Hope you had as much fun being with as we did bringing the coverage to you. Thank you for being wonderful readers. That's not the end of these two sides in action, though. Both these sides now clash for the ODI series. The first game of the series is on Sunday, the 14th of January, 2018 at the MCG. Catch us then at 1420 local time (0320 GMT). For some more Test cricket, you can switch to the South Africa-India game, which is in the balance and has good weather forecast for the last couple of days. Till the next time, ta-ta and take care!
Phew! That brings us to the end of Ashes 2017-18. A bit of mixed feelings. A bit dejected as it has ended yet feeling glad and upbeat for the way it happened. All things have to end, eventually. England will certainly look at this series as many opportunities missed. It is said that opportunity knocks the door twice. It did so more than that for England but they had bolted the door and lost the key. Give an inch to Australia and they grab a mile. The home side did just that and the end results is there for all to see.
That look on his face says it all. Ever tried giving a kid the candy that it always desired? And then had a look at its face? That's how Steven Smith looks as he goes up to collect the trophy. The entire team joins him on the podium and they all rejoice. Post all the posing and the photo shoots, they all take a lap of honour around the SCG. Lovely to see them give it back to the fans who have come out in large numbers in support. Autographs are signed as well. Always good to see success being celebrated the way it is being done now.
Australian skipper STEVEN SMITH, is also the Player of the Series. Huge applause engulfs the SCG and deservingly so. He says everything went to plan. Appreciates the fact that they have managed to pick up most of the opposition's wickets in the series. Stresses on the collective efforts of his bowlers as well as his batters. Reckons that although England have had a foot in the door in all the games, his side did extremely well to seize those key moments and prevail. States how good it feels to not have an injury casualty throughout these five games. Thanks his team from the bottom of his heart for the same. About his batting he keeps it simple and says that he aims to practice a lot at the nets and does nothing different.
Since Joe Root, the English skipper is down with illness, vice-captain JAMES ANDERSON has a chat in his absence. Says that Root is fast asleep as he hasn't recovered completely from his gastro bug. Agrees that they have been in the game on many occasions but haven't been able to capitalise on the key moments. Lauds the opposition's bowling attack as well as the batters' efforts to score runs, something that they themselves failed to do. Ends being grateful to the Barmy Army who have supported his side through thick and thin.
Player of the Match, PAT CUMMINS, says he can't ask for more. Adds that it is fun to play with the bunch that he has. States that they (the bowlers) always run in and attack and think nothing else. Reckons that every kid dreams of playing in the Ashes and he is happy to realise the same.
Every Australian batter apart from Cameron Bancroft made hay while the sun shone to get scores above fifty. Usman Khawaja and the Marsh brothers went to the extent of notching up their tons. This meant that the hosts ended up having a 303-run lead over the visitors. From then, it was all about when rather than if. The formalities were done completed and here we are on the other side. Time for the presentation now...
Picture this. England were 228/3 on the first day before losing the plot and slipping to 251/6. This is just a sample of the entire stock. All along the tour they have been in such dominant positions at various times before letting things drift away from them. A lower order surge helped them post what seemed like a decent score at that point. But the Aussie batters came out like a storm to quell all such thoughts.
This has been yet another abject surrender from the tourists. Yes, they were on the ground for a long time but they themselves were the cause for the same. After getting a chance to bat again, they somehow barely managed to bring the game to the last day but it was just about delaying the inevitable. With a sick Joe Root in the dressing room, the task on the final day grew all the more monumental.
Nathan Lyon is really delighted with the win. He feels good to do well under Smith's captaincy, who has been astute with his tactics. Adds it wouldn't have been possible to come out good with the ball without the three quicks (Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins). Is happy to be a part of the best bowling attack. Opines it has been a complete team effort on their part. Credits the selectors for believing in each one of them. Ends by saying the best feeling is to get that urn back and he can't wait to celebrate. He immediately runs towards his team post that.
Mitchell Marsh is next up. He feels elated to be a part of the victorious side. Reckons that it feels crazy to win 4-0 and contribute with a couple of tons. Admits it was a special feeling to be with his brother at the time of their tons. Adds further that he was more emotional for his brother's ton.
First is Usman Khawaja. Ashes win feels great he says. Reckons that all the first three games were in the balance. Feels good that he has contributed in some way in this victory. Lauds his bowlers for their collective efforts. Says that they were consistent and hence the results show. Jokes that having Smith helps as well.
Clinical performance from the hosts! This is the 8th highest margin of victory in the Ashes, pings my colleague. Nevertheless, even without those figures the performances speak for themselves. Though the visiting team showed dodgy resistance in the first session today, Pat Cummins came out firing on all cylinders in the second. Jonny Bairstow's fall opened the floodgates, even as the pacer missed out on a fifer for the second time in the game. This crucial strike was enough for the home team to wrap things up quickly. Let's have a look at what the players have got to say first as Mark Nicholas and Michael Slater catch up with some of the Aussies.
Josh Hazlewood to James Anderson
OUT! Is that it? Yes it is! Length ball angling away from Anderson. As he has been trying all along, looks to fend away from his body. This time the ball doesn't miss the outside edge and goes straight to Paine behind. They appeal and umpire Dharmasena takes his time before ruling it out. Anderson wants to take the review but he is informed that there isn't any in the bank. Birthday gift for Hazlewood who gets his first scalp of the innings. It is confirmed that Root won't come out to bat and thus, another unconverted fifty lies against his name. AN INNINGS AND 123 RUNS VICTORY FOR AUSTRALIA to take the series 4-0.
Time for some liquid intake!
Nathan Lyon to Tom Curran
Negotiates this one with a forward defense.
Five Penalty runs! This one goes straight past the outside edge as it stays low. Beats the batter as well as the keeper. Goes on to strike the helmet behind and hence the penalty.
Arm ball outside off, Tom lets it be.
FOUR! What a stroke! This is tossed up outside off, Curran charges down, gets to the pitch of the ball and drives it inside out through covers, all along the ground. Gets a boundary that takes him to 23 off 37.
Another one around off, blocked off the front foot.