989 series, dislocated his shoulder when he rugby tackled a pitch invader.

There were happier times for England in the 1986 Test as Chris Broad, Gower and Jack Richards all posted centuries in a match that meandered to a tame draw.

Terry Alderman

Australia's Terry Alderman is carried from the field at Perth in 1982 after rugby tackling a pitch invader and dislocating his shoulder

It has been total domination by Australia in the five Ashes Tests since then, the latest of which being a 206-run win in 2006.

Trailing 2-0 in the series after defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide, England needed to win in Perth to keep their slim hopes of retaining the Ashes alive.

They responded in style with Monty Panesar taking five wickets to help dismiss Australia for a modest 244 after opting to bat first. It was enough for a small lead, though, as England faltered with the bat with only Kevin Pietersen's 70 providing any resistance.

Australia made England pay as Mike Hussey and Michael Clarke hit centuries, but it was Adam Gilchrist's 57-ball ton which confirmed England's demise.

Chasing an unlikely 557, Alastair Cook hit 116 and Ian Bell 87, Pietersen continued his form with 60 not out and there was a defiant 50 from Flintoff, but England fell way short.

England-Australia Perth records

England wins: 1
Australia wins: 7
Draws: 3

England - highest total: 592 for eight; lowest total: 112
Australia - highest total: 527 for five; lowest total: 161

1970: Draw
1974: Australia won by nine wickets
1978: England won by 166 runs
1979: Australia won by 138 runs
1982: Draw
1986: Draw
1991: Australia won by nine wickets
1995: Australia won by 329 runs
1998: Australia won by seven wickets
2002: Australia won by an innings and 48 runs
2006: Australia won by 206 runs

Adam Gilchrist

Adam Gilchrist pulls during his rampaging century, which came off just 57 balls, at the WACA in 2006

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