ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss became the first man from these shores to lift the Ashes urn in Australia in 24 years after his side wrapped victory in the fifth Test in Sydney yesterday.
Out of keeping with the majority of the rest of the series, the hosts put up some resistance on the final morning, with England having to wait just shy of two hours to take the remaining three wickets required to claim a resounding, historic and much deserved 3-1 series victory. England were frustrated in their attempts to knock over the tail, first by the weather, and then by some stubborn batting from Steve Smith and Peter Siddle.
After a half hour delay caused by showers, Graeme Swann ended the waiting game when he invited Siddle into playing one attacking shot too many. The Aussie bowler miscued the ball to the leg-side boundary where Jimmy Anderson took a well judged catch.
England immediately took the new ball and Anderson produced a beauty to get rid of Ben Hilfenhaus, caught behind by Matt Prior for just seven.
And it was left to Chris Tremlett, who only came into the side after the second Test because of an injury to Stuart Broad, to take the final wicket which ended over two decades of hurt on Aussie turf.
The Surrey paceman ripped through the defences of No11 Michael Beer to spark scenes of joy amongst the long suffering Barmy Army fans, who had been granted free admittance to the Sydney cricket ground.
On taking the final wicket, Tremlett said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling. I could never have expected to be the guy to take the last wicket. It was a bit of a tired delivery to be honest and I’m glad he edged it onto the stumps.
“We came here today and just tried to put the ball in the right areas and thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long to finish the job. The support has been unbelievable and it’s been great to see them enjoying themselves today. They’ll be in for a long night.”