Aussies struck by ugly 18-year curse despite retaining the Ashes

Tim Paine's Ashes ended with a failed review as England recorded a consolatory 135-run win in the fifth Test at the Oval, where Australia had to settle for a drawn series despite Matthew Wade's fighting ton.

The tourists retained the urn with an epic victory at Old Trafford but backed it up with their worst performance of the five-Test series, which finished level at 2-2.

‘SHUT UP’: Test great slams Aussies over Ashes 'rubbish'

England seized control of the series finale and set an imposing target of 399 on Sunday morning.

Steve Smith fell for 23 before Wade threatened to drag the contest into its final day with a gusty knock of 117.

Australia players celebrate retaining the Ashes at the end of the fifth Test. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

The Tasmanian's resistance ended when stumped off the bowling of Joe Root late in the final session, while England's captain grabbed two catches in the next over to roll the visitors for 263 at 6.10pm (local time).

The result means Australia's search for their first Ashes series win in England since 2001 will continue until at least 2023.

Aussies rue missed opportunity

Paine's decision to bowl first, when coach Justin Langer and personal mentor Ricky Ponting were among those regarding it as a bat-first pitch, was the first of many turning points.

A stack of dropped catches and sloppy dismissals put England in the box seat for victory.

Stuart Broad claimed the prized scalp of Smith on day four to finish with figures of 4-62; and 23 wickets for the series.

Broad became the first Englishman to snare at least 20 scalps in four different Ashes series, while Jack Leach cleaned up the tail in a haul of 4-49.

Matthew Wade celebrates his century in the fifth Ashes Test. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

England ran out of reviews after 49 overs, hence the desperation in Leach's appeal when he trapped Paine lbw in the 56th over.

Umpire Kumar Dharmasena took a long time but eventually raised his finger, marking the beginning of the end for Australia.

Paine referred the on-field call, extending what he termed a nightmare series when it came to using the Decision Review System (DRS).

For Australia to be any chance of completing a chase far more tricky than that of 359, which Ben Stokes overhauled in a stunning six-laden rampage during the third Test, a lot was going to have to go right.

It didn't.

England finally figured out Steve Smith. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Broad tormented David Warner and found his edge one last time, ensuring the former vice-captain's first Test series since the Cape Town cheating scandal was one of record-breaking woes.

Warner managed just 95 runs in this Ashes; the lowest tally by an opener from 10 innings in any series in the history of Test cricket.

Smith hung around long enough to register one final milestone, bringing his series tally to 774 runs from seven innings at 110.57.

It capped the most prolific series of the superstar's life.

Stokes clutched a diving catch at leg gully to snap Smith's streak of 10 consecutive 50-plus scores against England.

Wade, who bettered express paceman Jofra Archer in a thrilling and fiery battle after tea, dragged his team from 4-85 to 8-260 but Root had far too many runs to play with.