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The Ashes: Australia retain the urn as England thrashed in third Test in Melbourne

Australia have retained The Ashes after thrashing England to win the third Test and take an unassailable three-nil lead in the series.

They won by an innings and 14 runs as England’s batsmen crumbled to 68 all out in the second innings – their lowest total in Australia since 1904.

Ben Stokes was dismissed early in Melbourne, setting the tone for the rest of England’s woeful innings.

Jonny Bairstow followed lbw for just five runs, with captain Joe Root dismissed for 28, and Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson both out for a duck – England’s 53rd and 54th of the year.

It was left to James Anderson to attempt to force the Aussies into a second innings, but he only spent a few minutes at the crease before going for just two – sealing the win.

With just 1084 balls bowled, it was the shortest completed Test match in Australia for 70 years.

Australia’s debutant Scott Boland played a starring role, dismantling England and taking an incredible six wickets for seven runs in just 24 balls.

He said after the victory: “I thought we had a pretty good chance of winning but I had no idea we would do it before lunch.

“That’s my best ever figures… nothing happened that quickly.”

Boland, who is only the second indigenous player to have ever kitted up for the Australian men’s team, was also handed the Johnny Mullagh medal (named after the first indigenous man to play for Australia) and awarded man of the match.

Though they can no longer win The Ashes, the five-match series continues in the New Year, with England hoping to restore some pride after what has been a disastrous campaign from Root’s men.

“Credit to Australia, they blew us away last night and they’ve outplayed us in this test match and in this series so far,” the skipper said after the game.

“We’ve got a lot of hard work to do to make sure we come back strong in the last two games.”

The Ashes-winning, former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted his frustration, saying: “England nowhere near good enough… they will know that.

“But seeing a 32 yr old on debut on his home turf with the Crowd going berserk is what makes Sport so special.

“Well done Australia… Far too good for England”.

Former England spinner Monty Panesar told Sky News it was an “absolutely diabolical performance” but also praised Scott Boland, saying the Aussie bowler’s “line and length was just spot on”.

Another ex-England player, Steve Harmison, said he believed careers could now be on the line.

“Last night, they (Australia) bowled brilliantly but that’s embarrassing, I’m sorry. No fight, there was nothing there,” he told BT Sport.

“You can say Australia have bowled well, which they have done, but to lose by an innings when a team only gets 267 runs, that tells you everything about where this series has been.”

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