Australia takes 2-0 Ashes lead

Australia is in a strong position to win its first Ashes series in seven years after sealing a 218-run victory over England in Adelaide.

England's hopes of retaining the Ashes now require it to win at least two of the final three Tests and Australia not to win any. A two-all series result would allow England to retain the Ashes.

The visitors' survival cause on day five at the Adelaide Oval was undermined by the awful first-over departure of Stuart Broad, who was caught in the outfield attempting a second consecutive hooked boundary off Peter Siddle.

England's wicketkeeper Matt Prior discovered some badly needed form, cracking 12 boundaries in his 72, but he too fell to a lofted leg-side shot, hooking Siddle to fine-leg.

While Mitch Johnson had little influence on the final day, his fellow seamers Siddle and Ryan Harris took up the slack. Siddle's scalps of Broad, Prior and last man Monty Panesar gave him innings-best figures of 4-57, while Harris cheaply removed Graeme Swann and took the catch that removed the dangerous Prior.

Rain fell for much of the morning in Adelaide but it did not have a significant influence on the outcome, beyond forcing day five to start 10 minutes late. Australian skipper Michael Clarke joked that he closed his curtains after looking out of the window this morning because of the gloomy skies.

England resumed the final day at 6-247. While it reached 300 for the first time in the series, the aggressive manner of its batsmen meant a long stay at the crease was never likely.

Its innings eventually ended in the 12th over of the day when Panesar bunted Siddle to short cover, resulting in the visitors being all out for 312.

Both teams will have little time for recovery after this match, with the third Test to start in Perth on Friday.

Australia has seamers Nathan Coulter-Nile and Doug Bollinger on standby for the match but their chances of participation, or of 12th man James Faulkner, will depend on how Johnson, Harris and Siddle feel after their workload in Adelaide.

There may also be a discussion about spinner Nathan Lyon's participation, given the Perth wicket is likely to suit the quicks.

"They're a good side England. They're going to bounce back," Harris told ABC Radio.

"I was a little bit stiff and sore when I woke up this morning," the 34-year-old Harris said.

"(But) we have an extra half-day off now."

Johnson was named player of the match for the second Test in a row.

"It's a great victory. We'll enjoy it," said Johnson, who has claimed 17 wickets at 12.70 in two Tests.

England captain Alastair Cook admitted the batsmen were letting his side down, although half-centuries to Joe Root and Matt Prior in the second dig were promising signs.

"We need to dust ourselves down," Cook said.

"There's no point moping about it and saying it's all over. If we believe that, it is all over."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan is fearing a sweep following Monday's 218-run defeat.

"Seriously this will be 5-0 unless something drastic changes in the England dressing room very soon," Vaughan tweeted.

But Clarke isn't getting carried away.

"There's a lot of work for us to do yet," he said.

with AAP

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