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2005: England win the Ashes

England have beaten Australia in the Ashes series for the first time since 1987 after a draw in the final Test at The Oval.

Kevin Pietersen hit 158 and Ashley Giles 59 before England were bowled out for 335 with a final series result of 2-1, snuffing out Australian hopes of victory.

Australia batted for just four balls before bad light intervened, and a draw was eventually declared by the umpires.

The result brings to an end a series many have dubbed the "best ever".

The Queen and Prime Minister Tony Blair led the tributes to captain Michael Vaughan and his victorious team after the match.

There will be a victory parade tomorrow - but the champagne flowed as soon as Vaughan lifted the tiny brown Ashes urn aloft and the team was were showered in ticker tape and streamers.

The players then completed a victory lap of the Oval pitch to salute the 23,000-strong crowd that had roared them on all day.

Fans had spread onto the roofs and balconies of houses around the south London ground, and also celebrated in style, as did the country at large.

In Context
England's cricketers were given a rapturous reception in London's Trafalgar Square the following day during a victory parade to celebrate their win over Australia.

Captain Michael Vaughan thanked the "fantastic" thronging crowd and admitted: "This is beyond a dream."

The team later enjoyed a Downing Street reception and went to Lord's to hand over the Ashes urn for safe-keeping.

England's women's team were also part of the parade, following their own Ashes triumph in August.

In the New Year's Honours List for 2006, Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff was awarded the MBE for his role in the successful Ashes side.


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