Hazlewood the destroyer as Aussies go 2-0 up

6th December 2017 4:13 PM
Australian paceman Josh Hazlewood (C) celebrates with teammates Shaun Marsh (L) and Nathan Lyon (R) after dismissing England captain Joe Root on Wednesday. Australian paceman Josh Hazlewood (C) celebrates with teammates Shaun Marsh (L) and Nathan Lyon (R) after dismissing England captain Joe Root on Wednesday.

JOSH Hazlewood has destroyed English dreams and saved Australia's blushes with a clutch bowling performance in Adelaide that could secure the Ashes.

A nerve-wracking 36 hours for Australia was erased in an instant by the big-right armer, and England are now facing chastening series defeat at 2-0 down heading into the third Test in Perth.

Sir Donald Bradman's 1936-37 team are the only Ashes side in history to come back from 2-0 down to win a series, and despite their fighting comeback in the second Test, England are now hanging on for dear life after Australia ultimately romped to a convincing 120-run win.

Day five started firmly in the balance, with England 178 runs from eclipsing the record run-chase at Adelaide Oval.

But in the very first over Hazlewood blitzed his way past the bat of Chris Woakes and then in the third, he zeroed in on the edge of dangerman Joe Root to virtually end England's chances in one magic spell.

Australian paceman Josh Hazlewood (C) celebrates with teammates Shaun Marsh (L) and Nathan Lyon (R) after dismissing England captain Joe Root on Wednesday.
Australian paceman Josh Hazlewood (C) celebrates with teammates Shaun Marsh (L) and Nathan Lyon (R) after dismissing England captain Joe Root on Wednesday.

It was all over within two hours, as England were bowled out for 233 with Mitchell Starc cleaning up the tail with the new ball.

ASHES SECOND TEST SCORECARD HERE

Australian batsman Shaun Marsh, who scored an unbeaten 126 in the first innings, was Man of the Match.

The record of either Smith or Root was always going to be permanently marked by the final result in Adelaide.

In the end, it's Smith who has escaped without damage over his decision not to enforce the follow-on, and Root who will forever be linked with the controversial call to win the toss and bowl.

Australian captain Steve Smith (left) celebrates with wicketkeeper Tim Paine after Australia’s win.
Australian captain Steve Smith (left) celebrates with wicketkeeper Tim Paine after Australia’s win.

Since potentially jeopardising a 215-run innings lead to invite England back into the game, Australia and in particular captain Smith have appeared to be carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.

 

Australian players celebrate with Mitchell Starc after he claimed the wicket of England’s Craig Overton.
Australian players celebrate with Mitchell Starc after he claimed the wicket of England’s Craig Overton.

 

But that pressure and stress was released the moment Root was on his way back to the pavilion for 67, having not added to his overnight score when he feathered an under-edge low to Tim Paine behind the stumps.

Root thumped the toe of his bat in anger, as Hazlewood celebrated like a man who had just clinched the Ashes - emotion etched all over his face as he high-fived the captain and embraced Nathan Lyon.

Australian bowler Josh Hazlewood (left) celebrates with captain with Steve Smith after dismissing England captain Joe Root.
Australian bowler Josh Hazlewood (left) celebrates with captain with Steve Smith after dismissing England captain Joe Root.

 

"(I was) a little bit (worried), but always had faith in the team and belief," Smith said after the match.

"I thought if we came out and bowled really well and got one or two wickets things can happen quickly. It happened really quickly.

"Pleased for the boys thought they came out and showed really good character this morning.

"I thought Shaun (Marsh) was phenomenal.

"I haven't thought too much about it (whether I should have followed England on). Fortunately we were able to hang in there and get the result we were after and it doesn't matter any more."

Australian players celebrate their win over England in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide on Wednesday.
Australian players celebrate their win over England in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide on Wednesday.

Lyon then backed up the momentum-changing inroads made by Hazlewood to trap Moeen Ali lbw.

Australia had no reviews left after burning them on night four, but umpire Aleem Dar gave them the rub of the green.

Woakes edge behind in the first over was so faint Dar took an eternity to put up his finger, before DRS replays failed to show anything on hot spot.

A nick on snicko sealed Woakes fate and he was gone.

England had 18 overs to make a real impact on the scoreboard before the second new ball arrived, but in a flash they'd already lost three wickets and added just 12 runs to the scoreboard.

It was exactly the start Smith would have dreamed of - not that the Australian captain, a noted insomniac, would have got a wink of sleep anyway.

Australian players celebrate with Mitchell Starc after he claimed the wicket of England’s Craig Overton.
Australian players celebrate with Mitchell Starc after he claimed the wicket of England’s Craig Overton.

Mitchell Starc then struck gold with the brand new ball and had Craig Overton stone dead lbw with his very first ball.

It made up for a stumble a few overs earlier when Cameron Bancroft - wearing a helmet in the slips - dropped a chance from Overton off the bowling of a rampaging Pat Cummins.

Overton also left the field nursing sore ribs after being nailed flush by who else but Cummins.

Hazlewood hasn't quite been at his ruthless best this series but in both Test matches so far he's come up with the big wicket of Root when it was required.

Australia were lamenting not getting a shot at England under lights with a new ball, but in the end the pace and skill of their bowling attack was good enough to seal the deal.