Shane Watson (left) and Michael Clarke celebrate after Australia beat England to win the fourth Ashes 2013-14 Test at the MCG © Getty Images
Shane Watson (left) and Michael Clarke celebrate after Australia beat England to win the fourth Ashes 2013-14 Test at the MCG © Getty Images

By Shrikant Shankar

 

Dec 29, 2013

 

Australia compounded further misery on England by beating them with an eight-wicket margin to win the fourth Ashes 2013-14 Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on December 29, 2013. The Aussies, who had already won the Ashes, have taken a 4-0 lead in the five-match series.

 

They chased down a 231-run target with ease in only 51.5 overs in their second innings. Chris Rogers starred in the run-chase as he scored 116 off 155 balls. He struck an astonishing 13 fours in his innings. Shane Watson was unbeaten on 83 off 90 balls. He hit 11 fours and also the winning runs.

 

The session started with Australia already at 143 for one on Day Four. Stuart Broad bowled the first over after lunch, Watson leaned forward to a full delivery and drove square on the off side for three runs. Broad then found the edge of Rogers’s bat and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow dived to his left and dropped a very tough chance.

 

That was the third chance that went begging on Day Four. Broad bowled a length delivery outside off-stump and Rogers played a late cut and got a four towards third-man. Broad bowled a back of a length delivery and Watson opened the face of the bat got a four towards third-man. That brought the 100-run partnership between Rogers and Watson.

 

Rogers then drove one past the cover fielder and got a four. With that shot Rogers got to his second Test century. Both have come against England. The first was in the fourth Ashes 2013 Test at Durham. This was at the MCG in front of his home crowd in Victoria. All the fans at the ground gave a warm round of applause to Rogers.

 

Watson then played a cut shot off Tim Bresnan for a four behind point. That got him to his 22nd Test half-century. The next ball, he thumped it straight over Bresnan for another four.

 

Rogers kept getting a lot of runs and fours towards the third-man region. Just as it seemed Rogers would be there at the end, he edged a Monty Panesar delivery to Bairstow.

 

Michael Clarke was the new man in and he got to 8,000 runs in Test cricket with a four towards backward-point. He is the sixth Australian batsmen to reach the milestone.

 

But there were not many more hiccups and Watson struck an array of fours and hit the winning runs off Panesar. Australia took a 4-0 lead in the five-match series. Mitchell Johnson was the Man of the Match for taking a combined eight wickets in both innings. He had taken five wickets in England’s first innings and three in the second. The fifth Ashes 2013-14 Test will be played in Sydney and will start on January 3, 2014.

 

Brief scores:

 

England 255 (Michael Carberry 38, Kevin Pietersen 71; Mitchell Johnson 5 for 63) and 179 (Alastair Cook 51, Kevin Pietersen 49; Nathan Lyon 5 for 50, Mitchell Johnson 3 for 25) lost to Australia 204 (Chris Rogers 61, Brad Haddin 65; James Anderson 4 for 67, Stuart Broad 3 for 45) and 231 for 2 (Chris Rogers 116, Shane Watson 83*) by 8 wickets.

 

Man of the Match: Mitchell Johnson

 

Full Scorecard

 

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(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)