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AUSTRALIA REGAIN THE ASHES WITH VICTORY IN PERTH

Hosts claim the famous urn with two matches left to play

Australia have regained the Ashes after another comfortable victory over England in the third Test in Perth.

The home side claimed the six wickets they needed on the final day of action at the WACA to secure an innings-and-41-run victory despite play being delayed by three hours after heavy overnight rain got through the covers and created several damp patches on the wicket.

England, who since day one have been thoroughly outplayed, provided scant resilience - with the admirable exception of Dawid Malan, the first-innings centurion who hit 54 second time around.

Josh Hazlewood and Steve Smith celebrate a wicket on day five

Jonny Bairstow was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood with the first ball he faced on Monday, which kept slightly low after pitching in one of the problem areas tended to by groundstaff with leaf-blowers prior to the resumption, before Moeen Ali followed, trapped lbw by Nathan Lyon.

It was the fifth time in six series innings that the Aussie off-spinner had got rid of his England counterpart.

Malan got a feather on a bouncer from the rampant Hazlewood as he tried to pull, Craig Overton edged to birthday boy Usman Khawaja in the gully and Stuart Broad gloved to the waiting hands of Tim Paine to leave the Aussies a wicket away.

Chris Woakes was the last to go, nicking Pat Cummins through to Paine, and that was that. England were bowled out for 218.

Australia, for the second successive home Ashes series, reclaimed the famous urn with two matches to spare.

Nathan Lyon celebrates getting rid of Moeen Ali

For the Baggy Green captain Steve Smith, exceptional again in Perth with a magnificent 239 in his country's mammoth total of 662 for nine, it is a triumph.

For England, the nature of this series defeat poses several questions about key positions in the side, including those of long-serving stalwarts including Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad.

Joe Root and Co will be playing for nothing but pride in Melbourne and Sydney. Changes must surely be likely.

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