Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Rogers scored his maiden Test century on home soil
Australia opening batsman Chris Rogers scored a spectacular century on the fourth day of the fourth Test in Melbourne to give the baggy greens a convincing eight-wicket win and a 4-0 lead in the series.
Rogers was well supported by all-rounder Shane Watson, who smashed a magnificent 83.
Starting out the day on 30/0, Australia’s opening pair of Rogers and David Warner managed to convert their 30-run partnership into a 64-run partnership before Warner was caught behind off the bowling of Ben Stokes for 25.
Rogers and Watson made up for the early loss of Warner with a brilliant 136-run partnership, during which Rogers brought up his second Test century and Watson his half-century, before Rogers was caught behind off the bowling of Monty Panesar.
Rogers’ career-best score of 116 came off 155 balls and included 13 boundaries.
Watson and captain Michael Clarke knocked off the remainder of the runs with no trouble whatsoever to give Australia a convincing eight-wicket win and a 4-0 lead in the series.
Watson finished on 83 off 90 deliveries, which included 11 boundaries, while Clarke remained undefeated on six runs, during which he passed the 8,000 Test run mark.
Stokes and Panesar picked up one wicket apiece.
England captain Alastair Cook was extremely disappointed that his side had come one step closer to being whitewashed 5-0.
“It’s difficult to take, we got ourselves in the position to win it, probably shows the state of the side, when you’re winning games you know how to close it out, when you’re losing you don’t,” he said. “In the first half hour [this morning] we created three chances but we didn’t take them and when you don’t, in a small chase, it runs away from you. We’re working as hard as we normally do. When you’re a winning side and a settled side it’s easy but we can’t use that as an excuse. We wanted to get the ball to reverse, so we bowled with the seamers, trying to rough up the ball. If it comes off it comes off, other people might have done it differently.
“We got ourselves in a position to win this game so we’ve got to dust ourselves off for Sydney. We thank our supporter, it’s a privilege to wear this shirt, but we’re not quite doing it justice at the minute.”
Clarke was pleased to have humiliated England once again, especially after Australia were beaten 3-0 in the last Ashes series.
“Probably not, I certainly had faith in the guys to win the series but to be 4-0 up, it’s amazing,” he said. “I think it shows the confidence of the guys, to have the freedom to come out and play as we have, we weren’t taking as many runs or wickets as we wanted but guys have turned it around.
“I think the risk of bowling first is always the same, if you win you get away with it, if you lose you cop a lot of criticism. I think if there’s anything in the wicket for our bowlers I was confident that could do the job and they did. We always try to work out how we can improve session to session.
“The old boy is doing it every single time he goes out to bat and with the gloves. He’s been great for NSW and when he was out of the side, all he wanted was to get back in the Australian team.
We’re going to try, our goal is to win 5-0, if the crowd come and support us as they have, it gives us a second wind in the field, so there’s no reason why not.”
Australia left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Johnson was named Man of the Match for taking eight wickets.
“I thought Chris did really well, so maybe he should be man of the match,” he said. “Yeah, we got the ball to shape, there was reverse as well out there, so it was really enjoyable. The run-out just bounced nicely and I managed to hit.
“There’s a lot of people who’ve helped me, my team-mates have been behind me, so thanks to them. I think that’s the first time I’ve bowled on Boxing Day, in front of 91,000, so quite an experience.”