'It's pathetic': Aussie legend slams England over 'disgraceful' act

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor

Ian Healy was left raging during the fourth Ashes Test, blasting England over their ‘disgraceful’ attempts to salvage a draw.

With Australia trying to make quick runs so they could declare and send England back in to bat late on day four, England were in complete slow-down mode.

Prior to tea the match was in the balance after brilliant spells from Stuart Broad (2-54) and Jofra Archer (3-45) left the Aussies reeling at 4-64 with a lead of 259 runs.

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But after tea, captain Joe Root insisted on bowling Craig Overton and Jack Leach, despite the two quicks tearing through the Aussie top order.

Healy believed England were deliberately wasting time, which resulted in 11 overs of play being lost at the end of the day.

Joe Root and Jason Roy in the field on day four. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Speaking to Wide World of Sports, the Aussie great described the actions of England and the umpires as “pathetic” and “disgraceful”.

"It's pathetic. It was pathetic administration by the umpires, the game is pathetic administrating this type of occurrence," he said.

"There was blatant time wasting and no advantage to Australia. It was a disgraceful performance by England and they were allowed to do it."

Thankfully for Australia the lost overs didn’t make a difference, bowling England out late on day five.

But Aussie legend Ricky Ponting was similarly perturbed by England’s tactics.

Ian Healy and Tim Paine. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

"I think the most important phase of play for England was the first hour after tea and they decided to go with Overton and Leach, and I know Overton only bowled three overs but it just seemed to quieten the whole crowd down and it gave Smith a chance to get in and get settled and start again,” Ponting told Cricket.com.au.

"I think they bowled six overs in 40 minutes. You'd have to say it's unacceptable to bowl seven-minute overs."

Aussies retain the Ashes in thriller

The darkest hour came just before an Ashes dawn at Old Trafford, where Australia ended England's resistance late in the final session to secure the urn and a dramatic 185-run victory.

Tim Paine's team, accused of choking under pressure as Ben Stokes snatched an astonishing one-wicket win in the third Test, bounced back to bank a momentous 2-1 series lead.

Paine achieved something beyond the reach of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke in becoming the first Australian captain to retain the urn in England since Steve Waugh in 2001.

Marnus Labuschagne landed one in the rough to break a stubborn ninth-wicket stand, spanning 64 minutes and no shortage of tense moments, then Josh Hazlewood trapped Overton lbw to complete the win at 6.14pm local time.

The Aussies celebrate their victory. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Overton, Joe Denly and Jos Buttler faced a combined 339 deliveries, giving their team hope of completing a great escape on a par with Monty Panesar and Jimmy Anderson's Cardiff miracle in 2009.

Overton's review briefly delayed Australia's celebrations as England, rolled for 197 after being set a target of 383, fell 81 balls short of salvaging a draw.

It came two hours after clouds started to roll in at tea, raising the hosts' hopes of bad light.

"A few nervous moments," Paine admitted.

The win was a fortnight after Ben Stokes broke the tourists' hearts at Headingley, raising suggestions Australia were bereft of momentum and mettle.

with AAP