It is the hope that gets you. England went into the last day of what has been a compelling second Test daring to dream they could make history by reaching their highest chase to win any Test. Sadly, those dreams soon evaporated.
It took Australia just short of the first session to take the last six English wickets for 51 of the 178 they needed on the final day to hurry to a 120-run victory that gives them what will surely be an Ashes-winning 2-0 lead with three to play.
England were made to rue their dismal performance on the first two and a half days as their stirring comeback was made to count for nothing by an Australian attack that proved their pedigree with pace and spin.
Mitchell Starc (centre) took five wickets as England were beaten by 120 runs in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide
The left-armer took the wickets of Craig Overton, Jonny Bairstow and Stuart Broad on the final day to blow England away
The result leaves the tourists trailing 2-0 in the series and one defeat away from surrendering the urn to Australia
Bairstow was the final wicket to fall on day five as Australia wrapped up victory before the end of the first session
Starc is congratulated by his Australia team-mates after securing victory, while Bairstow walks off after being bowled
David Warner and Shaun Marsh celebrate victory in the second Test with mascot Barry ‘Nugget’ Rees on Wednesday
Lyon, Marsh, Cameron Bancroft, Starc and Josh Hazlewood celebrate the victory with members of Australia’s backroom staff
Joe Root, meanwhile, looks dejected after his side lost six wickets for 51 of the 178 runs they needed on the final day
The Australian team rush to celebrate after Bairstow dragged on to leave his side facing a monumental task to save the series
Now England will head west to lick their wounds in Perth, with a two-day warm-up game preceding the third Test, knowing that they have squandered what looked like their best chance to win a Test in Australia.
The last day got off to the worst possible start for England when nightwatchman Chris Woakes, a batsman good enough to make his Test debut at No6 four years ago, fell to only Josh Hazlewood’s second ball of the day.
Woakes perhaps got the faintest of edges to Hazlewood as nothing showed up on HotSpot after Aleem Dar’s late decision to give him out but Snicko detected something and Dar probably got the call right.
And all the hope that England went into the last day with all but evaporated when Joe Root fell in Hazlewood’s second over of the day without adding to his overnight 67.
It was an excellent piece of bowling from Hazlewood to take Root’s edge with one that kept a little low but the brutal truth was that the England captain had once again fallen between 50 and a hundred.
That habit means Root is stopping short of becoming the great batsman that he has the ability to be and certainly he has to turn his starts into big centuries if England are going to get…