6 Jan 2011

England dominant again in fifth Ashes test

3:11 pm on 6 January 2011

Matt Prior helped himself to a quick-fire century as England drove home their superiority to take a first innings lead of 356 over Australia at lunch on the fourth day of the fifth and final Ashes test.

The England wicketkeeper, who took just 109 balls to record his fourth test century, departed for 118 half an hour before the break with Graeme Swann (33 not out) and last man Chris Tremlett (seven not out) taking England to 636-9.

England added 148 runs in the extended morning session to match their highest score on Australia soil, which was achieved by the 1928-29 tourists at the same Sydney Cricket Ground.

The 28-year-old Prior clinched his first century against Australia with his ninth four, a confident drive through the covers, and let out a huge roar before racing straight over to acknowledge England's travelling Barmy Army fans.

Prior was the third Englishman to score a century in the innings after Alastair Cook (189) and Ian Bell (115) and the tourists are now all but assured of winning a series in Australia for the first time since 1986-87.

Australia, who made 280, are now playing for dignity and will do well to avoid a third innings defeat after the Adelaide and Melbourne tests.