Australia win 4th Ashes Test by 8 wickets
By Neil Frankland ,AP
December 30, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Chris Rogers scored a confident 116 to steer Australia to an eight-wicket win with a day to spare in the fourth Test on Sunday as the hosts moved within one victory of an Ashes series sweep.
Australia resumed day four at 30 without loss chasing 231 for victory, and progressed to 64 before David Warner was caught behind off Ben Stokes.
Rogers then combined with Shane Watson in a second-wicket partnership of 136 to aggressively chase down the target before he was caught behind trying to cut Monty Panesar through the off side, ending a 155-ball innings that contained 13 boundaries.
Watson was unbeaten on 83 at the end, with Michael Clarke adding 6 — passing 8,000 career Test runs in the process — to help the Australians to 231-2.
“I think it's a very special win for a number of reasons,” Clarke said. “The fact that a lot of people thought we would come here complacent and not have the same willpower to continue to play the same way as in the first three Tests.
“But also for the first time in this series we found ourselves behind in the game and over the last couple of days we've been able to turn that around and win convincingly today so I think the boys deserve a lot of credit.”
The 36-year-old Rogers produced the innings of his 10-Test career to claim only his second Test century, and his first century on home soil. He reached the milestone by driving Jimmy Anderson for four through cover and raised his bat to the resounding applause of the 38,522 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“It doesn't get better than this,” Rogers said. “To win a Boxing Day Test and to get a hundred on the last day, it's what dreams are made of.”
Watson reached his half century off the first ball of the next over when he cut Bresnan for four.
Australia had already clinched the five Test series in commanding fashion, taking a 3-0 lead with a win in the third Test at Perth on Dec. 17, marking a dramatic reversal of form after losing the previous Ashes series 3-0 in England earlier this year.
Some pundits had tipped England to rout the Australians 5-0 in this series, and now that scoreline could be reversed.