Aussies romp to 10 wicket win in Ashes clean sweep
Australians are left with the comfortable task of scoring 46 runs to wrap up victory after dismissing the tourists for just 147.india Updated: Jan 05, 2007 08:51 IST
Australia thrashed England by 10 wickets in the final Test to complete a 5-0 Ashes series clean sweep for the first time in 86 years at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
The Australians were left with the comfortable task of scoring 46 runs to wrap up victory after they dismissed the tourists for just 147 little more than an hour into the fourth day.
Openers Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden, playing in their last Test together, reached the target just before lunch to wrap up a conclusive victory in a one-sided series.
Langer, playing in his 105th and final Test, was not out 20 with Hayden on 23.
It was the perfect send-off for Australia's three retiring cricket greats, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Langer.
McGrath and Warne led the Australian team from the ground to huge applause from the near-capacity SCG crowd at the end of England's innings to signal the end of a golden era for Australian cricket.
Warne finished his 145-Test career with 708 wickets, the most in Test cricket, and McGrath ended his 124 Tests with 563 wickets, the most by a fast bowler.
They also clocked up 1,001 wickets between them in the 104 Tests they played together.
"To win 5-0 is a fantastic achievement by this group of guys, this team's played some sensational cricket through the whole summer," Warne said.
"England has played some good cricket at times too, but when the big moments have come the Australian teams stood up."
McGrath said he had never played in a better Australian side.
"The bowling's given them nothing and the batting as well. I don't think we've ever played as well teamwise as we have in this series," he said.
Langer said the emphatic series victory was "the perfect time to let go of it" and end his Test career.
Any remote hopes England had of setting Australia a teasing target in the final Test fell away after a cataclysmic start to the fourth day.
The team's remaining batting hope Kevin Pietersen was out on the third ball of the day when he was caught behind off McGrath on his overnight score of 29.
And night watchman Monty Panesar was run out soon after attempting England's first run of the day.
Wicketkeeper Chris Read hit to the deadly Andrew Symonds in the covers and the crack fieldsman took aim and threw down middle stump with Panesar, slow out of the blocks, well out of his ground at the striker's end for a duck.
That left England wallowing at 114 for seven, a lead of just 12 runs with three wickets left.
Sajid Mahmood edged a four through the slips cordon to give England their first runs of the day.
Read played away from his body to Brett Lee and snicked to a diving Ricky Ponting at second slip for four.
In the next over Mahmood was on his way, bowled off an inside edge for four and leave England 21 runs in front at 123 for nine.
England's innings ended when James Anderson skied to Mike Hussey at mid-on for five to give McGrath 3-38.
Brett Lee continued his resurgence to finish with 3-39 and Warne claimed 1-23 in his final innings.
First Published: Jan 05, 2007 08:47 IST