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Australia set up Oval showdown.

8/9/2009 9:41:22 PM

Australia will ride a wave of momentum into the Ashes decider following their crushing win over England in the fourth Test at Headingly.

The touring side completed an innings and 80-run victory shortly after lunch on the third day to level the series at 1-1.

They have set up a mouth-watering fifth Test at the Oval next week.

"I am ultra-proud of the way our guys have responded," Australia captain Ricky Ponting said.

"We dominated the match from the start and I don't think we could have done anything better.

"We played an unbelievably good game."

No excuses

England captain Andrew Strauss was not looking to make any excuses for his side's dismal display.

"We just have to take this on the chin," he said.

"If we are looking to make excuses then we are barking up the wrong tree.

"It is hard to put a finger on why the performance was so bad.

"We didn't bat well enough on the first day, it was far below the level we should be playing at and we must learn lessons from it."

England at least avoided a record margin of defeat thanks mainly to a dazzling century partnership between Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.

England resumed on 82 for five following their collapse on Saturday and nightwatchman James Anderson edged the third ball of the day from Ben Hilfenhaus to Ponting at second slip.

Matt Prior, on 22, nibbled at a Hilfenhaus outswinger and edged the ball to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin who took a brilliant diving catch.

Difficult chance

Broad was dropped by Peter Siddle on 18, a very difficult chance at mid-off, but he struck a succession of sweet boundaries and reached his half-century from only 42 balls with a crashing straight drive for four off Siddle.

Swann also went on the attack, the pair adding 49 runs in three overs from Stuart Clark and Siddle.

Broad was dropped again on 53 by Mitchell Johnson running back at long-off and Swann's quick single brought up the 100 partnership off 73 balls.

Broad survived yet again when Simon Katich failed to grasp another tough boundary catch but his luck finally ran out on 61 when he pulled Siddle and Shane Watson held the chance at deep square leg.

Swann reached his half-century with a hook for six off Siddle and England took lunch on 245 for eight.

Swann was first to go after the interval for 62, driving at a wide ball from Johnson to give Haddin an easy catch and Johnson clean bowled Graham Onions for a duck to seal victory and complete impressive figures of five for 69.

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Publication:Aljazeera.net
Date:Aug 9, 2009
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