Ashes 2009, 5th Test, The Oval
England (332 and 373 for nine declared) beat Australia (160 and 348) by 197 runs
Following their capitulation at Headingley, the big question ahead of the final Test at The Oval was whether England would be able to bounce back and claim the victory that would see them regain the Ashes.
They answered it in glorious fashion - completing a comprehensive win in the final session of day four to spark frenzied celebrations across the country.
England’s team selection had been the subject of much debate in the lead-up to the game, but in the end there were only two changes to the side beaten so heavily in Leeds.
Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott made his Test debut in place of the out-of-sorts Ravi Bopara, while Andrew Flintoff returned from injury at the expense of Graham Onions.
Australia stuck with the same XI, which meant Nathan Hauritz was once again omitted on a track expected to suit the spinners.
There was little to separate the two sides on day one as England closed on 307 for eight.
Skipper Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell each contributed valuable half-centuries to get the home side off to a solid start, but Australia responded with five wickets in the evening session to leave the match evenly poised.
England added a further 25 on the second morning and the tourists made a safe start to their reply as they reached 61 without loss at lunch.
However, Stuart Broad then sparked a sensational collapse, the seamer picking up four wickets for eight runs at one stage on his way to figures of 5-37.
Graeme Swann also chipped in with four scalps as Australia crumbled to 160 all out - a first-innings deficit of 172.
England were now within touching distance of glory, but were forced to endure a scare when they slipped to 58 for three by the end of day two.
Any concerns were put to bed in emphatic fashion on the following day as Strauss and Trott led their team to a position of total dominance.
The captain batted superbly for his 75, but it was debutant Trott who stole the show with a magnificent 119 in only his second innings as a Test cricketer.
His dismissal prompted England’s declaration on 373 for nine - a commanding lead of 545 - with more than two days of play still to come.
Australia refused to go down without a fight and a third-wicket stand of 137 between Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey did little to ease the nerves of the home support.
In his final Test, it was to be Flintoff who made the key breakthrough, running out Ponting with a powerful throw from mid-on before soaking up the enthusiastic congratulations of his team-mates.
England moved in for the kill thereafter, with Swann and Steve Harmison to the fore, and when the former eventually removed Hussey - caught by Alastair Cook at short-leg for a valiant 121 - the Ashes were secured.