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.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news

Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur
film

It scooped up an unprecedented 11 Academy Awards when it was first remade in 1959

News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's starring part
Extras
10 best table lamps
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week