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England have outplayed Australia, admits Shane Watson

Fifth Ashes Test: Australia 280 & 213-7 v England 644 (day four)
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground Resumes: 2300 GMT Coverage: Live on Test Match Special (from 2245 GMT) on BBC 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW & online; TMS highlights online (UK only) and day's review on the TMS podcast; live text on BBC Sport website; live on Sky Sports 1; highlights on ITV4
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England are 'complete' team - Watson

Australia's Shane Watson says his team have been "totally outplayed" by England as the tourists close in on a 3-1 Ashes series win.

With one day of the fifth and final Test in Sydney remaining, Australia are 213-7 in their second innings, still 151 short of making England bat again.

"We had so much to play for in this game but we've been totally outplayed again," said opening batsman Watson.

"They've continually stood up, all of their players, throughout the season."

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior enjoyed what he called "the best day of my career" as he hit 118 of England's 644 runs, then took four second-innings catches.

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"It was phenomenal," he said. "It will go down as one of, if not the, best day of my career.

"The atmosphere and support we've had from the Barmy Army all tour has been phenomenal and this has been a great day for England.

"The guys did all the hard work [on day three] and I was able to come and take the initiative, play some attacking shots and ride my luck, and thankfully it was my day."

Before the start of day four, England batsman Paul Collingwood revealed he would be retiring from Test cricket at the end of the series, aged 34.

The 34-year-old Durham batsman, who has scored 4,259 runs in 68 Tests, had one of his quieter days as England looked to secure a third victory by an innings over Australia in the series.

"It's been a fantastic day and hopefully we'll finish it off," said the Durham batsman.

"It was another great effort by all the bowlers on what is quite a flat pitch.

"We have played some exceptional cricket throughout the series and put them under a lot of pressure.

"We got a great score on the board and scoreboard pressure does a lot of funny things to the opposition.

"We knew we had to bowl well and the boys got the ball reversing again which was crucial."

Time feels right to retire - Collingwood

Prior began the day on 54 and put on 102 for the eighth wicket with Tim Bresnan (35) as England recorded their highest ever Test score in Australia.

And even when they were finally separated, Graeme Swann hit three boundaries and a six in a typically robust knock of 36 off 26 deliveries.

Any hopes Australia had of at least trying to fashion a draw out of the game were quickly extinguished when Watson was run out in farcical fashion before Bresnan and the ever-impressive James Anderson picked up a couple of wickets apiece to leave Australia 161-5.

Chris Tremlett took two late wickets with successive deliveries to leave Australia 171-7 before Steve Smith and Peter Siddle saw out the final few overs.

England go into the final day needing just three wickets to wrap up their first series win in Australia since the 1986-87 tour.

And Watson said it was hard to begrudge them that honour.

"With the history of the Ashes and how it has panned out playing here in our home conditions, it has surprised me the way they have played and how complete a team they are," he said.


Listen to commentary highlights from the fifth Test (UK users only)

TMS podcast: Jonathan Agnew and Geoff Boycott's review (available worldwide)

There is a 90-minute Ashes Special on 5 live sport starting at 1930 GMT, with contributions from Matthew Hoggard, Marcus Trescothick and Mark Ramprakash



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see also
England close on Ashes series win
06 Jan 11 |  England
Collingwood ends his Test career
05 Jan 11 |  England
Fifth Ashes Test day four photos
06 Jan 11 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
06 Jan 11 |  England
Justin Langer column
06 Jan 11 |  Cricket
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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