Australia thrashed England by 10 wickets in the final Test to complete a 5-0 Ashes series clean sweep for the first time in 86 years at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Friday.
The Australians were left with the comfortable task of scoring 46 runs to wrap up victory after they dismissed the tourists for just 147 in just over an hour into the fourth day.
Openers Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden, playing in their Test together, reached the target just before lunch to wrap up a conclusive victory in a one-sided series.
Langer, playing in his 105th and final Test, was not out 20 with Hayden on 23.
It was the perfect send-off for Australia’s three retiring cricket greats, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Langer.
McGrath and Warne led the Australian team from the ground to huge applause from the near-capacity SCG crowd at the end of England’s innings to signal the end of a golden era for Australian cricket.
Warne finished his 145-Test career with 708 wickets, the most in Test cricket, and McGrath ended his 124 Tests with 563 wickets, the most by a fast bowler.
They also clocked up 1,001 wickets between them in the 104 Tests they played together.
Any remote hopes England had of setting Australia a teasing target fell away after a cataclysmic start to the fourth day.
The team’s remaining batting hope Kevin Pietersen was out on the third ball of the day when he was caught behind off McGrath on his overnight score of 29. And nightwatchman Monty Panesar was run out four overs in attempting England’s first run of the day.
Wicket-keeper Chris Read hit to the deadly Andrew Symonds in the covers and the crack fieldsman took aim and threw down middle stump with Panesar, slow out of the blocks, well out of his ground at the striker’s end for a duck.
That left England wallowing at 114 for seven, a lead of just 12 runs with three wickets left.
Sajid Mahmood edged a four through the slips cordon to give England their first runs of the day. Read played away from his body to Brett Lee and snicked to a diving Ricky Ponting at second slip for four.
In the next over, Mahmood was on his way, bowled off an inside edge for four and leave England 21 runs in front at 123 for nine. England’s innings ended when James Anderson skied to Mike Hussey at mid-on for five to give McGrath 3-38.
Brett Lee continued his resurgence to finish with 3-39 and Warne claimed 1-23 in his final innings.
England won toss
England 1st inns 291 (I R Bell 71, K P Pietersen 41, A Flintoff 89)
Australia 1st inns 393 (R T Ponting 45, A Symonds 48, A C Gilchrist 62, S K Warne 71)
England 2nd inns (overnight 114-5)
A J Strauss lbw b Clark 24
A N Cook c Gilchrist b Lee 4
I R Bell c Gilchrist b Lee 28
K P Pietersen c Gilchrist b McGrath 29
P D Collingwood c Hayden b Clark 17
*A Flintoff st Gilchrist b Warne 7
M S Panesar run out (Symonds) 0
†C M W Read c Ponting b Lee 4
S I Mahmood b McGrath 4
S J Harmison not out 16
J M Anderson c Hussey b McGrath 5
Extras (b2, lb3, w1, nb3) 9
Total (all out, 58 overs) 147
Fall: 1-5, 2-55, 3-64, 4-98, 5-113, 6-114, 7-114, 8-122, 9-123
Bowling: Lee 14-5-39-3 (1nb, 1w); McGrath 21-11-38-3 (1nb); Clark 12-4-29-2 (1nb); Warne 6-1-23-1; Symonds 5-2-13-0
Australia 2nd inns
J L Langer not out 20
M L Hayden not out 23
Extras (lb3) 3
Total (no wkt, 10.5 overs) 46
Did not bat: *R T Ponting, M E K Hussey, M Clarke, A Symonds, †A C Gilchrist, S K Warne, B Lee, S R Clark, G D McGrath
Bowling: Anderson 4-0-12-0; Harmison 5-1-13-0; Mahmood 1.5-0-18-0
Result: Australia won by 10 wickets
Series: Australia won the 5-match series 5-0
Man of the Match: Stuart Clark
Player of the Series: Ricky Ponting
Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and B F Bowden (New Zealand). TV umpire: P D Parker. Match referee: R S Madugalle (Sri Lanka)
Previous matches: November 23-27 1st Test Brisbane, Australia won by 277 runs. December 1-5 2nd Test Adelaide, Australia won by 6 wickets. December 14-18 3rd Test Perth, Australia won by 206 runs. December 26-28 4th Test Melbourne, Australia won by an innings and 99 runs
Source:The NewsMore on:Ashes, Australia, england
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