Australian captain Michael Clarke finished his illustrious career on a high on Sunday, as Australia beat England by an innings and 45 runs in the fifth and final Test match at the Oval, ending the series 3-2 to England.
Rain disrupted play throughout the morning session, but all it did was delay the inevitable, as they took the remaining four wickets required for victory in 22 overs of play.
In what has been a compelling series of Ashes cricket, the series was already wrapped up by the hosts going into the final Test, but both sides were equally keen for victory, with England chasing four Test wins in a home Ashes for the first time. It was the Australians, however, who made it count, as Steve Smith hit 143 to help his side to 481 in their first innings, before skittling out the English cheaply on both occasions.
England started the day on 203-6 in their second innings, still trailing Australia by 129 runs. Jos Buttler and Mark Wood provided a little bit of resistance, but they would end up falling for 6 and 42 respectively in quick succession.
The rain then came down, threatening the rest of the day’s play, but the Australians were quick to wrap up proceedings, as Peter Siddle picked off the final two wickets to seal the victory. It was only the fifth time that a team have won by an innings and lost by an innings in consecutive Tests in a series.
Smith was named man of the match, while Joe Root was named man of the series.
While Clarke only made 15 in their innings, he was allowed to bow out on a winning note, as was Chris Rogers, who also confirmed his retirement going into the clash.