Sydney: Australia romped to an innings and 123-runs victory over England after dismissing the tourists for 180 on the final day of the fifth Test on Monday to complete a 4-0 Ashes triumph that fell short of a whitewash but was little less emphatic.
England captain Joe Root raced from his hospital bed, where he had been treated overnight for gastroenteritis, to try to rescue a face-saving draw but when he failed to reappear after lunch the die was cast for the tourists.
Australia’s bowling attack - the potency of which has been one of the main points of difference between the two sides - mopped up the last four batsmen at the cost of just 36 runs after the break at Sydney Cricket Ground.
Pat Cummins removed Jonny Bairstow (38), Stuart Broad (4) and Mason Crane (2) to finish with figures of 4-39, while Nathan Lyon (3-54) had taken the only wicket of the opening session as he continued his dominance of Moeen Ali.
Cummins was named man of the match while Josh Hazlewood performed the coup de grace when he had James Anderson caught behind for two.
Australia’s batsmen also played a full part in the return of the coveted urn, with Mitchell Marsh, his brother Shaun and Usman Khawaja all getting into three figures as the hosts made 649 declared in their reply to England’s first innings 346.
England managed only three centuries to Australia’s nine over the series, with Smith alone matching their tally.
Anderson, who stood in for the ailing Root in the presentation ceremony, agreed that England’s failure to come out on top at key points during games had proved decisive.