Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 5th day January 7, 2011

England complete crushing Ashes victory


England 644 (Cook 189, Prior 118, Bell 115) beat Australia 280 (Johnson 53, Anderson 4-66) and 281 (Smith 54*, Anderson 3-61, Tremlett 3-79) by an innings and 83 runs

England ended 24 years of hurt in crushing style at the SCG as they secured an innings-and-83-run victory to take the Ashes series 3-1. The crowning moment came shortly before noon when Chris Tremlett found Michael Beer's inside edge to bowl him leg stump. It was the first time in their history that Australia have suffered three innings defeats in a series and left nobody in any doubt where the balance of power now lies.

The England players immediately embraced at the striker's end and savoured their moment in a tight team huddle. This has been a victory fashioned by exemplary planning and hard work where no stone has been left unturned. The defeat in Perth, by 267 runs, which levelled the series for Australia, only inspired the visitors to hit new heights and they proceeded to crush the hosts in Melbourne and Sydney.

England were frustrated for a while as showers scudded across the ground to cause a 45-minute suspension and then by an 86-run stand between Steve Smith and Peter Siddle. However, Graeme Swann broke through shortly before the new ball and a short time later Tremlett removed the last obstacle.

Smith and Siddle at least showed some fight as they came out and played their shots. Siddle's batting improvement since his return from injury is one of few bonuses to emerge from a terrible series for the hosts, and it highlights their problems that his run-scoring record is not far off that of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke.

The England bowlers couldn't quite recapture the intensity of the fourth evening when they claimed the extra half hour to try and wrap up victory. Tremlett appeared a little down on pace after his roaring burst the previous day, but England knew all they had to do was remain patient and their moment would arrive.

Swann had bowled well in the innings without reward so when he had Siddle taken at deep midwicket it was deserved success for giving Andrew Strauss control at vital stages. That was Swann's final bowl, though, as the new ball was taken straight away and Anderson, who will head home for ten days' rest, found Ben Hilfenhaus' edge to give the impressive Matt Prior another catch.

By now the Barmy Army were in full voice. Smith had time to bash his way to a second Test fifty, but he knew the end was close as he swung from the hip. A single exposed Beer to three balls of Tremlett's over and he only needed one delivery. England will party the day and night away in Sydney, yet knowing the focus of Strauss and Andy Flower they will soon be back preparing for the next challenge. Next stop: the best team in the world.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    Found it very strange and ironic that the guy who predited a 5-0 whitewash in favour of Australia ( Glenn McGrath ) was invited to make the presentation. Somebody should have asked him his views after three humiliating defeats.

  • Ramesh on January 10, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    England "Bell" "cooked" their innings, while Australia reduced to ashes and lost!

  • Dummy4 on January 9, 2011, 5:47 GMT

    At last Australia got what it deserve

  • Dummy4 on January 8, 2011, 20:25 GMT

    The West Indies must beat somebody Who will it be ???

  • Ram on January 8, 2011, 17:26 GMT

    It's about damn time this happened. England not only beat Australia in Australia, but all three of their victories were innings victories. That effectively translates, not to beating but, humiliating Australia. I assume now that it is safe to say that Australia's dominance in Cricket has come to an end. All of Australia will perhaps blame Ponting for this mess, but with no McGrath, no Lee, no Gilchrist, no Warne, and no Langer, I'm not so sure Ponting is to blame.

    Australia effectively, please excuse me for the word, "sucks" now in both ODI and Test Cricket. They are okay in T-20. And if this is going to be the long-term state of affairs in the large country with a tiny population, it will be interesting to see who our next dominant cricket team is. My best guess is Sri Lanka, India or England. South Africa is good, but they have never been THE dominant team and I doubt they will be in the near future.

    At any rate, great job on the part of England for hammering Australia.

  • Michael on January 8, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Colville coyly called it the 'austerity' presentation. I think we knew what he meant.

  • Steven on January 8, 2011, 11:32 GMT

    England are good, but India on their own turf...makes beating the Aussies look like a park match

  • Blessing on January 8, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    Its all about the rise and rise of England. Australia is my favourite team but it had overstayed at the top and the simple reality is that give us something new and deep, like the Flower factor in England. You are still a good side but games are one on the field not through history, records and home advantage.

  • Dummy4 on January 8, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    Well done England. You thrashed us fair and square. However I'd like to raise the issue of the pitches. Whereever Australia travels the local pitches are made to assist the local grounds. That's fair enough and basically applies to most other countries except Australia. Here we trot out a pitch which supplies no demons to the opposition. Think back to the Perth Test. A good lively but playable surface which sent the English packing quick smart. If we had similar pitches for the final two matches it would have made the games more attractive and allowed Australia a better chance of competing with England. I'm not saying we would have won but the games would have been more competitive. The Australian cricket hierarchy should be the leaders in urging groundsmen to not keep putting up flattish tracks.

  • Dummy4 on January 8, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    Brett Lee.........where are you????????

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