Ashes 2013-14: Australia crush England to seal 5-0 whitewash
Last updated on .From the section Cricket
|Fifth Test, Sydney (day three)|
|Australia (326 & 276) beat England (155 & 166) by 281 runs|
England folded in dismal fashion to lose the fifth Test within three days and with it the Ashes series 5-0 to end their miserable winter in entirely appropriate style.
Alastair Cook's men were bowled out for a feeble 166 inside 32 overs to be thrashed by 281 runs in Sydney, at one stage losing four wickets in 11 balls.
It was the story of the past six weeks compressed into one final chastening day as Mitchell Johnson took three more pivotal wickets with ferocious pace to end with 37 in the series at an average of 13.9. Ryan Harris mopped up the tail to claim 5-25.
All of England's senior batsmen once again failed on a tour when not a single one has totalled 300 runs, and when six Australians have well in excess.
It is only the third whitewash in Ashes history, and is arguably the worst tour England have ever undertaken, after they came into this series as favourites and against a side beaten in seven of their previous nine Tests.
England won the toss here at the SCG but ended up humiliated once again, a team unrecognisable in personnel from the one that began the series in Brisbane but suffering an identical hiding.
Not in a single Test have they got close, losing by 381 runs, 218 runs, 150 runs, eight wickets and now this.
They were set a distant 448 to win but could not even last three hours as Michael Clarke's rampant side capped their remarkable renaissance by taking all 10 wickets in under two sessions.
Australia had been branded the worst team ever to tour England en route to losing last summer's corresponding series 3-0.
But they fully deserved every thumping victory on their own soil, their tactics, aggression and desire dismantling opposition that had travelled with such confidence and expectation.
Johnson had Cook caught behind for seven before pace partner Ryan Harris took care of Ian Bell for 16 and Kevin Pietersen for six as England gave up with barely a whisper.
The carnage accelerated after tea when top scorer Michael Carberry top-edged Johnson behind for 43 and Gary Ballance was trapped in front for seven.
Nathan Lyon saw off Jonny Bairstow without scoring and Scott Borthwick to reduce England to 95-7.
Although Ben Stokes (32) and Stuart Broad (42) slogged with resigned abandon, Harris took the final three wickets to trigger giddy celebrations among a sold-out crowd.
Australia had earlier piled on the runs at pace as they added 136 runs to their overnight 140-4, Chris Rogers compiling his second century in two Tests to become the top run-scorer across these back-to-back Ashes series.
Rogers made 119 before being caught and bowled by debutant Scott Borthwick, one of three wickets for the leg-spinner as the lower order slogged merrily.
Borthwick also picked up the wicket of Brad Haddin for 28, but not before Haddin had set a record for the most runs scored in a Test series by a man batting at seven or lower.
His 493 runs at an average of 61 take him past his predecessor Adam Gilchrist and, as much as Johnson's wickets have decided this series, so too have Haddin's runs.
It is just one in a litany of statistics that underline Australia's total dominance.
They scored 10 centuries to England's one, had the top six batsmen by average and three of the best four bowlers by average.
Man of the series Johnson's 37 wickets came at just 13.9 apiece, while Harris ended with 22 at 19, Lyon 19 at 29 and Peter Siddle 16 at 24.
The magnitude of the latest defeat will bring with it much soul-searching in the England camp, with questions over the unresolved future of coach Andy Flower and several of the players.
No-one saw this whitewash coming, but that does not make its impact any less damning.