Australia went into the fourth Ashes test knowing that they dominated all the way through the third testonly to be denied by the rain. Australians had ended their record equaling 6 match losing streak and were all set to pull a massive heist and equal series two all. England won the toss and opted to bat on a lively Durham wicket.
The renewed vigor of the Australians was on display from ball one. England found it difficult to score against Australian seam bowlers and had crawled to 34 from 17 overs. Finally Shane Watson broke the shackles and got Joe Root to edge one to Haddin.
England were getting along fine at 149 for 2 when Nathan Lyon struck gold and got the in-form Kevin Pietersen. From there on in, England crashed from 149 for 3 to a paltry 238 all out courtesy some fine bowling by Nathan Lyon who made most of what little the pitch had to offer.
Australia’s top order lived up to the notorious expectations and was 2 down for 12. Opener Chris Roger looked solid but he couldn’t get support from the other end until Shane Watson walked in. Rogers and Watson hung around for 44 overs before Shane Watson snuck one to Prior off broad. Whereas Rogers got to a much-deserved century before getting out to Swann. Australia who was threatening to post a respectable lead crashed out to 270. Stuart Broad was the destructor in chief for England taking a 5-wicket haul.
England were 3 down for 49 when Bell came in to bat. The partnership between Bell and Pietersen was the highlight of the match and top quality batting was on display throughout. The Pietersen-Bell partnership knocked the Australians out and provided a platform for England to post an uphill target of 298 on a day 4 pitch which offered heaps of assistance to the bowlers. With Ryan Harris as the savior for the Australians, who took a career best 7 for 117 and ensured Australia a chance in the match.
Australia started their chase of positively, both Warner and Rogers complimented each other. While Warner was at his attacking best Rogers rotated the strike regularly and capitalized on the abundant lose deliveries bowled by the English bowlers. Australians posted their highest opening partnership of this season before Swann turned over his golden arm and got one through the defense of Rogers.
Till that point, the Australians were cruising along towards 298 before Broad ran through the Australians and they stumbled from 167 for 2 to 199 for 8 in space of 13 overs.
This win gave England an unassailable lead and go into the last test with nothing to lose. Stuart Broad who has taken 11 wickets in this match justified the enormous amount of faith English selectors have invested in him and has proved a worthy partner to James Anderson.