It was perhaps fitting that a man who looks like the children’s doll Ken knocked off the final wicket of a country who at this time of the year are most familiar with having a Barbie whenever possible. The raucous celebrations had been saved for this test, and the England team must be ecstatic that it finished up in Sydney, one city that never sleeps.
To confirm the first Ashes win by an English side for 25 years, they entered the last day with three wickets still to get, and as with the fourth test in Melbourne it was a sluggish start. The rains came and after the break the tourists gave a display to echo the dominance that has been shown throughout this series.
When the tough resistance put up by Peter Siddle’s 43 runs was broken, it was only a matter of time before the tail was dismissed. Ben Hilfenhaus was next to fall for a mere seven runs, off the bowling of James Anderson, before Chris Tremlett got the wicket of Michael Beer to signal the start of the favoured beverage of men the world round to start being poured. After the obligatory champagne, obviously.
Alastair Cook was named man of the series after scoring almost 200 more than the next man down on the list, with 766 runs over the five test series. Andrew Strauss then lifted the urn to signal the start of the biggest English party Sydney has ever seen.
As for Australia, wheeling out all the old stagers might be the way to compete in the next Ashes. Although by then Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, and the rest may be picking up their bus passes. Ricky Ponting meanwhile becomes one of the only Australian captains to lose three Ashes series.