1st Test, the Gabba, November 21-25, 2013

1st day: Australia 8 for 273 (Haddin 78*, Johnson 64, Broad 5-65) v England
Stuart Broad responded to a campaign of vilification in resounding fashion, taking five wickets on the opening day as Australia lost their first six wickets for 132. But England could not finish Australia off as Brad Haddin, in his first redoubtable innings of many, and Mitchell Johnson fought back enterprisingly by the close.
2nd day: Australia 295 (Haddin 94, Johnson 64, Broad 6-81) and 65 for 0 lead England 136 (Carberry 40, Johnson 4-61) by 224 runs
England again performed inadequately in the first Test of an overseas series. In perfectly good batting conditions, Australia wrested a first-innings lead of 159 that must have been beyond their wildest dreams. Six England wickets fell after lunch for nine runs in a startling 58-ball phase as Australia, with Ryan Harris and Johnson to the fore, inspired a feverish response from the Brisbane crowd.
3rd day: England 136 and 2 for 24 (Cook 11*, Pietersen 3*) need another 537 runs to beat Australia 295 and 7 for 401 dec (Warner 124, Clarke 113, Haddin 53)
Domineering hundreds by Michael Clarke and David Warner, a declaration with an impregnable position swiftly achieved and two England wickets in the final hour: things could not have gone much better for Australia as they pressed for the victory that would put them 1-0 up in the Ashes series.
4th day: Australia 295 (Haddin 94, Johnson 64, Broad 6-81) and 7 for 401 dec (Warner 124, Clarke 113, Haddin 53) beat England 136 (Johnson 4-61, Harris 3-28) and 173 (Cook 65, Johnson 5-42) by 381 runs
Johnson, a fast bowler reborn, embodied Australia's supremacy as they pulled off an overwhelming 381-run win in the first Test. Johnson finished with nine for 103 in the match. Australia's attacking cricket came in defiance of a record of 10 Tests without a win. The sledging was uncompromising, too, with Australia's captain, Clarke, caught on stump mic telling James Anderson that Johnson would break his arm.

2nd Test, Adelaide, December 5-9, 2013

1st day: Australia 5 for 273 (Rogers 72, Bailey 53, Watson 51) v England
England responded to the dry nature of Adelaide's first drop-in pitch by selecting two spinners in Australia for the first time for 23 years. But Australia won an important toss and, on a hard-fought day, benefited from three England dropped catches in the final session to achieve solidity by the close.
2nd day: England 1 for 35 trail Australia 9 for 570 dec (Clarke 148, Haddin 118, Harris 55*, Broad 3-98) by 535 runs
Clarke continued his love affair with the Adelaide Oval with an unflustered century which with every graceful moment stated his intent to become the Australian captain who regained the Ashes. Alongside him, stood his vice-captain and senior professional, Haddin, another hundred to his name. It could not have looked much better for Australia.
3rd day: Australia 9 for 570 dec and 3 for 132 (Warner 83*) lead England 172 (Bell 72*, Johnson 7-40) by 530 runs
Johnson produced a blood-curdling display of world-class fast bowling to destroy England in the second Test . Johnson's sustained menace bore comparison with the great fast-bowling spells of the modern age as he took 5 for 16 in five overs immediately after lunch to leave England in a state of bewilderment.
4th day: England 172 and 6 for 247 (Root 87, Pietersen 53, Prior 31*, Broad 22*) need another 284 runs to beat Australia 9 for 570 dec and 3 for 132 dec
Joe Root led a stubborn rearguard for England as they were presented with a hopeless 501 for victory, missing out on what would have been a deserved Ashes hundred when Nathan Lyon dismissed him for 87. Alastair Cook's attempts to carry the fight against Johnson saw him out hooking for 0 as Australian newspaper headlines predicting a 5-0 whitewash looked ever more convincing.
5th day: Australia 9 for 570 dec (Clarke 148, Haddin 118, Broad 3-98) and 3 for 132 dec (Warner 83*) beat England 172 (Bell 72*, Carberry 60, Johnson 7-40) and 312 (Root 87, Prior 69, Siddle 4-57, Harris 3-54) by 218 runs
Australia needed only 11.4 overs to take a 2-0 lead in the Ashes series with three to play as they inflicted a 218-run defeat on England. Matt Prior's desperate hitting recovered a semblance of form as he passed fifty for the first time in 17 attempts. Johnson confirmed his moustache would remain for the rest of the series - here was a fast bowler with Mo-mentum if ever there was one.

3rd Test, Perth: December 13-17

1st day: Australia 6 for 326 (Smith 103*, Warner 60, Swann 2-71) v England
Everything continued to go right for Australia at the start of the Perth Test. Steven Smith, a gifted and fidgety young man raised on spin in New South Wales and until recently out of his depth on pitches as fast as the WACA Ground, secured his place in Australia's middle order for the foreseeable future with a composed hundred to keep the pressure on England.
2nd day: England 4 for 180 (Cook 72) trail Australia 385 (Smith 111, Warner 60, Broad 3-100) by 205 runs
Cook had been immovable in Australia three years earlier. He mustered all his efforts to regain that status as England sought to avoid a defeat that would hand the Ashes back to Australia. But, hard though he tried, Cook could not shake off Australia, making 72 on a day that produced some of the most compelling cricket of the series.
3rd day: Australia 385 and 3 for 235 (Warner 112, Rogers 54) lead England 251 (Siddle 3-36, Harris 3-48) by 369 runs
England's last realistic hopes of keeping the Ashes alive depended upon a strong batting display when the chips were down. What happened instead was the surrender of 6 for 61 to Harris, Johnson and Peter Siddle, a slide made worse by a Johnson toe-crusher that not only pinned Broad lbw but sent him to hospital, ruling him out of bowling for the rest of the game.
4th day: England 251 and 5 for 251 (Stokes 72*, Bell 60) require another 253 runs to beat Australia 385 and 6 for 369 (Watson 103)
Australia took their chance to kill England off and plundered 134 runs in just 17 overs, most of them from the brutal striking of Shane Watson, who made a century. It set up a declaration before lunch and a beautiful delivery from Harris castled Cook first ball of the England innings. Wickets fell regularly until Ian Bell and Ben Stokes finally came up with a partnership of some gumption.
5th day: Australia 385 (Smith 111, Warner 60, Haddin 55) and 6 for 369 dec (Warner 112, Watson, Rogers 54) beat England 251 (Cook 72) and 6 for 332 (Stokes 120, Bell 60, Johnson 4-78) by 150 runs
Five wickets were needed for Australia to regain the urn but they were held up by Stokes who continued to play a heartening innings and brought up a maiden Test century in just his second match. But when he fell after lunch to Lyon, Johnson fired out the lower order and on the 14th day of the series, the Ashes were won.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo