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Beaten Clarke seeks solace in World Cup example

Michael Clarke

Cardiff: Australia captain Michael Clarke said the way his side bounced back at the World Cup after their defeat by New Zealand should encourage them following a crushing loss in the first Ashes Test.

England beat Australia by 169 runs with more than a day to spare in Cardiff yesterday to go 1-0 up in the five-match series.

Australia, set a mammoth 412 for victory, were dismissed for 242 in their second innings just over an hour after tea on the fourth day at Sophia Gardens.

England paceman Stuart Broad did the bulk of the damage with a haul of three for 39 in 14 overs after man-of-the-match Joe Root had laid the foundations for victory with 134 in the hosts’ first innings 430.

The last time Australia won an Ashes series after losing the first Test was on their 1997 tour of England.

But Clarke’s proof of how things could turn around came from a more personal and recent example.

In February, Australia were beaten in the pool phase of the World Cup by New Zealand only to thrash their fellow co-hosts weeks later in a one-sided final in Melbourne.

However, Australia almost pulled off an improbable victory before losing to New Zealand by just one wicket in their World Cup pool encounter in Auckland, whereas their chances of winning in Cardiff had long since evaporated by the time England triumphed in the Welsh capital.

“We have been outplayed in this Test match,” said Clarke, bidding to lead Australia to their first Ashes series win in Britain in 14 years.

“We’ve got to be better. It’s pretty simple,” added the star batsman, himself yet to enjoy an away Ashes campaign triumph after a trio of tour reverses in 2005, 2009 and 2013.

“Losing to New Zealand in the World Cup gave us a bit of a kick up the backside, and (the team) will probably see this game very similarly,” explained Clarke.

“This gives us a bit of a kick up the backside.”

There was just one fifty in Australia’s first innings 308 in Cardiff, veteran opener Chris Rogers making 95.

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