Australia defeated England by an innings and 123 runs to win the fifth and final Ashes test at the Sydney Cricket Ground and complete a comprehensive 4-0 series victory. The one-sided match ended just after lunch on the fifth day when Australia bowled the tourists out for 180 in its second innings after the England captain Joe Root retired hurt on 58 and his team's lower order offered little resistance to the hosts.
Australia had already regained the Ashes by winning the first three tests and only missed out on a 5-0 series sweep when last week's fourth match in Melbourne ended in a draw. "It's been a great couple of months. The cricket we've played has been outstanding," Australia captain Steve Smith said.
Root was too sick to attend the post-match presentation so Jimmy Anderson deputized for him, telling the crowd his team had been thoroughly beaten over the series. "To be honest, we've been outplayed in the key moments of each game. We've been in the games to an extent, but we've just not been able to capitalize on the opportunities," Anderson said. "Credit to Steve (Smith) and his team, they've played fantastically well throughout the series and were the far better side.”
Root missed Monday's start of play after being taken to hospital before the resumption because of a stomach bug, and although he did come out and bat through to lunch, briefly giving the embattled tourists hope of salvaging a draw, he did not return for the second session.
With Root absent, Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins blew away the lower order after the interval to finish with 4-39 and earn the player of the match award, while spinner Nathan Lyon took 3-54.
Moeen Ali joined Jonny Bairstow at the crease at the start of the day, with England resuming on 93-4, after Root arrived late to the ground still recovering after suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea.
Ali, who has had a mostly torrid series with bat and ball, survived for 43 balls before being trapped leg before wicket by Lyon for Australia's only breakthrough before lunch.
It was the seventh time in nine innings that Ali has been dismissed by the Australian spinner. Root received a standing ovation from the crowd as he made his way to the middle, and despite feeling unwell, he appeared composed at the crease and quickly raised his fifth half-century of the series came with a flick to fine leg off Lyon for three. Root and Bairstow safely steered the tourists to lunch, but when the English skipper failed to reappear at the re-start, England's demise came about quickly.