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5th Test: Australia thrash England by 281 runs to win the Ashes series 5-0

Associated Press
Jan 05, 2014 at 03:06pm IST

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Sydney: Australia completed a 5-0 Ashes series whitewash with a 281-run victory inside three days of the fifth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground as England capitulated to be all out for 166 chasing 448.

Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson, whose 37 wickets earned him player of the series, again decimated the England batting lineup on Sunday with a ferocious spell of fast bowling which ended England's second innings in less than two and a half hours.

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"We wanted to make sure the pressure we built in Brisbane and Adelaide, that we kept it up all series," said man-of-the-match Harris.

5th Test: Australia thrash England by 281 runs to win the Ashes series 5-0

Australia completed a 5-0 series whitewash over England with a 281-run victory inside three days at the SCG after the tourists capitulated to be all out for 166 chasing 448. (Getty Images)

It was the sixth time in ten innings this series that England had failed to make 200, with Sunday's performance perhaps the meekest of all. Opener Michael Carberry made 43 and there was some lusty late hitting from Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad but no real resistance.

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"It's probably a culmination of the whole 4 1/2 Test matches," Cook said of Sunday's rapid surrender. "If it was a boxing match, it probably would have been stopped, wouldn't it."

Australia, captained by Michael Clarke, secured their third Ashes 5-0 series whitewash, joining Warwick Armstrong's 1920-21 team and that of Ricky Ponting in 2006-07. It was also the biggest Ashes series turnaround, with Clarke's team having lost the previous series 3-0 in England only six months ago.

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"The last month it's just been ridiculous, I don't think anyone could have predicted it," said Australia batsman George Bailey.

The rot started early in England's second innings, with captain Alastair Cook caught behind from a loose stroke for seven in Johnson's (3 for 40) first over.

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Harris (5 for 25) then dismissed Ian Bell for 16, caught by David Warner at gully and had Kevin Pietersen (6) spectacularly caught by ay bat pad to have England teetering at 87 for 3 at tea.

Things only got worse for England after the interval losing the final seven wickets in just 52 minutes.

Carberry swiped at a Johnson bouncer and feathered an edge through to Brad Haddin. England lost a further three wickets for eight runs, with Gary Ballance (7) trapped lbw by Johnson and then Lyon dismissing Bairstow for a duck, caught at bat pad by Bailey.

Two balls later, Lyon had Borthwick caught by a diving Michael Clarke at second slip for four. The captain somehow getting his hand to the ball just above the SCG turf.

Harris returned to end Ben Stokes' cameo of 32 off 16 balls, including two sixes off one Lyon over, and cleaned up the tail as Broad played on to his own stumps and Clarke grasped another good catch at slip to complete the rout and the series whitewash.

"It's just an amazing effort, playing the last two games the way we did," said paceman Peter Siddle who claimed 16 wickets for the series. "It's been a long series, everyone was getting sore and weary, we wanted to get done as soon as we could."

Earlier, Chris Rogers reached his third Test century and shared a 109-run partnership with Bailey (46) to help Australia reached 276 in their second innings and set England a nearly-impossible target of 448 run to avoid a series clean sweep.

Rogers, who had an unconvincing start to the series, has found his best form and on Sunday he frequently punctured the England field with fluent cover drivers, until he spooned a catch back to debutant spinner Scott Borthwick when on 119 off 169 balls, with 15 boundaries.

The 36-year-old Rogers, who scored a match winning 116 in Melbourne last week, is Australia's leading run scorer across the 10 Ashes Tests staged since mid-2013, with 844 runs and three centuries.

"I don't think life gets any better than this," said Rogers. "It's been an unbelievable month. To finish like this ...I found a bit of form in these last few games and thankfully have been able to cash in."

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