Australia win third test in Perth by 267 runs

PERTH, (Reuters) – Australia removed England’s last   five wickets early today to win the third Ashes test in   Perth by 267 runs and level the five-test series at 1-1.
England had resumed on 81-5 needing another 310 runs to   seal an unlikely win and take the Ashes home for the first   time in 24 years but paceman Ryan Harris snuffed out their   hopes with four wickets as they were skittled for 123 within   an hour.
The comprehensive victory was a remarkable turnaround for   the hosts after last week’s innings and 71-run hiding in the   second test in Adelaide.
“No better birthday present than that, winning an Ashes   test match,” said Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who turned   36 on Sunday.
“Especially after last week. We had to bounce back and   respond and the players need to take a great deal of credit   for that … We’ve played the test match cricket I knew we   were capable of this week.”
Harris bowled nightwatchman James Anderson for three in   his second over of the morning with a sizzling fuller delivery   that sent off-stump flying.
The 31-year-old then trapped Ian Bell lbw for 16 for his   fifth wicket of the inning. Bell requested a review but the   simulation showed the ball crashing into middle stump.
Harris had Prior nicking an edge to gully three balls   later where Mike Hussey capped his brilliant test match with   the bat with an acrobatic catch, diving to his right to   dismiss the England wicketkeeper for 10.
Mitchell Johnson, who took 6-38 in England’s first innings,    picked up his ninth wicket of the match when he had Graeme   Swann play onto his stumps for nine.
“Mitch Johnsons spell on day two was probably one of the   all-time best spells in Ashes test match history,” said   Ponting.
Harris then removed Steve Finn for two, the paceman edging   to Steve Smith at third slip to wrap up the innings and leave   Australia with all the momentum heading into the fourth test   at Melbourne.
“Cricket’s a funny game,” said England captain Andrew   Strauss. “We’re disappointed with our performance, there’s no   doubt about that.
“Give credit to Australia, you’ve got to take your hats   off to them, but we’re still upbeat and we’ve still got a good   chance of winning this series.”
Ponting did not take the field after breaking his little   finger in a catch attempt during Jonathon Trott’s dismissal on   Friday but said he was hopeful of being fit for the next   match, which starts on Dec. 26.
“I think I’m a good chance to play in Melbourne,” the   Australian skipper said. “We’ve got a little bit more recovery   time. Fingers crossed everything will be okay.”

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