Australia secured a consolation victory in the final Test by an innings and 46 runs on Sunday before England captain Alastair Cook lifted the Ashes urn at the end of a dramatic and fluctuating series.
Australia skipper Michael Clarke celebrated an emphatic win on a rain-disrupted fourth day of his final Test match, Peter Siddle proving the inspiration with figures of 4-35 as England were bowled out for 286 at The Oval.
“I am proud of the way we played here, showing grit and determination and playing cricket the Australian way,” Clarke told reporters.
“Congratulations to England, they thoroughly deserved to win the series. Today was not about me but about the team and I am incredibly proud to have been their captain.”
Cook could not conceal his delight at winning the series 3-2 after losing 5-0 in Australia in 2013-14.
“We can’t let this loss take the gloss off a special summer,” a beaming Cook said before being presented with the urn.
“Credit to Australia and the character they showed to bounce back here. They have shown what a good team they are and to have beaten them three times is a credit to our guys.
“The fact we were underdogs before the series helped us. We were able to play with a bit of freedom and put them under pressure at crucial times.”
England, 203 for six overnight, lost their first wicket of the day when Mark Wood was trapped lbw by Siddle for six, the Australians winning a review after the umpire initially ruled it not out.
Jos Buttler, on 42, played a loose drive at Mitchell Marsh and was well caught low down by Mitchell Starc at extra cover before Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad dug in ahead of the forecast rain which arrived 45 minutes before the scheduled lunch interval.
The hosts resumed in the afternoon after more than two hours play was lost to the weather on 258 for eight and Siddle soon bowled Broad for 11.
Siddle had Moeen caught by wicketkeeper Peter Nevill for 35 to clinch victory and the Australian players gave Clarke a guard of honour as he led them off the field for the final time.