SYDNEY: England on Friday wrapped up an innings and 83-run victory early on the last day after victory was assured when they had Australia seven wickets down on Thursday’s close. The Ashes humiliation was Australia’s sixth defeat in their last eight Tests and come at a time of major upheaval in all facets of the Australian game.
It was England’s first series victory Down Under since Mike Gatting’s team beat Australia 2-1 in 1986-87. The tourists posted their highest-ever score in Australia on 644 and dismissed the hapless hosts for 280 and 281.
Steven Smith and Peter Siddle showed some fight with an 86-run eighth-wicket partnership before Siddle holed out to Anderson on the square leg boundary off Graeme Swann for 43 off 65 balls.
Alastair Cook was the series top scorer with 766 at 127.66, second only to Wally Hammond’s 905 in 1928-29 for most runs for England in a series in Australia.
Anderson finished the series with 24 wickets, the most by any England bowler since Frank Tyson took 28 in 1954-5 and wicketkeeper Matt Prior took 23 catches in the series.
England was the last team to beat Australia at the SCG in 2003 when Andy Caddick claimed 7-94 after Michael Vaughan had amassed 183 in the second innings to pull off a massive 225-run triumph.
England has now won 22 times in Sydney in 54 Tests.
Only Mike Hussey with 570 runs and two centuries at 63.33 emerged with his reputation intact as Ponting (113 runs at 16) and Clarke (193 at 21.44) failed miserably with the bat.