England seal victory in second Ashes Test
Updated: Sunday, 21 Jul 2013 20:08
England moved into an ominous 2-0 lead in the Investec Ashes after Graeme Swann wrapped up a crushing 347-win over Australia in the final over of the fourth day at Lord's.
The monstrous size of the winning margin did not flatter the hosts, who dismissed their opponents for 235 today, having already bundled them over for a woeful 128 in the first innings.
While Australia's top order once again took leave of their responsibilities, it seemed as though their gutsy tail-end would drag the game into a final day.
James Pattinson (35) and Ryan Harris (16 not out) put on a manful last-wicket stand worth 43, occupying 131 balls between them and batting out for almost all of the extra half-hour's play England had called for in a bid to finish off their opponents.
But Swann ensured there would be no need to return to the home of cricket in the morning, trapping Pattinson leg before with just three balls left in the last session.
Swann finished with four for 78 to add to his first-innings five-for, while centurion Joe Root added two important scalps of his own on a track that provided devilish turn at times.
Root, having made 180 for a maiden Ashes century, finished his memorable outing at HQ by seeing off Australia's top-scorers Usman Khawaja and Michael Clarke.
Alastair Cook's side now have one hand on the urn, needing to win just one of the next three matches to take the series outright, while even a draw at Old Trafford in the next Test would see them retain the Ashes.
England declared as soon as Root fell, adding two to his overnight score, closing a colossal 582 ahead on 349 for seven.
With the most successful chase in Test history standing at 414 it was always a question of hanging on rather than making any attempt to get close to that figure, but they were unable to do even that.