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Australia Crush England To Seal 5-0 Ashes Sweep

posted 5 Jan 2014, 04:02 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 5 Jan 2014, 04:02 ]

A rampant Australia seal a 5-0 Ashes series sweeping England aside with more than two days to spare in the fifth test in Sydney on Sunday.

SYDNEYAUSTRALIA (JANUARY 05, 2014) (SEVEN NETWORK) -  Australia obliterated England's batting in a shade over 34 overs to claim a thumping 281-run fifth test victory with more than two days to spare and seal only the third 5-0 sweep in the long history of Ashes series in Sydney on Sunday (January 5).

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The triumph at a sunbaked Sydney Cricket Ground completed a remarkable turnaround for Australia, who were in disarray after being swept aside themselves in India and going down 3-0 in England to lose a third successive Ashes series last year.

A big clue to how Australia managed that turnaround came when paceman Mitchell Johnson was awarded the Compton-Miller medal as Man of the Series after taking 37 wickets at a shade under 14 apiece over the five tests.

Johnson's ferocious pace again played an integral part in Australia's victory in Sydneybut it was no one man show and his fellow quick Ryan Harris won Man of the Match honours after taking five for 25 as England were skittled out for 166 on Sunday.

"It's very special, there's no doubt about it. A lot of hard work's gone in. It's been as I've said before the roller-coaster ride, the ups and downs of 2013," said Australia captainMichael Clarke, who also played in the 2006-7 sweep.

"I certainly couldn't be prouder of my team mates, the performance that they've put in throughout the whole series. I also want to pay obviously respects to Alastair and the England team. I think they're obviously been a very successful team over a long period of time because they've got some wonderful players and I'm sure they'll bounce back," Clarke said.

"I said to the boys before a ball was bowled this series in my opinion they are the greatest attack in the world at the moment and I think they have just shown it over five test matches," he said.

With England's top order having failed yet again, Ben Stokes (32) and Stuart Broad (42) provided their country's stiffest resistance down the order but they could only delay the inevitable.

Harris bowled them both before performing the coup de grace on debutante Boyd Rankin and the SCG, bathed in pink in honour of Glenn McGrath's breast cancer charity, rose to hail the Australia team.

"I think today's batting was a culmination of being under the cosh for four and a half games," said England captain Alastair Cook. "Credit to Australia," he added.

Cook apologised to England fans for letting them down in the Ashes series and said he wanted to stay on as captain to help turn around the team's fortunes.

Cook was at a loss to explain what had gone wrong - "If I knew that answer, I would be telling the guys out there rather than telling you guys," he said - but was adamant he had no intention of walking away from the captaincy.

"I am desperate to try and turn it around," the 29-year-old, who also played in the 5-0 sweep England suffered in the 2006-7 series, told reporters.

"I feel as if I am the right man to do it."

Cook said he hoped coach Andy Flower would also remain in charge of the side, but admitted that Saturday's (January 4) backing for both men from England and Wales Cricket Board chief David Collier was no guarantee in the long-term.

"I was given the vote of confidence from the board which usually means in football terms you have two weeks and then you're on your bike," he said.

Cook said all-rounder Ben Stokes, who made his debut in the second test in Adelaidebefore scoring a century in Perth and taking a six-wicket haul in Sydney, and seamerStuart Broad, were the only England players to emerge with any credit.

"There is anger. There's anger in me and frustration because for whatever reason we haven't played very well and the buck stops with me and I suppose that's why it hurts so much and I suppose that's sport isn't it?," he said.