An incredible day – the best you will ever feel playing cricket, says Swann

The man who wrapped up England's Ashes victory, Graeme Swann, last night told of his nerves going into yesterday's play and his delight at being able to perform so well under pressure.

The spinner, who took four wickets yesterday including the match-winning scalp of Michael Hussey, said: "You can't help but read the papers and listen to the Sky guys saying, 'It's all down to Swann.' No pressure then.

"You get that as a spinner. I'm really happy with how I bowled today. The wicket early on [of opener Simon Katich] settled things. I lost my temper a bit when the catches were going down but it's all turned out well in the end.

"Colly [Paul Collingwood] just said to me, 'Lap it up – it's the best you'll ever feel playing cricket,' and I hope he's right. It's incredible."

Swann's comrade in attack, Stuart Broad, who claimed the wicket of Shane Watson yesterday and was named man of the match, added: "It's an amazing day. We had to fight really hard for it. It's a really special day for all of us."

Reflecting on his first-innings figures of five for 37, he said: "We bowled well throughout the entire series. You dovetail sometimes as bowlers.

"Sometimes you get wickets and sometimes you don't. I wasn't expecting five as quickly as that – it's certainly one of the best spells I've ever bowled.

"To finish with back-to-back five-fors has made this series for me."

At the conclusion of play, England's captain and man of the series, Andrew Strauss, hugged his team-mates, took hold of the Ashes urn and then started celebrating a stunning triumph for English cricket in front of 25,000 jubilant fans.

"That was as special a moment as you will ever get on a cricket field," he said, when asked about the feeling of elation which followed the fall of Australia's last wicket at The Oval.

"It was just madness and we were running around like idiots," said the man who became England captain in January after a week of turmoil which ended with coach Peter Moores and his predecessor Kevin Pietersen losing their jobs. "You don't know what to do: scream or cry, jump up and down or lie on the ground. It is one of those situations you can't prepare for because you daren't let yourself think about the moment in case it never comes.

"We went through so many emotions during the day: hope, frustration, worry, despair at times when we didn't look like we were going to take a wicket . And then to come through and finish it off – until you get over the line you don't realise how hard it is."

Strauss, unlike most members of his team, was also at The Oval in 2005 when the Ashes were last reclaimed, under Michael Vaughan's leadership. "For me personally I suppose it is better because I've captained the side, but we've moved forward and there are different personalities involved," said Strauss. "The win in 2005 will live long in my memory and so will this.

"I think for the last 10 or 15 minutes we were able to enjoy the atmosphere a bit because we were so close. But up until then you don't dare to think about it."

Four years ago, England celebrated with an open-top bus ride through the streets of London, a party in Trafalgar Square and a trip to 10 Downing Street. This time, the celebrations will be low key. "We have to be conscious of the fact that this is just a stepping stone," said Strauss. "It's not the end."

However, it is the end for Andrew Flintoff, who bowed out of Test cricket here yesterday. But he may not celebrate quite so hard this time as he famously did four years ago – especially since he is booked in for a knee operation tomorrow. "I've not had quite as much to drink yet," he joked last night.

"It's an amazing feeling. I'm going to celebrate, probably not in the same style as 2005. I'll take the missus out for dinner and then spend the day with my family tomorrow.

"It's a really special moment – a special day in the Flintoff household and I'm sure a special day in a lot of people's households."

When pressed on what the result meant for him personally, the all-rounder added: "All the injuries and operations – it's for moments like this. What a way to go."

A 2-1 defeat drops Australia from first place to fourth in the world Test rankings and leaves Ricky Ponting as only the second captain from Down Under – after Billy Murdoch, more than 100 years ago – to lose two Ashes series in this country.

"I don't think you can get any more disappointed than I am right now," said Ponting.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform