Photographer: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

England Regain Ashes by Crushing Australia in Fourth Test

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England defeated Australia in less than three days to regain the Ashes and avenge a 5-0 sweep the last time the teams met in cricket’s oldest international Test series.

England won by an innings and 78 runs in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham Saturday to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

England has won five of the past seven Ashes series since it snapped Australia’s eight in a row in 2005.

Australia was bowled out for 253 in its second innings after being dismissed for 60 runs before the lunch break on the opening day. The visitors’ first innings lasted 111 balls, the fewest in 138 years of Test cricket. Joe Root, 24, then scored 130, his second century of the series, before England declared its first innings Friday on 391-9, a lead of 331 runs.

The tourists finished the second day on 241-7, still 90 runs behind. Australia reached 113 without loss before Ben Stokes took three wickets for four runs in 13 balls to reduce the visitors to 136-4. Stokes snared two more batsmen on Friday to finish the day on 5-35 from 16 overs.

England took the remaining three Australia wickets for 12 runs on Saturday to secure the win without having to bat a second time. Australia captain Michael Clarke announced he will retire from international cricket at the end of the series.

Stuart Broad, who claimed a career-best eight wickets for 15 runs on the first day, overtook Fred Trueman as the fourth-highest wicket taker in English Test history when he captured Steven Smith Friday. Broad has 308 career wickets, one more than Trueman.

England won the first test in Cardiff by 169 runs. Australia hit back hard to take the second by 405 runs and England retook the lead in the series with an eight-wicket win inside three days in the third Test.

England’s coach quit after the whitewash in Australia from November 2013 through Jan. 3, 2014. England had started the series as the favorite, only to suffer heavy defeats in all five matches, with two senior players, Jonathan Trott and Graeme Swann, quitting the tour mid-series.

The team then failed to reach the quarterfinals of the cricket World Cup this year. Australia won the tournament.

The final Test starts Aug. 20 at the Oval in London.

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