Joe Root invited Australia to bat first at the at the Adelaide Oval, and none of the hosts' top-order batsmen could convert their 40s and 50s into a big hundred to lay a solid foundation for a first innings lead. "Unfortunately losing the two early wickets really hampered our chances", Root said.
The threat of an historic England win had evaporated within the first 15 minutes of the final day's play, when both Chris Woakes and England's great hope Joe Root had been dismissed by Josh Hazlewood.
Moeen Ali was then out leg before to Nathan Lyon attempting to sweep the ball across the line, before Mitchell Starc's pace accounted for Craig Overton and Stuart Broad.
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Steve Smith will no doubt still face questions over his decision not to enforce the follow on two days ago, but for all but the most stubborn doubters, this victory ought to have vindicated the Aussie captain.
Root left the field on his overnight score of 67 and with him England's hopes vanished.
"I thought the way we responded with ball and bat in the second innings was outstanding, especially the way we played last night (Tuesday) in those conditions".
"I don't think there's real need to panic", he said.
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The Barmy Army was still singing Jerusalem, as is its wont before the second ball of each day, when Woakes got the thinnest of edges behind to a very good delivery.
"We're still massively in the series". However, England could add only 47 runs on the fifth day as they lost six wickets.
It was only Jonny Bairstow who contributed a significant 36 runs on the last day but the lower order of England could not stand for long against Starc who clinched five wickets for Australia, including the crucial wickets of Mark Stoneman and James Vince.
Skipper Root led a spirited English fightback and relished the challenge of a record run chase with a fighting unbeaten half-century.
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The winning moment for Australia!