Ashes 2013-14: Chris Rogers makes first Test hundred on home soil as Australia win at MCG

By Rob Lancaster.   Last Updated: 29/12/13 7:33am

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Australia moved closer to an Ashes whitewash over England as a Chris Rogers century helped them coast to an eight-wicket victory in the fourth Test at the MCG.

Opener Rogers made 116 - his second Test century and his first on home soil - while Shane Watson hit an unbeaten 83 to rush the hosts to victory before tea on day four.

"We've seen this great resurgence (in English cricket in recent years), and to see it in the state it's in at the moment is hard to take. It's all pretty depressing, to be honest."
Andrew Strauss

Michael Clarke finished up unbeaten on six, in which time he became the second player in the match to go past 8,000 Test runs, a feat achieved by only five other Australians.

Opposite number Alastair Cook also reached the milestone in England's first innings, but it will be of scant consolation after his side suffered a heavy defeat in a contest they had at one stage been in control of on day three.

Yet a disastrous batting display that saw them combine in two collapses to lose eight wickets for seven runs meant they turned up on Sunday in hope more than expectation.

Needing a further 201 to maintain their pursuit of perfection, Australia benefited from some English butter fingers in the first session to make the result a formality by lunch.

Cook himself twice put down chances, crucially Rogers being given a reprieve on 19 when wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow opted not to go to his left for an edge off Stuart Broad's bowling, leaving his first slip to try and grab the ball whilst diving to his right.

Routine opportunity

The visiting skipper also put down David Warner (25) in Ben Stokes' first over, this time shelling a routine opportunity low down when the opener had 22 to his name.

That miss at least didn't prove too costly; Stokes got his man soon after when the left-hander feathered an edge through to Bairstow when trying to uppercut over the top of the slips.

At 64-1 England perhaps hoped they could force the kind of turnaround that they had been on the wrong end of 24 hours earlier, they themselves having been on 65 before they lost their first wicket.

However Watson came out to combine with Rogers in a second-wicket stand of 136 that blunted the variety of bowlers the tourists tried in the first session before accelerating in the afternoon with the line in sight.

Rogers needed another let-off before reaching three figures, Bairstow unable to cling on to a nick off the luckless Broad.

The 36-year-old cashed in to get to his hundred in style, a superb cover drive bringing one of his 13 boundaries during his 155-ball effort. He was not quite able to see the job through to the finish, edging Monty Panesar - who was perhaps underused by Cook - to Bairstow with 31 more required.

It mattered little, Watson going into overdrive to make sure England didn't suffer a slow and painful death.

The tourists now have one more chance, in Sydney, to restore some pride and avoid the ultimate embarrassment. Australia, in contrast, can smell blood. They have ended 2013 in style, and will hope for more of the same when the two teams meet again at the start of the New Year.

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