The Ashes 2009: England Regain Ashes at Brit Oval

Andrew Flintoff is congratulated after running out Australian captain Ricky Ponting

On the fourth day of the final test, Alistair Cook caught Michael Hussey (121) from the spin bowling of Graeme Swann taking a catch which saw Australia all out for 348 and England win the Ashes 2009 cricket series by 2 games to 1.

England won the match by 197 runs, and the series by the narrowest of margins in this fifth decisive test match, which the hosts had to win to regain the Ashes following their 5-0 drubbing in Australia just two years ago.

This victory was undoubtedly set up on the second afternoon by Stuart Broad as he took 5 wickets for just 37 runs from 12 overs, in demolishing the top order of Australian batsmen almost single-handedly for 160 runs.

Andrew Strauss, however, had led from the front all series: the top scoring Ashes 2009 batsmen from either side helped his team out with 55 and 75 in this final test.

The debutant Trott got himself his first test century in the second innings and contributed over 150 runs to the final match.

Andrew Flintoff, not to be outdone on his final ever test match for his country, had lifted English spirits mid-afternoon, however, when running out Ricky Ponting (66) just as the Australian captain was forming a dangerous partnership with Michael Hussey (121).

Ponting lamented over what he described as “a poor test wicket” but the finger surely must be pointed at Australian batsmen who have collapsed twice this summer – both times in London, at Lords and here at the Brit Oval, those collapses resulted in defeat.

Ben Hilfenhaus just missed out on the Australian Man of the Series award to Michael Clarke, who’s selection was largely due to his consistent run scoring for the first four tests. Clarke was run out bizarrely by England captain Andrew Strauss on zero today, just after Ponting’s wicket had falling in a brief period which was to decide this Ashes result.

It was fitting that is was Swann who took the final wicket as the off spinner had bowled tirelessly today – ending with figures of 4 wickets for 120 runs from a whopping 40.2 overs.

Stuart Broad was announced Man of the Match, and Strauss picked up Man of the Series. Few will argue with the two selections.

England are celebrating an historic victory, which, on the balance of the series,  they surely deserved.

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