Sydney: Australia thrashed England by 10 wickets in the fifth Test on Friday to complete their first Ashes whitewash in 86 years and send the retiring Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer out in a blaze of glory.
Australia wrapped up another crushing victory with a day and a half to spare at the Sydney Cricket Ground when Matthew Hayden struck the winning run 12 minutes before lunch on the fourth day and spark one of the biggest farewell parties in cricket history.
"To finish off the way we have today, 5-0, is a sensational way to do it," Warne said.
"It's just a pleasure to play with someone like Glenn McGrath, the same with all the guys, it's been a pleasure and honour."
Langer, who was unbeaten on 20 when Hayden took Australia to their victory target of 46 inside 11 overs, said there was no better way for the trio to end their Test careers.
"We've been so determined to win this series and win it so well...it's the perfect time to let go of it."
England skipper Andrew Flintoff was gracious in defeat after leading the first English team to lose an Ashes series 5-0 since 1920-21.
"The first Test match at the Gabba you came at us hard and ever since then you've hit us hard," Flintoff said.
"You thoroughly deserve your victory and we'd like to congratulate you."
England started the fourth day on 114 for five and leading by just 12 runs but any hopes of a miracle disappeared when they lost their last five wickets for 33 runs to be all out for 147.
McGrath picked up three of the last five wickets in his final Test before retiring to lift his career tally to 563, the most by any fast bowler.
World record holder Warne was thrown the ball after the ninth wicket fell but failed to add to his once unimaginable tally of 708, the final one coming when he had Flintoff stumped late on Thursday.
Kevin Pietersen, England's last recognised batsman, departed to the third ball of the day when he edged a simple catch off McGrath to wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist without adding to his overnight score of 29.
Nightwatchman Monty Panesar was dismissed for his second duck in the match when he was run out by a direct hit from Andrew Symonds.
Wicketkeeper Chris Read hit one boundary but failed to score again before edging Brett Lee into the safe hands of Ponting at second slip.
McGrath clean bowled Sajid Mahmood for four then finished off the innings when he had James Anderson caught by Mike Hussey at mid-on for five, leaving Steve Harmison stranded on 16.
Australia's reply with the bat was swift and effective.
Hayden and Langer, statistically Australia's greatest ever opening partnership, started cautiously to ensure there were no mishaps but were quickly into their stride.
Both left-handers smacked two boundaries before Hayden went in for the kill, belting Mahmood over the fence for six to tie the scores then flicking a single behind point to seal victory and ignite the party.
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