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Fans enjoy huge Ashes victory party

England cricket fans will be singing in the streets of Sydney this weekend after Andrew Strauss's men trounced Australia in the fifth and final Test match to win the Ashes series.

The travelling supporters rocked the stands of the Sydney Cricket Ground when they got celebrations started as the tourists claimed their first series win in Australia for 24 years.

Paul Burnham, founder of the Barmy Army, said the party would probably go on for days.

"It's going to be massive," he said. "There is the Barmy Army and all the expats living here. We are heading into the weekend, so I am sure this will go on for two or three days."

England had already got their hands on the precious little urn on December 29, after they won the fourth Test to take an unassailable 2-1 lead - but this triumph sealed the series.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the "whole country is incredibly proud", after England inflicted the crushing innings and 83 run-defeat on the hosts to sew up the historic 3-1 victory. The tourists' first series win Down Under since 1987 triggered wild scenes of jubilation among the players and the 10,000 supporters, who took to the streets of the city for a mammoth celebration.

England had put the home side in a hopeless position going into the final day after achieving their highest-ever team total in Australia, with a first innings score of 644 all out. Bowler Chris Tremlett sparked the euphoria when he took the last Australian wicket just before 1am UK time, dismissing Australian batsmen Michael Beer, to send the England players into a joyous huddle.

Mr Cameron said: I've spoken to Andrew Strauss this morning and congratulated the team, coaches and everyone behind the side on this tremendous victory. Retaining the Ashes was a fantastic achievement, but winning the series really is the icing on the cake. We've seen some great sporting moments over the series and the team have provided us with some brilliant memories that I'm sure fans will talk about for years to come."

Thousands of supporters made the 24-hour journey Down Under in the hope England could do what Mike Gatting's side achieved almost a quarter of a century ago. Once the SCG was emptied of the boisterous away crowd, the England players gathered to enjoy beers and cigars in the middle of the ground.

Australia's post-mortem begins now, and the media has been unforgiving about the embarrassing nature of the loss. One paper labelled the current team "Our worst XI". England will remain in Australia for several more weeks for a series of T20 and one-day games.


From Belfast Telegraph