England regain the Ashes

England regained the Ashes after beating Australia by 197 runs Sunday on the fourth day of the deciding fifth test to take the five-match series 2-1.

Michael Hussey was the last man out after tea at The Oval, caught for 121 by Alastair Cook off Graeme Swann as Australia were dismissed for 348, falling well short of the 546 victory target set by England.

England captain Andrew Strauss was jubilant.

"This is a special moment for all of us. The players have had to dig pretty deep and show a lot of character and fight. It hasn't sunk in," Strauss said. "I want to thank Ricky Ponting and his players. They have been great ambassadors for their country and played the game in the right spirit."

Swann claimed 4-120 and Steve Harmison picked up 3-54 but it was two run outs in six balls — including that of captain Ricky Ponting — that put England on the way to victory and sent allrounder Andrew Flintoff into test cricket retirement as a winner.

"We've given our all throughout the series but we haven't been good enough," Ponting said. "Full credit to England for seizing the key moments and they deserve everything they have got. It's been a great series and one we have all enjoyed."

Hussey scored his first test century since last October but his 330-minute fighting effort that may have saved his test career was in a losing cause.

England's talismanic all-rounder Andrew Flintoff was able to bow of test cricket with the fairytale ending he had hoped for.

Australia was always behind the game once it replied to England's first innings 332 with a below-par 160 when Stuart Broad took an inspired 5-37 and Swann 4-38.

The tourists would also regret not being able to win the first test in Cardiff when they failed to take England's final wicket. That match was drawn, England won the second test at Lord's, the third test was drawn before Australia leveled the series in Leeds.

There had been periods in the day when it looked like Australia might achieve a spectacular rearguard action to stave off defeat or claim the win.

Hussey, who survived two drops by Paul Collingwood at slip to Swann on 21 and 55, put on partnerships of 127 with Ponting and 91 with Haddin but neither were significant enough to deny England.

The pivotal sequence came after lunch when Ponting and his vice-captain Michael Clarke were run out.

Ponting, who received a standing ovation from the sold-out crowd after having been booed to the crease in previous tests, was out for 66 after Hussey called him for a quick single.

"At least I got a nice cheer today and Andrew Flintoff asked me when I got out in the middle whether I had hired a PR company," Ponting said.

Mid-on fielder Flintoff picked the ball up cleanly and unleashed a powerful direct throw at the stumps that left Ponting a meter short of his ground.

Ponting was disconsolate as England celebrated wildly at the key breakthrough. It might yet be Ponting's last Ashes test in England. He would be 38 in 2013 on the next tour.

The England team was jumping with joy again next over when Australia's top run-scorer Clarke departed the same way.

He clipped Swann towards square leg and set off for a run not expecting the ball to hit the ankle of short leg fielder Alastair Cook and dribble back towards him.

England captain Andrew Strauss reacted quickly and threw at the stumps, before the third umpire gave him out with Clarke's bat only on the line.

Australia had gone from 217-2 and looking relatively comfortable despite a crumbling pitch to 220-4.

That became 236-5 shortly after when Marcus North was stumped by Matt Prior off Swann. He attempted a sweep shot only for the ball to bounce up to Prior, who grabbed it and dislodged the bails before North could place his back foot behind the line.

Before lunch, Simon Katich offered no stroke to Swann, expecting more sharp turn but was out lbw by a straight delivery. He made 43 in 68 balls. Shane Watson departed three balls later for 40, trapped lbw by Stuart Broad.

England was also thankful to its debutant Jonathan Trott for his composed innings of 119 on Saturday that allowed his side to set Australia such an intimidating target.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power