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.

Arts and Entertainment
books
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
peopleAlice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
The Digicub app, for young fans
advertisingNSPCC 'extremely concerned'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
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

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution