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Cricket: Australia on brink of Ashes whitewash after skittling England

Australia are on the brink of a 5-0 Ashes cleansweep after demolishing England's batting line-up on Saturday, with the hapless tourists able to muster just 155 runs in the face of hostile pace bowling in Sydney. Australia's pace trio of Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle took three wickets apiece as England narrowly avoided the follow-on on the second day of the final Test in response to Australia's first innings score of 326.

Cricket: England face Ashes whitewash

Battered England are desperate to avoid the ignominy of a 5-0 series whitewash against Australia as they scramble to salvage some pride in the final Ashes Test in Sydney starting on Friday. Alastair Cook's team -- coming off a dispiriting eight-wicket loss in the fourth Test in Melbourne -- face becoming only the third English side to lose an Ashes series 5-0 to their oldest rivals.

Cricket: England make steady start after being sent in

Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry gave beleaguered England a confident start after the tourists were sent into bat on the opening morning of the fourth Ashes Test on Thursday. Australia captain Michael Clarke, with the Ashes already secured with a 3-0 series lead, won the toss and attempted to put the pressure straight on the tourists under overcast skies but the move had no early reward. England got to first drinks without losing a wicket for 44 runs with Cook on 25 and Carberry not out 18.

Cricket: Aussies get Cook wicket but England take honours

Australia grabbed the wicket of skipper Alastair Cook as their only reward after sending beleaguered England into bat on the opening day of the fourth Ashes Test on Thursday. Australia captain Michael Clarke, with the Ashes already tucked away with an unassailable 3-0 series lead, won the toss and attempted to put the troubled tourists under immediate pressure under overcast skies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Cricket: Clarke vows 'full throttle' for Ashes whitewash

Michael Clarke is vowing to lead an all-out assault on England as Australia go for a 5-0 Ashes series triumph. "People have been asking me how we're going to approach the Boxing Day Test after already winning back the Ashes," skipper Clarke wrote in his Tuesday column for The Telegraph. "The answer is easy - full throttle," he said in what the daily called the "blueprint for Ashes whitewash". "Momentum is a rare and precious commodity. When you have it you run with it as hard as you can because you're never sure how long it will last."

Cricket: Prior facing axe after Ashes failure

England coach Andy Flower Wednesday admitted out-of-sorts wicketkeeper Matt Prior may be axed for the fourth Ashes Test after Australia raced to an unbeatable 3-0 lead. Prior, 31, has made just 107 runs at 17.83, with 69 of them coming in the second innings of the second Test in Adelaide when he threw the bat with England's cause already lost. His woes with the bat have been compounded by this poor keeping, missing two stumpings and a catch on the third day of the third Test in Perth.

Cricket: Ashes win justifies Arthur sacking - CA chief

Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland on Wednesday said Australia's comprehensive Ashes victory justified the decision to sack Mickey Arthur as coach, hailing the team's new mindset. South African Arthur was fired just 16 days before the start of the Ashes in England earlier this year after a shambolic Test series in India that Australia lost 4-0.

Cricket: Clarke vows no let-up as Aussies seek clean sweep

Captain Michael Clarke vowed there would be no let-up in the final two Tests as rampant Australia eye a 5-0 clean-sweep against England after regaining the Ashes Tuesday. Despite registering their third big win in a row to take an unbeatable 3-0 lead, Clarke said Australia hoped to inflict even more pain when the series resumes in Melbourne. Emphatic victories in Brisbane, Adelaide and now Perth have returned the trophy to Australia for the first time since 2007 and left old enemy England reeling.

Cricket: Broad hopeful on injury and Ashes

England paceman Stuart Broad said Sunday he hoped to overcome a foot injury to play a further part in his country's campaign to retain the Ashes, and refused to concede it was doomed. Broad was struck on the right foot by Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson on the third day of the third Test, as the match and series looked to be sliding away from the beleaguered English on another scorching Perth day.

Cricket: Reborn Johnson evokes Lillee, Thomson era

The astonishing revival of Mitchell Johnson has put Australia one win from the reclaiming the Ashes and evoked the bygone era of lethal quicks Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson 40 years ago. A popular saying during the 1974-75 series was, "Ashes to Ashes, dust to dust, if Thomson doesn't get ya, Lillee must", such was their destructive impact on Mike Denness's visiting England side. Roll on to the current series and Johnson, the left-armer with Lillee's 1970s-style moustache, is enjoying a similar role with 17 wickets at 12.70 in back-to-back man-of-the-match performances.
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