Ashes 2021-22: Debutant Boland 'speechless' after astonishing 7-6 spell

By Sports Desk December 27, 2021

Debutant Scott Boland was "speechless" after his remarkable 7-6 spell locked in Australia's Ashes series victory over England with an emphatic win at the MCG.

Australia retained the Ashes by winning the third Test in Melbourne by an innings and 14 runs with right-arm fast bowler Boland making history in an astonishing spell.

Boland claimed four wickets in 11 balls on the third day, dismantling England's line-up as they were skittled for 68.

Australia clinched victory inside 81 minutes on the third day led by Boland's heroics, winning the game inside two days and one session.

"I'm speechless," Boland told Fox Sports after the game. "Coming in today I thought we had a pretty good chance of winning but never thought it'd be over before midday."

Boland, 32, had played 80 first-class matches prior to his Test debut, with his previous best-ever figures being 31-7.

"That's my best-ever figures," Boland said. "I got a couple of seven-fors in first-class cricket but nothing happened that quickly."

Boland, who was named Player of the Match, was fiercely supported by his home crowd, receiving wild applause every time he returned to the deep after each bowling over late on the second day and early on the third.

"They were amazing," he added. "They supported me so much from day one. Going down there just gives you a real big buzz."

Australia skipper Pat Cummins said Boland's success, having stepped up with Jhye Richardson, Michael Neser and Josh Hazlewood unavailable due to soreness or injuries, was a great sign for the hosts.

"It's a great sign for the health of Australian cricket we've got so many boys to pick from," Cummins said.

"Scotty came in, we were confident he'd do well, not quite this well, but we know whoever steps in is going to do a great job."

England only lasted 15.4 overs on the third day, with Australia retaining the Ashes within 13 days of cricket this series.

Australia lead all the key statistics, with the top four batting averages (Travis Head (62.0), David Warner (60.0), Mitchell Starc (58.5) and Marnus Labuschagne (57.25)) and top three leading wicket-takers (Starc (14), Nathan Lyon (12) and Cummins (10)) emphasising their dominance.

"I think we've been relentless with bat and ball when we've had to be," Cummins added. "The bowlers turned up and owned that good area around the top of off stump.

"The batters have really earned their runs. Some partnerships, Marnus [Labuschagne] and Davey [Warner] have earned the right to bat long, they've left well.

"When opportunities presented they've been brave and taken on the game. All round everyone has contributed."

Australia can claim a 5-0 whitewash with victories in Sydney and Hobart in the remaining two Test matches.

"I think any Ashes series is where you try to make a mark in your Test career," Cummins said. "Back to last series 4-0 and the one before that was 5-0, that goes down in history.

"We've got a chance to start cementing our identity and [it] can be the start for the next few years."

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