7pm That will just about do for today, and for this series. Thanks to all of you for all your comments, it's been a rollercoaster ride, from 122 for 8 at Edgbaston, to Archer's spell at Lord's, to Stokes' nonsense at Headingley, to Smith's indomitability at Old Trafford, and all the way through to this final day and Wade's over-my-dead-body biffing. It's been gripping throughout, and a tribute to the characters on both sides.
Have a read of Andrew McGlashan's match report, and stay tuned for Dan Brettig, Alan Gardner, Mel Farrell and Mike Hussey's post-match and series analysis. From all of us at ESPNcricinfo, thanks and goodbye, and see you next week for the County Championship climax!
So, the Specsavers Trophy is drawn! Scenes as Root and Paine grin for the camera. But here comes the proper job. Australia retain the Ashes! Champagne sprays, but Justin Langer on the balcony looks like he's chewing a wasp... he's not a happy chappy ... muted celebrations on the podium too, but a lap of honour now. Contentment, but not a lot of satisfaction if truth be told... it'll do, nothing more!
Shoaib: "It's been an absolute honor to watch Smith bat in this series it was like watching God having a bat, Congratulations Aussies for retaining the Ashes. Thanks Team Cricinfo (Especially Miller) for beautiful commentary and comments.I am watching cricket for 16 years and this series with out a doubt was the best series Long Live Test Cricket and once again thank you so much Team Cricinfo." Well thank you all. It's been an honour and a privilege to cover another Ashes, and another remarkable summer of cricket.
Varahan: "It just seems like yesterday that the First test of Ashes started, can't believe it's over. When there is ESPNcricinfo for company, time flies. None of comments got published, but who cares. I enjoyed reading others comments n having a great time." They do now, Varahan. We're all in an end-of-term mood now!
jonathan: "Great comeback by England. I'm still confused as to why the Aussies had a massive celebration after the last test. Retaining the Ashes doesn't really mean much if the series is drawn. I doubt that early celebration would happen in Rugby." I suspect that had a lot to do with the Headingley hangover. It could have been an England stampede if Australia hadn't stood firm after that shock. And they did so brilliantly.
Tim Paine: "Regrets? I've got a couple, to start with, the toss. We didn't take our chances on day one, we didn't back up our bowlers. England got ahead of the game. I can't read a pitch so I'm always 50-50. We've got to bat, bowl better than we did in this Test match."
"No doubt today puts a dampener on it, but from where this group's come from, to retain the Ashes is still a big deal. Some improvements and learnings to do."
"I think the series was in good spirit, competitive environment, pride on the line, competitive cricketers trying their best to get one-up on the opposition. Wade showed us today was possible. combative, and cops stick for what he says on the pitch, but he walks the walk. That was one of the great Ashes hundreds."
"I'm loving the job, I feel there's some unfinished business, but not looking too far down the track.
"The stick we've copped, you can sulk or you can enjoy it," he adds.
Joe Root: "We were excellent this week, having lost the toss, to play as we did was fantastic, we drove the game all the time, and got there in the end. Jofra makes things happen, and he's backed up with other skilful bowlers. Collectively we've shown a lot of character throughout the whole series. Not always at our best but we've fought really hard. Credit to Tim and his team."
On Trevor Bayliss, at the end of his tenure: "Trev is brilliant, he's added a huge amount to this Test team, and what he's done in white-ball cricket is phenomenal. We all played for him this week, and very pleased to send him off with a win."
"Over a period of time you get a strong relationship with players and coaches, an element of banter between Stokes and Trev, and that allows Ben to go and play his own way. He's now one of the world's best allrounders."
On his captaincy: "I'm driven towards Australia, it's a real focus for English cricket, I want to be the man to bring the Ashes back to England."
"It's been a wonderful summer of cricket, we've been blessed with some wonderful support and we all really appreciate that."
Australia's Player of the Series is
David Warner Steve Smith! And he's the Compton-Miller Medal-winner too.
"It's been an amazing couple of months in England, the cricket's been spectacular, the series has ebbed and flowed, loved every minute and proud to have been able to perform for Australia and bring the urn home. The middle of the wicket still played pretty well, and Wade applied himself, batted beautifully today. But England played terrific cricket."
On his Jofra duels. "He's come into Test cricket and performed exceptionally well straightaway and that doesn't surprise me."
On his own series: "You always want to get better as a player and I'll continue to work hard. Nothing is ever too much."
England's player of the series, obviously, is Ben Stokes. 441 runs, eight wickets. That Test...
