Sports Mole's Ashes awards

Sports Mole dishes out a handful of awards following the conclusion of The Ashes.

So, after seven weeks and five Test matches, another Ashes series has been and gone.

What's more, England are starting to get used to this winning lark! They've now claimed the famous little urn on each of the last three occasions.

This time around they won through 3-0 thanks to successes at Trent Bridge, Lord's and the Riverside Ground, with wet conditions meaning that the contests at Old Trafford and The Oval ended in draws.

With the dust having now started to settle and no doubt a few sore heads among the England squad today, Sports Mole has looked back over the entire series to hand out a set of our own awards.

Best batsman

To be frank, this was one of the easiest decisions to make. Ian Bell came into the series under a bit of pressure, from the media mainly, but he proved the doubters wrong immediately with a 109 during the second innings at Trent Bridge. Another century followed at Lord's to help him end the 2013 Ashes as the leading run scorer with 562 at an average of 62.44.

Ian Bell celebrates his century at Trent Bridge.© Getty Images

Best bowler

The easy pick here would be Graeme Swann. After all, the England spinner took more wickets (26) than any other bowler. However, just two victims behind was Australia's Ryan Harris, who has just pipped his English counterpart. The 33-year-old missed the first Test, but he returned to play the final four - a feat that he has never previously achieved. He may not be the most fluent and athletic of bowlers, but he troubled the England batsmen more than any other Aussie bowler.

Most disappointing

It's hard to split Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott or Matt Prior for this one, so the English trio can share it. Much was expected of these three, such are the standards that they have previously set. So, for none of them to make a century was a major disappointment. Without doubt their time will come again, but on a personal level they will not look back on this series with great fondness.

England's Alastair Cook walks off the field after losing his wicket during day 5 of the 3rd Ashes Test on August 5, 2013© Getty Images

Most surprising

In the previous Ashes series Down Under, Steven Smith failed to make more than 54 runs. As a result, not too much was expected from the Aussie this time around. His performances at Lord's and Chester-le-Street were ones to forget, but in Manchester he showed his credentials with an 89. It got even better when he produced his best ever Test score of 138 at The Oval. It's a positive for Australia ahead of the return series.

Best delivery

Even now Michael Clarke is bound to be confused as to how James Anderson managed to remove him at Trent Bridge. It pitched at a decent length, when all of a sudden the ball shaped away at the right moment to kiss Clarke's off-stump. The Aussie captain walked off stunned.

James Anderson celebrates taking the wicket of Michael Clarke.© Getty Images

Best catch

It appeared that Peter Siddle was going to guide Australia to victory alongside Brad Haddin during the opening Test in Nottingham, but he was removed in the closing stages thanks to a fantastic catch by England skipper Cook off the bowling of Anderson.

Best moment

Before a ball had been bowled, drama had already unfolded. In Nottingham, Australia had picked Ashton Agar (who?) as their spinning option ahead of Nathan Lyon. The youngster's bowling was poor in all honesty, but his knock of 98 on his debut was one of the best moments in recent Ashes history. It made the Test competitive because without that contribution, Australia would have been faced with the follow-on.

England celebrate winning the Ashes at Chester-le-Street on August 12, 2013
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