THE SECOND Test had been in the balance when play resumed at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday morning, with England captain Joe Root still in the middle and his side having six wickets up its sleeve with 178 further runs required to complete a record-breaking run chase of 354.
However, the tourists capitulated and could score only 57 more runs before being quickly bowled out for 233, and Australia sealing a 120-run victory to take a 2-0 lead in the five match series.
“We always had the faith in the team and the belief. We thought if we could come out and bowl really well, then things can happen quickly,” said Australian captain Steve Smith.
Australia began the day knowing that they’d already used up their quota of reviewing umpiring decisions after surrendering both on the fourth night but their nerves were settled as Josh Hazlewood struck with the second ball of the day and then landed the crucial blow, removing Root in his next over.
Root had not added to his overnight score of 67 when he edged the Aussie fast bowler to wicketkeeper Tim Paine.
That key breakthrough arrived nine balls after Hazlewood had dismissed night-watchmen Chris Woakes for five with only the second ball of the day that had began with so many hopes for followers of England cricket.
Not for the first time, it wasn’t to be.