"Disappointing in Manchester, but turned up this week with a huge amount of pride and the Test Championship to play for. You can never look back and say what if, it's been a great series, it's ebbed and flowed, and that's shown in the end result. It's a fair result, two evenly matched teams."
On Headingley, "you'd give it all back to lift that urn... I'll look back on it in a few year's time. But a massive chance in Australia [in two years]. We've been challenged by some seriously good fast bowling, but Rory in particular has shown what he can offer."
Root is "100 percent" the right man to take the team forward.
6.30pm Time for some presentations. ThePlayer of the Match is Jofra Archer
"It's been unbelievable, from the first time I put an England shirt on. Leaning towards the Leeds game [as the best, over World Cup final]. Every game has been special."
"I went wicketless in two innings, so one day can be your day, the next day not. Personally I will try to bowl 90mph every day, there will be good days and bad days, and the team will back me regardless. The management are very good, giving you the extra off day and limiting training, they've been good."
On the Wade spell. "I was a bit grumpy, the wicket was a bit flat. It was great cricket." Not half.
6.29pm Back to the contest at hand. According to TMS's statto, Andrew Samson, Paine is the second Australia captain to win the toss and bowl in a Test in England, and lose. The first? Ricky Ponting at Edgbaston in 2005 .... ouch!
6.25pm Here come the players for the presentations. Still a packed crowd on a beautiful afternoon. England win the battle, Australia win the war... and there's some very pleasing spoils sitting on a plinth there to confirm that point.
Abhishek: "Truth is these are two flawed team neither of which were able to take hold of the series truly. Barring Smith and Marnus none of the Australian batsman truly came to party, similarly for England apart from few individual performances here and there. England feels like a car whose engine is tied by a duct tape. Two flawed teams and 2-2 in my opinion is a fair reflection on them. " Two flawed teams is an infinitely more palatable sight than one flawed team and one team that plays to perfection... unless schadenfreude is the only thing that gets your juices pumping!
6.15pm England and Australia both pick up 56 points for the World Test Championship, which is clearly the most important thing... fewer than the 60 that Sri Lanka and New Zealand got for their 1-1 draw last month, but hey ho ...
Jamie: "Not that it really matters as Australia retain the Ashes, but given the drawn match was a "winning draw" for England, it was not a bad series for the home team."
Cricketbadger : "Australia the better side this summer? Really!? If not for Smith and clone-Smith their batting was worse than England. They had a couple of decent quicks who were excellent. Not much better than England's quicks tbh. Not much in it inspite of Smith's otherworldly batting." Smith and Cummins were magnificent, Hazlewood scarcely less so. It'll always be up for debate, so maybe 2-2 is the perfect result. Who knows. Tim Paine will shortly be lifting the urn, so that will settle a large part of the argument, I sense.
6.11pm And breathe! It was getting manic for a while, while Matthew Wade was reprising Ben Stokes' heroics at Headingley. But it wasn't meant to be. England's spinners, senior and part-time, turn the screw in the end. And for all that Australia have been the better side this summer, their retention of the Ashes is dampened by the fact that they still haven't won in England since 2001.
Handshakes all round as Paine leads Australia down to the outfield to greet the England players as they leave the field. It got tetchy at times in this contest, but the Ashes overall has been played in an excellent spirit. And it's a cheerful send-off too for Trevor Bayliss, whose coaching tenure was all about the white-ball game really, but whose good-humoured stewardship has been integral to the development of so many of England's key players.
It's all happening in a rush... England set to square the series, the first drawn Ashes since 1972, and that was 2-2 as well. Josh Hazlewood is the last man in
Tasmeem: "You need to have a lot of things going for you to chase such a mammoth total, that's why they are called miracles. But it doesn't happen everyday. For this past month, Stokes has spent all the luck himself."
Don't forget to get your #PoliteEnquiries in for Mel and Alan. Don't forget the hashtag!
Two to get... 139 to tick off ... a full day to come... it's going to have to be Edgbaston 2005 or bust from here.
James Box: "Good job Smith didnt get his usual century this match - otherwise the Aussies would almost be there." They kind of are almost there, to take Headingley as the base-line
Pradeep D: "Credit to Aus for a good fight here, mind you they start the innings 2 down every time. Most teams would have thrown in the towel after 4 months here"
Danny Azhar: "Its 2:55am here in Melbourne and I'm glued to my tv screen. What gutsy innings by Matt. Character! That cheeky innings by Buttler in the first innings might prove to be decisive (much to my disdain!)"
A breather for Broad ahead of the new ball. Here's Leach ...