Dominant Aussies cruise to first Test victory
DAVID Warner and Cameron Bancroft have led Australia to a giant 10-wicket win over an England side scrambling to address allegations they're battling serious issues with a drinking culture.
England star Jonny Bairstow is set to answer accusations he headbutted Bancroft in a Perth bar on the first night the tourists arrived in Australia four weeks ago.
Bancroft fittingly smashed the winning runs with a four down the ground and afterwards shook hands with Bairstow and the England players.
Bairstow was the victim of relentless sledging by the Australians on day four over the incident, and on Monday had his head down behind the stumps.
Bancroft appeared unperturbed after inadvertently finding himself the victim of Bairstow's alleged actions, and smashed a mistake-free 82 not out to announce himself as a Test cricketer.
Up the other end, Warner was at his ruthless best and very nearly made a stunning century. Nonetheless, his unbeaten 87 was an innings sure to rub further salt into England's wounds.
Getting to victory without losing a wicket made it Australia's second highest ever first-wicket fourth innings partnership.
The Triple M stump mic picked up Warner saying to Jimmy Anderson or one of the England players on day four: "You shouldn't headbutt our mates."
In the space of 24 hours, England's entire Ashes campaign as gone up in flames.
After three days of neck and neck cricket, they not only capitulated out in the middle, but spinner Moeen Ali has a finger injury and now Bairstow is at the centre of another late-night scandal.
England chief Andrew Strauss played down the Bairstow incident.
"Playfulness, no malice, blown out of all proportion," he said on BBC's Test match special.
"There will be a de-brief of players and staff after Test."
Bairstow was one of the England players fined one thousand pounds for being out late on the same night Ben Stokes was allegedly involved in his late-night bar fight.
It seems unlikely England will discipline Bairstow, but if that's the case, they must live with the fact that their team culture appears a rabble.
Ben Stokes is currently suspended until further notice and still under police investigation for allegedly punching a man outside a Bristol nightclub two months ago.
The ECB are yet to formally sanction him.
Bancroft said it was the proudest moment of his life.
"The baggy green is probably one of the most treasured things I possess now and I'll look after it," he said.
"It's an absolute honour and privilege to get the opportunity."