Australia completed a 5-0 Ashes clean sweep against England today as the hapless tourists crumbled to a humiliating 281-run defeat in the fifth Test in Sydney. Demoralised England capitulated after tea against the home side's pace attack, losing seven wickets in 52 minutes on their way to being bundled out for 166 in 31.4 overs getting nowhere near the 448 target for victory.
It was the sixth time the beleaguered tourists had been skittled for under 200 in the series and the crushing defeat is expected to have major ramifications for English cricket just months after they beat Australia 3-0 in England. Paceman Ryan Harris finished with five for 25 and man-of-the-series Mitchell Johnson who took 37 wickets in the five matches -- had figures of 3-40.
Skipper Alastair Cook (7), Ian Bell (16) and Kevin Pietersen (6) all fell in the middle session as England limped to tea on 87-3 but it was carnage after the interval as four wickets tumbled in two overs with the tourists falling apart
against inspired Australian bowling and fielding.
Michael Carberry (43) feathered Mitchell Johnson to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin just two balls after the resumption and three balls later debutant Gary Ballance was trapped plumb in front by Johnson for seven.
Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow was caught close in by George Bailey off spinner Nathan Lyon for a three-ball duck and debutant legspinner Scott Borthwick was magnificently caught by skipper Michael Clarke off Lyon for four.
Ben Stokes offered some belated resistance, punishing Lyon for 20 off one over before he played Harris on to his stumps for 32 off 16 balls with three fours and two sixes. Stuart Broad also went down swinging with four sixes and three fours in his 42 off 36 balls before bowled by Harris, and Boyd Rankin was last man out, caught overhead by Clarke at second slip to complete the victory.
Earlier Cook, who has endured a miserable series with the bat, was caught behind off Johnson for seven and was followed by Bell, who was snapped up the gully off Ryan Harris. Pietersen was athletically caught