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Aug 24, 2009

England regain Ashes with 5th Test win



England get backed the Ashes with a 197-run win over Australia in the 5th and final Test at the Oval here on Sunday.

Victory, reached with more than a day to spare, saw England win the five-match series 2-1.

Australia, set what would have been a world record fourth innings victory total of 546, were all out for 348 with Michael Hussey last man out for 121, when he was caught close in by Alastair Cook off spinner Graeme Swann.

"It's a special moment. It hasn't sunk in yet. We had to dig in and fight," said England captain Andrew Strauss.

"When we were bad in the series, we were very bad but when we were good we were very good."

Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said: "We gave it all we could, but it wasn't enough. Full credit to England, they won the crucial moments and deserved to win the series.

"I think this series has shown that Test cricket is alive and well around the world."

From 327 for five, the end came fastly with four wickets going down for 16 runs in 32 balls, with fast bowler Stephen Harmison taking three for seven in 13 himself.

It was a remarkable turnaround for England, who'd lost the 4th Test by an innings and 80 runs at Headingley, and had only clung on for a draw in the series opener at Cardiff by a single wicket.


Australia had been making steady development at 217 for two before Ponting was run out by Andrew Flintoff's direct hit in the all-rounder's last match before his Test retirement.

Five balls later Michael Clarke was also run out, for nought, before England's progress was checked by a sixth-wicket stand of 91 between Hussey and Brad Haddin.

But just when England fans were starting to vex again, Haddin, on 34, went down the pitch to Swann, who took four for 120 in 40.2 overs, and hoisted a mistimed drive to Strauss at mid-wicket.

And 327 for six became 327 for seven when Australia lost another two wickets in quick succession.

Mitchell Johnson went for a seven-ball nought, brilliantly caught by diving second slip Paul Collingwood off his Durham team-mate Harmison.

Peter Siddle then got a leading edge off Harmison and Flintoff held a simple catch at mid-off.

Harmison made it two wickets in two balls when Stuart Clark was snapped up at short leg by Cook.

Ben Hilfenhaus survived the hat-trick but the end was nigh.

England had taken the new ball after tea with Australia 278 for five.

But Hussey's two off Stuart Broad saw him to a first Test century in 29 innings off 219 balls with 11 boundaries.

Flintoff and Strauss had amazed Australia with two run-outs, the first they'd suffered this series, before tea to dismiss Ponting and Clarke.

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