Harris helps Aussies level Ashes series with six wicket haul

Sunday, December 19, 2010

PERTH - Australia levelled the Ashes series through a crushing 267-run victory over England at the WACA ground here on Sunday.

Right-arm South Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris took a Test-best 6 for 47 to humble England. The visitors were blown away in 10 overs on the fourth morning to set up a potentially thrilling conclusion to this series over the Christmas and New Year period.

Harris finished with nine wickets in the match. Left arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson also claimed nine wickets, signaling a revival of form, both for himself and the Australian cricket team.

Sunday’s win was Australia’s first Test victory in six matches since beating Pakistan at Lord’s.

It gave Ricky Ponting, who didn’t take the field due to a broken little finger, the perfect 36th birthday present and will ease the pressure on him for the time being although he faces a race to be fit for Melbourne.

James Anderson was the first to depart on Sundaywhen he played back to Harris. Ian Bell and Matt Prior were England’s last chance of extending the context, but after a few more elegant cover drives Bell tried to work a straight ball through the leg side and was trapped straight in front. He asked for a review, but it was a hollow gesture.

Two deliveries later Harris had his five when Prior could only fend the ball towards gully where Michael Hussey dived to his right to hold a sharp chance.

Graeme Swann inside-edged a drive at Johnson and the final wicket went to Harris when Steven Finn fended to third slip.

From being 5 for 69 on the first day, for Australia, this has been one of finest Test turnarounds in recent times and they’ll take a huge surge of confidence into the next clash at the MCG.

Despite the margin of victory in Perth for Australia and for England in Adelaidem both teams are closely matched and a classic ending to the series is on the cards.

The scores: Australia 268 (Johnson 62, Hussey 61) and 309 (Hussey 116, Watson 95, Tremlett 5-87) beat England 187 (Bell 53, Strauss 52, Johnson 6-38) and 123 (Harris 6-47) by 267 runs. (ANI)

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