Player of the Match
Player of the Match

And there you have it, England win by an innings an 157 runs and retain the Ashes. It's taken them less than an hour and a half, and it's their biggest win over Australia since Old Trafford in 1956 - emphatic, to say the least. Man-hugs and back-slaps all round on the field, the Barmy Army fill the 'G with noise! As the England team leave the field they're met by the coaches and technical staff, Andy Flower is there and congratulates each and every one of them.

This has been a thoroughly deserved win, England led the game from the moment the coin was tossed. They used the conditions perfectly to dismantle Australia in the first innings, surged ahead with the bat, and finished the job with more than a day and a half to spare. After setting the tone with the bat at Brisbane, they took the a lead in the series with an-innings-and-71-run win at Adelaide. It appeared there was life in Australia yet when an inspired Mitchell Johnson helped them bounce back at Perth, but England showed depth, determination and killer instinct to take this game by the scruff of the neck and keep hold of the urn.

"Is it time to throw out the bathwater, the baby and the rubber duck?" asks Peter. "Sack the selectors who have clearly failed to adequately prepare for this vital series." The Ashes are lost, but it's 2-1 and there's still a series at stake here, so perhaps now might not be the best time to ring the changes.

"I hoped we would retain the Ashes here," says Andrew Strauss. "You know how much hard work is needed to win a series over here," he says to Athers, "a huge amount of credit has to go to Andy Flower and the backroom staff who got us prepared for this, and even more so to the guys out on the field who did what was asked of them. We've still got a series to win.

"What a great ground this is, and what an amazing place to come and retain the ashes at. This will live in my memory and in the memories of all the players. It's easy to get carried away with this win, but we still want to win the series even though we're going to be taking the urn home."

"I'm not sure if you're better off getting flogged like we have been here or go down in a tight one," says losing captain Ricky Ponting. "Sometimes I think it can be more disappointing when it goes down to the wire, and we've been totally outplayed here. We've only got ourselves to blame, and we've got to give credit to England.

"It's really hard to work out why there's been such big momentum swings, not only in this Ashes series but in previous ones too. One team dominates and then the other one does. England executed their plans really well here, and we couldn't respond quickly enough or for long enough. I've got a lot of thinking to do [about my future]. I've tried my heart out, a lot of people have said I've even tried too hard. hopefully next week I'll prepare as well as possible and make two big scores to have an influence on the series.

Of his fractured finger, he says: "I don't know if the finger will be OK, it's been x-rayed but the specialist hasn't had a look yet. If there's no damage and it's like it was this week, I'll play. it's important we bounce back in Sydney and give the fans something to be proud of. We've got to prove to ourselves and the fans that we're still good cricketers."

Sahil Dutta and Liam Brickhill have been your commentators for this Test, and we hope you've enjoyed our coverage. Thanks for all the feedback, it's been tremendous. Before you go, Brydon Coverdale's bulletin details Australia's demise and England's triumph in this Test, and is well worth a read. The fortress has fallen and the era of Australian dominance has ended, but the series is not over yet, and Australia could yet begin 2011 on a positive note. Follow every ball of the Sydney Test, which begins on January 3, with us. Until then, goodbye!

Bresnan to Hilfenhaus, OUT, on a length, regulation edge, and they're there! Prior tumbles to his left to hold the catch and starts the celebrations. Tim Bresnan seals the game and the Ashes for England

BW Hilfenhaus c †Prior b Bresnan 0 (5m 4b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Bresnan to Hilfenhaus, no run, seaming back in this time, just short of a good length and tapped to short leg on the bounce
Bresnan to Hilfenhaus, no run, going towards the slips again, this time Hilfenhaus keeps his bat inside the line to leave
Bresnan to Hilfenhaus, no run, shaping away, Hilfenhaups opts to defend

Bresnan continues with the old ball, two slips, short extra cover and short leg in

85 | 1 Run 1 Wkt | AUS: 258/8

  • Brad Haddin55 (93b)
  • Ben Hilfenhaus0 (0b)
  • Graeme Swann27-11-59-2
  • Tim Bresnan21-8-50-3
Swann to Haddin, no run, fuller and wider of off stump, Haddin defends carefully to cover
Swann to Haddin, no run, tapped down defensively once more
Swann to Haddin, no run, fuller, defended back down the track

Two slips in, even for Haddin

Newsflash from Miller: " Ponting has gone to hospital for a "planned X-ray", say Cricket Australia. Those will be reviewed after the game is finished. His injured pinkie might be a useful alibi for his non-appearance at Sydney, which is what the Australian papers were speculating overnight."

Swann to Haddin, no run, twirled down on off stump, Haddin gets back and across and defends

Just one more now

Swann to Siddle, OUT, but perhaps that is misplaced! Siddle won't get that maiden fifty today, his innings nevertheless ends with a career-best 40 as he aims to loft Swann straight down the ground but doesn't get the best connection and the ball lands safely in Pietersen's hands running round from long-on

PM Siddle c Pietersen b Swann 40 (70m 50b 4x4 1x6) SR: 80.00

Swann to Haddin, 1 run, Swann continues with the old ball, Haddin works him easily down to long-on and gladly accepts the single. He's got faith in Siddle

84 | 3 Runs | AUS: 257/7

  • Peter Siddle40 (49b)
  • Brad Haddin54 (88b)
  • Tim Bresnan21-8-50-3
  • Graeme Swann26-11-58-1
Bresnan to Siddle, 2 runs, seaming down the leg side, the ball is glanced very fine down the leg side but not fine enough to beat the fielder down there
Bresnan to Siddle, no run, full, just outside off, Siddle steps forward and across to defend to cover

Few people can tell it like Andrew Miller: "England suffering a bit of Christmas Eve insomnia ... it will come! Trying counting sheep or something"

Bresnan to Siddle, no run, huge mow from Siddle, he was aiming back over the bowler's head, but he hits only fresh air!
Bresnan to Siddle, no run, full but quite wide, Siddle really didn't need to play at this one but thrust the bat out with no great certainty to defend

They appear not to have taken the new ball yet

Bresnan to Siddle, no run, full, curving away gently and defended to cover
Bresnan to Haddin, 1 run, short from Bresnan, rising up towards Haddin's grille, but his eye is in now and he hooks out to long leg

Will that over convince them to take the new ball?

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Australia 3rd innings Partnerships

1st53SR WatsonPJ Hughes
2nd46RT PontingSR Watson
3rd3RT PontingMJ Clarke
4th2MEK HusseyMJ Clarke
5th30MJ ClarkeSPD Smith
6th24BJ HaddinSPD Smith
7th14BJ HaddinMG Johnson
8th86BJ HaddinPM Siddle
9th0BJ HaddinBW Hilfenhaus