FIFTH TEST, SYDNEY, DAY FOUR - England 291 and 147 all out lose to Australia 393 and 46-0 by 10 wickets
Australia dismissed England for 147 early on, before knocking of the 46 runs needed in rapid fashion to take victory by 10 wickets and seal a historic 5-0 series win.
THE DAY'S ACTION (all times local to Sydney - GMT+11)
1251: Sprayed champagne fills the air as Ponting accepts the official Ashes trophy (the large crystal one, not the small wooden one). And on that happy note, I'll say goodbye. Well played Australia - you were sensational. Enjoy the party...
1240: Stuart Clark's bagged the man-of-the-match award - and Ricky's Ponting's the man of the series. A man with an extraordinarily deep voice does the honours; he turns out to be former Aussie all-rounder Simon O'Donnell. Ponto waves at the crowd and says: "I'm sure I'll be up here again in a minute accepting the Ashes, so I'll say more then."
From Ian McDaid, TMS inbox: "I hear cheering in the streets here in North Sydney. How short these Aussie memories are - it was only in November that we took the Croquet World Series (yes world!) on their home turf!"
1236: Presentation time at the SCG, and a number of faceless businessmen with over-inflated titles stand on the podium looking awkward.
1231: Langer: "That's the best Harmison has bowled all series."
Taylor: "Ha ha ha ha!"
From Cameron in Glasgow, TMS inbox: "May I be the first cricket fan north of the border to offer the Australians my congratulations. Nice one!"
1230: Mark Taylor takes over with the mic and grills Langer. Opening gambit from Taylor: "Does it get any better than this, Justin?"
From Rachael in Hull, TMS inbox: "My Aussie boyfriend will be walzing his own matilda for a few weeks to come, I can tell you - I'm moving to the Channel Islands and leaving him to it."
1226: Warne and McGrath pose for photos with their kids. Ian Healy starts to interview Shane. The inquisitorial tone of the exchange is set by Healy's opening poser: "Shane - you're the leader on all fronts."
1220: Langer's eyes are soggy as his team-mates charge onto the field to soak up the cheers. Handshakes between the two sets of players before Australia's lap of honour begins, with Warne and McGrath leading the way. I can't imagine any event which could make so many Australians so happy.
1218: Aus 46-0 - AUSTRALIA WIN MATCH BY 10 WICKETS
I wasn't wrong - Hayden wallops Mahmood over midwicket for a massive six, and then pushes the single Australia need. It's all over - a 5-0 series whitewash. I'd say green-and-gold-wash, but as we all know, you can't buy stripey paint.
From Matthew in Toronto, TMS inbox: "Re covering the one-day series: look on the bright side mate - no matter how badly England play, it can only last one day."
1214: Aus 39-0
Langs and Hayden help themselves to Harmison pie. Seven to win. I think Hayden fancies doing this in style.
From Mike in Liverpool, TMS inbox: "Martin Hodgson - it can get worse. I saw Warnie's 10-year-old daughter launching a couple of beauts on the news yesterday as her dad watched on."
1210: Aus 32-0
Saj Mahmood comes on, which certainly aids the prediction I made in the last update. Hayden crunches him back over his head for four before Langer cuts him for another boundary and the easiest of twos.
From Kev in Sydney, TMS inbox: "I'm sitting in my nearly empty office in Sydney (and I wish it was), listening to my Australian colleagues. Funerals are more fun this. Role on 5 o'clock so I can lock myself up at home, and watch the Dambusters, Zulu and Bridge Over the River Kwai."
1206: Aus 23-0
Langer drops Harmie away on the off side for two more. He's on 12, Hayden on eight. My money's on Hayden to start whacking it around soon - with shoulders as big as his, you want to be eating lunch on time.
From Les, TMS inbox: "Working a night shift in prison, seeking some sort of consolation in the fact that nearly everyone here is miserable as well."
1200: Aus 18-0
Langer takes on Anderson and squeezes him behind square for four. 28 runs needed. Lunch is due in about 20 minutes - no danger of the sandwiches being postponed, I'd say.
From Nigel Smith in NSW, TMS inbox: "We don't have a stationery cupboard here, so to escape the ridicule I'm going to hide out in one of the wheelie bins at the back of the office."
1153: Aus 10-0
Langer scampers a two off Anderson. I've just remembered there's a one-day series coming up after this, and I'll be staying up all night again to cover it. Excellent.
From Martin Hodgson, TMS inbox: "On the bright side, it can't get any worse than 5-0 next time the Ashes come around." Except they'll probably make it a six-match series, Martin.
1146: Aus 8-0
Harmison is charging in with fire in his belly, peppering Langer with steepling stingers. That's the mark of a great player - always able to produce their best when it really matte... oh, hang on....
From Smashy in York, TMS inbox: "After KP was out I returned to a re-run of the Old Grey Whistle Test from 1975, and saw a guitar solo from Lynrd Skynrd which lasted much longer than any of our batsmen."
From Mark, in South Australia, TMS inbox: "I have now withdrawn to the stationery cupboard for cover - hopefully I can venture out in a few days. The onslaught by my Australian work colleagues makes Custer¿s last stand look like an even contest."
