Ashes 2013
Ashes 2013Reuters

Australia have taken a 4-0 lead in the Ashes after beating England by eight wickets in the fourth Test in Melbourne.

Australia were set a target of 231 by England and the hosts achieved it just 51.5 overs, with eight wickets in hand. Chris Rogers (116) and Shane Watson (83*) took the attack to the opposition and ended what was an opportunity for the visitors to leave their mark in the series.

England posted 255 runs in the first innings, with Kevin Pieterson (71) top scoring. The other batsmen exited soon with Alastair Cook, Michael Carberry, Joe Root and Ian bell all getting starts but failing to take advantage of the situation. The Australian bowlers stuck to their task with Michael Johnson taking five wickets for the Aussies while Ryan Harris took two.

Australia came in to bat and were put under some real pressure by the English bowlers, who held a good line. Brad Haddin top scored with 65 at the lower end of the table while Chris Rogers hit 61 to give the hosts some momentum. Only four other batsmen managed to post two digits on the board and the line-up succumbed to a lowly score of 204 runs, giving England a lead of 51. Among the bowlers, James Anderson took four wickets while Chris Board and Tim Bresnan chipped in with three and two wickets each respectively.

The hosts had a proper game plan when England came out for their second innings and held a proper line to restrict the batsmen to 179 runs. Pieterson was the pick of the batsmen with 49 runs as he saw his colleagues fell around him.

Cook started the innings well with 51 but was unable to restrict a landslide as Nathan Lyon and Johnson tore the England line-up apart. Australia will now have their eyes set on a whitewash while the visitors look to prevent the ignominy.