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England crush Australia to take Ashes series

Sydney: Dominant England claimed their first Ashes series in Australia for 24 years with their third innings victory over the home team in the final Sydney Test today.

England wrapped up an innings and 83-run victory early on the last day after victory was assured when they had Australia seven wickets down on Thursday’s close.

It was England’s first series victory Down Under since Mike Gatting’s team beat Australia 2-1 in 1986-87.

The tourists posted their highest-ever score in Australia on 644 and dismissed the hapless hosts for 280 and 281.

It was probably England’s most comprehensive performance of the series with Alastair Cook (189), Matt Prior (118) and Ian Bell (115) all claiming centuries in an overpowering first innings lasting 177.5 overs and 758 minutes.

Their bowlers, led by leading series wicket-taker James Anderson, exposed the gulf between the two attacks by dismissing Australia cheaply again.

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