1136: Aus 1-0
And now, the end is near - it's time to face the final hurting. Anderson skids in six inswingers, one off which Langs pops away to get off the mark. It's been brought to my attention by Brian F via the TMS inbox that back in May 1902, England bowled Australia out for 36. But in 1902 there were only eight men in Australia, and three of them were lost.
1132: Nice touch from the England boys - they form a guard of honour for Justin Langer as he comes out for his final ever Test innings. He pats Matthew Hayden on the shoulder, practises a few forward defensives and squints up at the stands. Looks like Jimmy A to get him off the mark.
From Sarb Johal, TMS inbox: "In line with Dan Heap's comment, I've actually taped over the F5 refresh button on my PC, and simply written 'WICKET!' on in very small letters."
1125: Emotional scenes at the SCG as McGrath and Warne lead the Aussies off the field to a rapturous standing ovation. The pair wave their caps to the stands, beaming smiles smeared across their faces. Anderson and Harmison trudge off with the sort of body language that doesn't quite suggest major inroads into the Aussie batting.
From Dan Heap, TMS inbox: "Well, that's the last time I sit here pressing refresh, with my fingers crossed hoping that I wouldn't see WICKET flash up every time."
1122: WICKET - Anderson ct Hussey b McGrath 5, Eng 147 all out
There it is - and McGrath is the man who does it, tempting Anderson into a lamentable one-handed hoick which Hussey pouches at mid-on.
1116: Eng 147-9
Warne might have over 700 Test wickets, and he might be about to finish his Test career with a spectacular thrashing of the old enemy, but can he stop Harmison slogging him through midwicket for four? No he cannot. It's like watching your house burn down, only to find a bonus 20p in the lining of your coat as you do so.
1112: Eng 139-9
What a partnership this is. Lordy - the way this last pair is going, we could be here until, ooh, midday Sydney-time.
1108: Eng 134-9
Huge appeal against Anderson for a stumping off Warne, but after an age the third umpire gives it not out, even though it looked very much like goodnight charlie. Even the neutral officials are being patronising towards us now.
1104: Eng 131-9
Will it be McGrath, will it be Warne? Anderson can't decide, and misses everything.
1059: Eng 131-9
To the sort of rhythmic clapping that generally accompanies an Olympic long jump final, Warne plods in to Harmison, who somehow survives. In answer to your questions about whether I'll get a full day's salary today despite probably only working about two hours, I'd like to point out to senior BBC management that I shall of course stay in the office until 8am London time, dilligently starting work on our Ashes 2009 online coverage.
1054: Eng 131-9
Harmie thumps McGrath back over his head for four. As he does so, Ponting has a word with Warnie - looks like Shane's going to get a final final twirl after all...
1050: Eng 124-9
Harmison and Anderson stand on the bridge of the sinking ship, snorkels at the ready. Hey - at least we can all have an early night. Except I slept all day so I'd be able to stay awake all night to write this, so I can't even dull the pain with a long succession of zzzzzz's. Anyone want to join me on Hammersmith Bridge at about 3am English-time to stare blankly at the swirling waters below?
1044: WICKET - Mahmood b McGrath 0, Eng 123-9
Yeah yeah, whatever - Mahmood is comprehensively cleaned up by McGrath. England can't even last long enough to give Shane Warne his final bowl in Test cricket. Although I bet he'll be asking if he can open the batting. Could we have a beer match afterwards?
1039: WICKET - Read ct Ponting b Lee 4, Eng 122-8
Oh, just stop it. Read edges Lee to Ponto at third slip, who takes an excellent catch. Prize for the sweepstake - and don't think I haven't spotted you all frantically revising your initial shouts - will be the ashes of my computer keyboard, which I'm going to burn in a brief ceremony in about an hour's time.
1031: WICKET - Panesar run out 0, Eng 114-7
Did I say it couldn't get any worse? Read calls Monty through for a quick single, Monty jogs at the pace of a man pulling an airplane, and Symonds destroys the stumps with a direct hit. Why did we even bother flying to Australia in the first place?
1028: Eng 114-6
Good stuff from Monty - right behind Lee's testers. The boundaries will start flowing any second, I'm certain.
Rodney Lowe in Halifax, TMS inbox: "I'd be happy for one more over and 12 runs in the tiebreaker - the misery has to end."
1024: Eng 114-6
McGrath vs Chris Read, and it's a maiden - as searching as a rubber-gloved customs official. Not sure what the prize is for the sweepstake - I'd like to offer a BBC goody-bag, but I've got no idea where I'd get one. Or what would be in it.
1019: Eng 114-6
Brett Lee gets the full six against Monty, but the nightwatchman stands firm. Anyone fancy a sweepstake on how many overs it'll take Australia to seal the 5-0 whitewash? Tie-breaker is the number of runs they'll need to knock off.
1013: WICKET - Pietersen ct Gilchrist b McGrath 29, Eng 114-5
They could have least waited until we'd all sat down... McGrath strikes with the third ball of the day, moving one away from Pietersen and Gilchrist bagging the easiest of chances. Amazing, isn't it - just when you think it can't get any worse...
1005: Well - it's time for the final rites. The Australian team come out, with Warne, McGrath and Langer leading the way. It's bright and sunny at the SCG - except in the hearts of English cricket fans, where the rain is lashing down. Kevin Pietersen and Monty Panesar jog down the pavillion steps - how long will they last?
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