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Australia completes Ashes rout of England

updated 1:20 PM EST, Sun January 5, 2014
Australia did a lot of celebrating during the Ashes cricket series, beating England 5-0.
Australia did a lot of celebrating during the Ashes cricket series, beating England 5-0.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Australia finishes off England in the Ashes, clinching the fifth Test on the third day
  • The host wins by a whopping 281 runs at the Sydney Cricket Ground
  • It was the third time Australia beat England 5-0 after victories in 1921 and 2007
  • Pace bowler Mitchell Johnson was named man of the series, taking 37 wickets

(CNN) -- Australia reclaimed the Ashes cricket series in the middle of December but was then seeking to pull off a 5-0 rout.

It did just that Sunday in Sydney with another lopsided victory.

The Aussies, humbled by England in the most recent European summer and battered in India months earlier, prevailed by 281 runs with greater than two days to spare.

It was only the third time since the late 1800s Australia triumphed 5-0.

"It's an extremely special occasion," Australian captain Michael Clarke, on the team that thumped England by the same margin in 2006-2007, told reporters. "We couldn't foresee 5-0 after the England series, but I said then the work we were putting in behind the scenes, we were going to get the rewards."

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"The bowlers have done a fantastic job. I told them before the Test that they were the best attack in the world, and I think they've earned that mantle."

Indeed a pace bowler, Mitchell Johnson, was named man of the series after claiming 37 wickets and Ryan Harris, his fellow fast bowler, took man-of-the-match honors by taking eight wickets.

Australia won the first Test by 381 runs, second Test by 218 runs, third Test by 150 runs and fourth Test by eight wickets.

"The start of 2013 didn't go anywhere near as well as we'd have liked," said Clarke. "I think that's what feels so satisfying at the moment, that we've been able to turn things around."

England wasn't feeling as good and captain Alastair Cook -- who prior to the series seemingly could do little wrong -- is now facing heavy criticism.

"Australia's bowling has been outstanding," England coach Andy Flower told Sky Sports. "Johnson's pace has been a huge difference between the two sides.

"To be frank, the pace rocked the batting order in the first Test and we never quite recovered. I, as leader along with Alastair, we have to analyze the decisions we have made.

"We haven't scored heavy runs -- anything above 400 -- for a very long time."

Read: World record crowd at MCG

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