Chester-le-Street: England captain Alastair Cook promised no let-up against arch-rivals Australia in the final Test after a stunning win gave them an unbeatable lead in the Ashes series. Stuart Broad's latest match-winning spell saw England to a 74-run win in the fourth Test at Chester-le-Street on Monday as Australia, set 299 for victory, lost their last nine wickets for just 77 runs in a dramatic final session that saw them collapse to 224 all out with more than a day to spare.
Victory left England, who'd already retained the Ashes, an unassailable 3-0 up heading into the fifth and final Test at The Oval in south London starting on August 21. England have never won an Ashes series 4-0.
And the last time Australia, ended an Ashes campaign, as opposed to one-off matches against their oldest foes, 'winless' was when Greg Chappell's side lost a five-match contest 3-0 in England in 1977, the final series before the Australian game was briefly split apart by Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket.
"Nine wickets in a session, the crowd, the excitement and the nerves at the beginning. It was the moment," Cook said as he savoured the joy of overseeing England's third successive Ashes series win over Australia. We are going to get greedy and try and repeat that at The Oval, but we can think about that with sore heads tomorrow (Tuesday)," he added.
Fast-medium bowler Broad led England's attack Monday with a return of six wickets for 50 runs on his way to a Test-best match haul of 11 for 121. The 27-year-old may blow hot and cold but, as his Nottinghamshire and England team-mate Graeme Swann, who took the first two Australian wickets to fall Monday, observed: "When he's hot, he's 'surface-of-the-sun' hot."