England regained the Ashes after wrapping up a spectacular victory over Australia on the third morning of the fourth Test at Trent Bridge.
The hosts took Australia’s three remaining second-innings wickets in 39 minutes to win by an innings and 78 runs.
Ben Stokes took the day’s first wicket to finish with 6-36 before Mark Wood clinched the victory by bowling Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon.
England’s second successive three-day triumph gives them an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series with one match to play.
The winning margin is all the more remarkable given it is only 19 months since England were on the receiving end of a 5-0 thrashing by the Australians down under.
England have now beaten Australia in four consecutive home series – their best sequence since 1896.
The wrap party
After skittling Australia for 60 runs on day one, England made 391-9 declared before reducing the tourists to 241-7 at the end of day two.
Stokes, whose five-wicket haul on Friday afternoon had taken England to the brink of glory, picked up where he left off with a wicket in his second over of the day as Mitchell Starc nicked a ball shaping away from him to Ian Bell at second slip.
Hazlewood survived nine balls, but barely saw his 10th as Wood yorker uprooted his middle stump.
And Wood delivered the final blow as he shot one through Lyon’s defences to shatter the stumps and bring Australia’s last remaining batsman to his knees.
The Durham bowler was mobbed by his ecstatic team-mates, who celebrated in a huddle before embarking on a lap of honour with the sounds of “Rule, Britannia” and “Land of Hope and Glory” ringing in their ears.
Australia captain Michael Clarke, meanwhile, announced
from international cricket at the end of the series.
What they said – the Test Match Special team
“The 2013 series win was an efficient win, achieved through dry, arid, featureless cricket. This has had a lot more – this has had flair.”
“Alastair Cook has led England with a real style in this series. He has put England in the right frame of mind to deliver their skills. This feels so much better than 2013. Australia were clear favourites, so this is an amazing achievement.”
“It is an incredible feeling to win the Ashes. It really is a goose-bump moment. I was quite vehement that England would win this Ashes when I saw that the batting line-up that Australia were bringing was so similar to 2005, when they really struggled against the swinging ball.”
“I’m delighted for Alastair Cook. He’s been through a bit, and he’s come out the other side. English cricket has turned around.”
“I don’t think I have ever been to a Test match where at 12.30 on the first day you thought it was over. Everything clicked for England.”
“Australia will make changes for The Oval. There will be a few guys left out and a few careers finished. You live and die by your performances.”
England players revel in series win
England captain Alastair Cook:
“I said I wouldn’t cry but maybe I might at some stage. Someone told us to watch the Ashes
From where we’ve been as a side over the last 18 months, we’ve stuck to what we believe was the right thing to do. The way the lads stepped up has been unbelievable.”
“I can’t quite believe it. The summer couldn’t have gone any better for me. To miss out at Edgbaston and then to be back here and take the winning wicket is an incredible feeling, one I’ll never forget. I was still shaking in the dressing room half an hour later.”
“Alastair Cook has stood up as a man and led from the front – he’s a pleasure to play with, he’s got such hunger for England to do well.”
Five-time Ashes winner Ian Bell:
“It’s amazing. Performances from the whole group have been incredible. This win is right up there.”
Game in numbers
- England have won four consecutive home Ashes series for the first time since 1896
- This is the first time England have won an Ashes Test at home by an innings margin since August 1985
- Ian Bell has now won five Ashes series, equalling the modern-day record of Sir Ian Botham
- Root’s 130 means he has the top score of the match again. He is second on the list of highest percentage of Tests as top scorer (29.02%) behind Don Bradman (38.46%)
Underdogs to overwhelming winners
England came into the series as underdogs after winning just one of their previous five Test series.
But under the stewardship of Australian coach Trevor Bayliss and his assistant Paul Farbrace, they stunned the Australians with their new-found aggression and vigour.
After suffering a
as Australia squared the series at Lord’s, England exploited seam-friendly conditions to maximum effect in successive three-day victories.
The victory gives Alastair Cook his second Ashes success a captain, while Ian Bell becomes the first England player since Sir Ian Botham to be part of five Ashes-winning teams.
The final Test at the Oval starts on Thursday, 20 August.
The party starts for the England players…