Man of the Match Stuart Broad turned the tide with his first innings 5-37, as England beat Australia by 197 runs to win the Ashes 2-1.
Graeme Swann sealed England’s eventual victory, with Michael Hussey’s wicket, caught at short leg by Alastair Cook, as the Brit Oval erupted.
Hussey’s obdurate 121, his first century in 28 innings, was not enough to hold up England regaining the urn.
Australia began the day 80-0, chasing 546 for the largest fourth innings run chase in Test history, but lost wickets in clusters throughout.
Simon Katich was the first to fall; lbw shouldering arms to a quicker arm ball from Swann from round the wicket.
His opening partner Shane Watson departed just four balls later, lbw to the irrepressible Broad.
Australia rebuilt cautiously through Hussey and Ricky Ponting, welcomed to the crease by a standing ovation in what is expected to be his last Ashes test on English soil.
But there was to be no last hurrah for the Australian captain.
As Hussey and Ponting grew in fluency with Australia 217-2, Hussey attempted a quick single to Andrew Flintoff’s left at mid-on.
Flintoff’s injury may have slowed his approach to pick up the ball, but his throw was as flat and accurate as ever, flattening the stumps with Ponting still six inches short.
Fred’s mark on his last Test may not have been as indelible as a final innings five-for or dream hundred, but his run-out shifted the momentum towards the home side.
And opportunist fielding from Man of the Series Andrew Strauss also accounted for Michael Clarke, for a duck.
Clarke clipped the ball of his pads only for it to ricochet off Cook’s boot at short-leg. Strauss reacted quickest, under-arming the ball into the stumps as Clarke dragged his back leg looking for the single.
Marcus North fell next on 10; Swann getting the ball to rear sharply out of the rough, for Matt Prior to whip off the bails with North out of his ground.
Brad Haddin lived by the sword in a counter-attacking 34, only to die with idiomatic accuracy, snaffled in the deep by Strauss off Swann.
The procession of Australian wickets only quickened with Steve Harmison’s re-introduction to the bowling.
First Paul Collingwood pouched Mitchell Johnson’s outside edge for nought, before Peter Siddle’s leading edge nestled in Flintoff’s bucket hands at mid-off.
Stuart Clark’s innings was short-lived – caught at short leg by Cook first ball to leave Harmison on a hat-trick with just one wicket needed for victory.
Ben Hilfenhaus had not read the script as the Brit Oval roared on the Durham man’s loping approach, only for the number eleven to block Harmison’s yorker.
The expectant crowd were not made to wait however, as Swann picked up top-scoring Hussey to spark scenes of jubilation across Surrey HQ.
Australia will consider themselves unfortunate to lose 2-1 with the top three series wicket-takers in their ranks, as well as eight centuries to England’s two.
But for queen and country, it was a case of cometh the hour; cometh the men, as each team member contributed when needed to.
None more so than Broad; whose awe-inspiring 12-over burst in the first dig ripped through the Australian top order and deservedly ‘urn’-ed him the Man of the Match award.