Aussies rout Ashes 4-0
SYDNEY, Australia (AP):
Australia thrashed England by an innings and 123 runs to win the fifth and final Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday to complete a comprehensive 4-0 series victory.
The one-sided match ended just after lunch on the fifth day when Australia bowled the tourists out for 180 in its second innings after the England captain Joe Root retired hurt on 58 and his team's lower order offered little resistance to the hosts.
Australia had already regained the Ashes by winning the first three Tests and only missed out on a 5-0 series sweep when last week's fourth match in Melbourne ended in a draw.
"It's been a great couple of months. The cricket we've played has been outstanding," Australia captain Steve Smith said.
"All the bowlers have taken over 20 wickets, we haven't relied on one. Scoring big runs in the first innings has been the key for us.
"England had their foot in the door in all of the test matches, they've played some exceptional cricket. We've just been able to get back on top in those key moments and not let them back in the game, which is crucial."
Root was too sick to attend the post-match presentation so Jimmy Anderson deputised for him, telling the crowd his team had been thoroughly beaten over the series.
"To be honest, we've been outplayed in the key moments of each game. We've been in the games to an extent, but we've just not been able to capitalise on the opportunities," Anderson said.
"Credit to Steve (Smith) and his team, they've played fantastically well throughout the series and were the far better side.
"They've got a fantastic bowling attack. And all the batsmen have scored runs when the team needed them. Ourselves, that's where we slipped up. We've not scored the amount of runs you need to win a series like this. As a bowling group, not created enough pressure for long periods of time."
Root missed Monday's start of play after being taken to hospital before the resumption because of a stomach bug, and although he did come out and bat through to lunch, briefly giving the embattled tourists hope of salvaging a draw, he did not return for the second session.
With Root absent, Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins blew away the lower order after the interval to finish with 4-39 and earn the Player of the Match award, while spinner Nathan Lyon took 3-54.