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Ashes: England wrap up 3-1 series win over Australia

Fifth Ashes Test, Sydney (day five):
England 644 beat Australia 280 & 281 by an innings and 83 runs

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Match scorecard

England win the Ashes

England celebrate Ashes triumph

By Oliver Brett

England won the final Ashes Test in Sydney by an innings and 83 runs to wrap up the series 3-1 and secure their first win down under in 24 years.

Australia began day five in a hopeless position at 213-7, 151 runs behind, and after a rain delay they were all out for 281 with Steve Smith not out on 54.

The crowd, made up almost entirely of England fans, was let in free and noisily roared their approval.

England captain Andrew Strauss said: "We're delighted with what we've done."

Smith, doughtily supported by tail-ender Peter Siddle, kept England's champagne on ice before the players were forced off by rain after 25 minutes of action.

When they returned 40 minutes later in glorious sunshine, Siddle hung around for a few more overs before departing for 43 with the second new ball almost due. Having added 86 with Smith, he slog-swept Graeme Swann to deep midwicket.

TOM FORDYCE BLOG

The last two wickets fell within a further six overs - Ben Hilfenhaus providing Matt Prior with his 23rd catch of the series and James Anderson his 24th wicket - before Michael Beer chopped Chris Tremlett onto his stumps.

Emotional celebrations for England and their supporters ensued, while the contrast in the Australian camp could not have been starker.

The chaos in the home dressing room was underlined when Michael Clarke, the stand-in skipper for this Test, resigned from Twenty20 internationals minutes after the official presentations.

The Barmy Army's songs and chants echoed around the Sydney Cricket Ground long after the final wicket had fallen.

Victorious skipper Andrew Strauss joined Sir Len Hutton and Mike Brearley to become only the third England captain to win Ashes series at home and away.

Strauss said: "We came over here desperately wanting to win the series. In Melbourne we retained the Ashes but we really wanted to finish with a bang here in Sydney.

"All credit to the guys, they've been outstanding again. We're certainly going to enjoy this evening, that's for sure."

Anderson, part of the England team whitewashed 5-0 in Australia four years ago, finished with 3-61 for 24 wickets in the series and the best haul by an England bowler in Australia since Frank "Typhoon" Tyson collected 28 in 1954-55.

James Anderson and Alastair Cook
Anderson and Cook both produced career-defining series

He said: "I'm delighted with my form this trip, enjoying my role in the team leading the attack. My job has been made easy by the guys at the other end, Steven Finn and Stuart Broad at the start of the series and Chris Tremlett and Tim Bresnan later on, and our fielding has been amazing.

"We've been working really hard on it, the catches we've taken this series are better than any I remember in any other series."

Paul Collingwood, given the honour of leading out the England team on his final day as a Test cricketer, said: "Today is absolute number one. It's a special, special day and I can't think of a better way to step out of Test cricket. A lot of guys in the dressing room put a lot of hard work in to achieve this.

"My role in the side is to score runs, I'm disappointed I haven't done that. But four years ago I scored a double century and we lost 5-0 and I much prefer it this way round. We deserve it."

It was the first time any team had won three Tests by an innings in a single series away from home. The last time England had done it against any opponents, India, had been in 1959.

It was also the first time Australia had lost three Tests at home since 1988-89, when Viv Richards' world-beating West Indies side also won by a 3-1 margin.

Alastair Cook was both man of the match and man of the series, having hit 189 in Sydney and 766 across all five matches.

"I couldn't imagine this seven weeks ago," he said.

"The double hundred [in Brisbane] was a very special moment for me and to win man of the match in the final game of the Ashes is a dream come true.

"Our bowlers have been fantastic throughout the whole series, they've made our job as batters far easier."

Kevin Pietersen hailed the team effort, saying: "It's amazing to win so convincingly in Australia. It's all credit to the team and the management. Every single bloke has done something to make it such a great trip.

"Every single time an occasion has been needed, one of us has stood up. I did in Adelaide, but every single bloke, player, member of the backroom staff has been outstanding."

England coach Andy Flower said the victory was an "emotional moment" for the players and the entire backroom team.

NICK BRYANT BLOG

"A lot of hard work, effort, heartache and some sweat and tears go into winning any game of cricket. Over a five-match series it takes even more effort and no mean amount of skill, and I think the guys are very proud of all those things.

"We've got to enjoy it now - and share in the experience. We share the hardships along the way and we have to share the good moments too."

And British Prime Minister David Cameron paid tribute to the team, calling the series victory a "fantastic achievement".

England remain third in the International Cricket Council Test rankings, but have closed the gap on second-placed South Africa to two points.

India remain at the top of the table after their series in South Africa ended in a 1-1 draw just hours before England's triumph in Sydney.


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see also
England yet to peak, says Strauss
07 Jan 11 |  England
Clarke quits Aussie Twenty20 side
07 Jan 11 |  Australia
Fifth Ashes Test in photos
07 Jan 11 |  England
Anderson to miss ODI series start
07 Jan 11 |  England
Friday's Ashes gossip column
07 Jan 11 |  Cricket
Collingwood ends his Test career
05 Jan 11 |  England
England close on Ashes series win
06 Jan 11 |  England
Cook and Bell make Aussies suffer
05 Jan 11 |  England
Cook builds England reply at SCG
04 Jan 11 |  England
England on top in rain-hit Sydney
03 Jan 11 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket


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