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Australia level Ashes series with emphatic Perth win

Ryan Harris (center) is swamped by his teammates after removing England batsman Matt Prior in Perth.
Ryan Harris (center) is swamped by his teammates after removing England batsman Matt Prior in Perth.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Australia back on level terms in Ashes series after comprehensive victory in Perth
  • Home side bowl England out for just 123 in second innings to win by 267 runs
  • Fast bowler Ryan Harris records Test-best figures of 6-47, with nine wickets in match
  • Australia captain Ricky Ponting hopes to recover from finger injury for fourth Test
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(CNN) -- Australia defeated England by 267 runs in the third Ashes Test match at the WACA in Perth on Sunday to level the five-match series 1-1.

The home side needed only 50 minutes on the fourth morning to wrap up their first Test win in six matches as England's lower order surrendered tamely, eventually being bowled out for 123.

Ryan Harris was the pick of the bowlers finishing with Test-best figures of 6-47 and match figures of 9-126.

England's first-innings nemesis Mitchell Johnson bagged three second-innings wickets to also take nine wickets in the match, conceding just 82 runs as he bounced back after being dropped for Australia's innings defeat in Adelaide.

The Queenslander, who was dropped for the second Test in Adelaide which Australia lost by an innings and 71 runs, also claimed the man-of-the-match award for his all-round performance.

It was a case of when and not if England would lose as they resumed on 81-5 chasing an improbable 391 for victory which would have seen them retain the Ashes.

But their attempts to frustrate the Australian bowling attack lasted just four overs as nightwatchman James Anderson had his off stump removed by Harris.

Four overs later Harris removed England's two remaining recognized batsmen.

First Ian Bell was trapped leg before wicket for 16, and then three balls later Matt Prior was on his way for 10 after Mike Hussey took a smart catch in the gully.

The following over Graeme Swann was bowled by Johnson, before Harris wrapped up the win as Steven Finn edged a catch to Steve Smith at third slip.

The two teams resume battle at Melbourne in the fourth Test which starts on Boxing Day, December 26.

Ricky Ponting didn't take to the field on Sunday after fracturing a finger late on the third day, but Australia's captain said he has a "good chance" of being fit for Melbourne.