6.16pm Whew, what a game it was. Steven Smith was a batting colossus. England weren't quite up to it in the first innings. They began bowling in the second innings with fire and hostility, but there was Smith again. When it was time to bat, England lost two in two to Cummins to close out Day 4, but still put up a brave resistance on the final day. No batsman could be said to have thrown his wicket away. But the odds were always against them. A fifth day pitch and a high quality attack, it was a minor miracle they dragged it into the last hour. But eventually, the Australian bowlers - Cummins and Hazlewood in particular - were too good. Australia are 2-1 up with one to play. England can't win back the Ashes, but they can draw the series and there are World Test Championship points on the line too. Handing it back to Andrew McGlashan for the presentation now. Before I do that, Steven Smith is king, god, genius, everything. What a player.
Thanks Saurabh. Australia fully deserve this victory and retaining the Ashes. They have been the better team. Tim Paine, who sounds very emotional, has spoken to Channel Nine: "Happiness, relief, very emotional, a lot of people have put in hard work for this to happen. We'd like to finish off with a series win. We'll enjoy tonight, but focus on next week. It's been a long, long time. We know how difficult it is to win over here. We are the lucky ones who have been here. Every player has some story or sacrifice which is what makes moments like this so great. It doesn't happen, retaining the Ashes in England, very often but we'd like to win next week."
Labuschagne "Unbelievable, tough to put into words what it means to retain the Ashes. Shows how hard Ashes cricket is. We felt like it might happen quickly. It's amazing how things have worked out so far. Worked on coming wider on the run-up to give me a better angle. Felt a bit nervous, just had to trust myself. It worked out perfectly. Our big boys bowled fabulously all day."
Nagraj Todur: "Credit to Aussie captain Tim Paine also!! He rotated his bowlers intelligently and made good changes in batting lineup except Warner!! He was spot on to win this match and not showed too much emotions" Yep, he had a very good day.
Tom: "Cummins admitted there's not a lot left in the tank. I think everyone in Australia is relieved but won't be happy with a drawn series given how dominant we've been. Good point about the Test Championship points too, nothing is a dead rubber and certainly not the Oval"
Gautham: "Let's spare a moment for Justin Langer!!The amount of meticulous planning that's gone into this series, the way they've managed their quicks and execution has been top draw! For turning Australian cricket around within one year has been a Herculean effort!!"
Pete: "All credit to England for turning this into an exciting competition, but when we break it down, they only managed to score in total one more run than Australia's first innings score. We can't take away the magnificent individual efforts of Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazelwood, Marnus Laboschange and the valiant efforts of the English team in fighting to save the test. Who said test cricket is dead?"
I'll stay with you for the presentations shortly...
Joe Root "Thought we showed great character today, couldn't be more proud of the effort . As last week we always believed, we fight right to the end. We tried our hardest. We had some fantastic support, it's bitterly disappointing. Got to make sure we turn up for what's still quite a big game at The Oval. You can always sit back and think what you could have done differently. But, today, you learnt a lot about your team. We've seen some wonderful Test cricket and the same will be at The Oval - we want to level the series and there's the Test Championship. It's tough to take, losing the Ashes. The teams have put all batters under pressure - bar Steve Smith - it's been challenging. Been one of those summers, have to find way of scoring runs."
Tim Paine "I'm pretty pumped. This team has been through a lot in the last 12-18 months. The character we've shown shows a lot about the quality of the people. It's been an unbelievable series, I've not had too much sleep. It's been intense. That's what you expect and prepare for. Our bowlers kept sticking at it and we said we'd get our rewards late. We tried to stay calm, not always easy when it means so much to everyone. Thought we handled it pretty well, and the whole week coming out of Headingley. The boys got what they deserved. A bit of guess work with Marnus and he works hard on his legspin, he wants the ball in his hand. [Smith] is the best player I've ever seen, yesterday to push the game forward put England under pressure. He's got a lot of courage to take teams on. It's a funny game, even half an hour ago I was thinking I should have taken that [bat] job. Really humbled to come here and do something really special. But we came here to win them, not just to retain them. We'd love to be 3-1 up when we hold the urn aloft."
Man of the Match is Steve Smith "I didn't enjoy watching last week, but what a feeling today. Been here in '13 and '15 and we weren't able to get it done. Special feeling and really proud to be part of this group of boys. Winning key moments, a build-up of pressure, I'm not really sure [what made the difference]. Incredibly pleasing to get rewards for the hard work. It's been a good series, really enjoyed by time in the middle. A year off where I could freshen up, I've been so relaxed and chilled out but working incredibly hard on my game. I love batting, don't really like watching cricket. [Tim] has done a terrific job, he's got a group together doing a terrific job. Bowling Marnus showed a bit of courage, Tim's been exceptional. I'm two hundreds from two games at The Oval, so it's a place I like batting. We came here to win the Ashes. We'll do our best to go 3 up at The Oval."
I'm going to wrap things up there for today. You can relive the final day in Andrew Miller's report which will be up shortly and we'll have plenty more reaction from Dan Brettig, George Dobell and Mel Farrell over the next few hours.
Congratulations to Australia on retaining the Ashes. We've got one more Test to go in this series and we'll be back to bring you all the action from The Oval on Thursday. Until then, from Gnasher, Matt and Saurabh it's goodbye.
MVelhal: "Give the people what they want!!! BRING ON STEVE SMITH!!!" - well not Steve Smith but there is a bowling change. Hazlewood
Lyon now from the other end. we are into the last hour
Zain Munawari: "These kind of thrilling test matches will certainly enhance the beauty of test cricket."
Sandon: "Paine has had a great comeback from Headingly both with his captaincy and with the bat. Hope for his sake that Australia close this out now."
I have no idea how the players deal with tense finishes like this. My fingers need stretching just by watching and typing...
Australia are one wicket away. Stuart Broad walks out. He once had a Test century, but slotting in at 11 is probably a fair position for him
Labuschagne! Interesting move from Australia. Round the wicket to Leach
kuldeep Yadav: "So all this comes down to Starc now. He is known to wrap tailenders. If this duo survives this spell.. then it will history all over again."