Strauss's England worthy winners
Aesthetically, could it have been more perfect? Standing all alone at mid-on, arms and legs spread wide, the thunder and the adulation of the crowd all his. No-one else blocking his sun, just as Andrew Flintoff likes it.
Flintoff, labouring like a busted carthorse, knew he wasn't going to conjure anything with his bowling in his final Test, so he decided to conjure something in the field instead. Pipe down, Broady, I'm not done just yet.
It could be said that England regained the Ashes by less than an inch. The run-out of Ricky Ponting by Flintoff, that of Michael Clarke by Andrew Strauss, the stumping of Marcus North by Matt Prior, such is the infinitesimal dividing line between glory and failure, in this bonkers series at least.
No Australian run-outs in the series before Sunday. "Chuck a couple in when they least expect it," the cricketing gods, who had presumably built up a surplus of bolts from the blue prior to this series, must have been thinking.
England's fans had been getting twitchy. Former skipper Graham Gooch, with Australia, chasing 546, on 217-2, thought they might just do it. But he hadn't factored in Flintoff's gargantuan ego.
Australia captain Ponting, playing perhaps his final innings on English soil, had been looking immovable, a colossal boulder blocking the path to England's Ashes glory. It was going to take an almighty shove to move him. But that's what Flintoff does, provide almighty shoves.
Everything about the run-out of Ponting was beautiful, from an England point of view. The stalk, the stoop, the throw, as if Flintoff was skimming a stone. One stump cartwheeling. Ponting out by almost nothing - the littler the better.
The Oval crowd gave Ponting a standing ovation, proving what many had been saying all along, that all that booing and stuff was just banter. Nothing to get too worked up about, your common or garden England fan just likes a spot of panto, they can be reverential when they want to.
There were a couple of, frankly, hilarious articles in the Aussie media on Saturday bemoaning the state of The Oval pitch. Tough to bat on, yes, but the journalists in question seemed to have failed to notice the three scores of more than 300. Not the groundsman's fault Australia horlicksed it all up in the space of a couple of hours on Friday.
So dry you could almost hear it groaning for water, Mike Hussey made hay on a charred Oval deck, getting his nose to the grindstone and shaping a magnificent ton.
Again, when Hussey and Haddin put on 91 for the sixth wicket, you thought Australia might achieve the impossible. Then Haddin clipped Graeme Swann to Strauss at mid-wicket and England's fans could breathe again.
Any unwitting American tourists strolling through south London would have got a fearful start when the final wicket fell. "Not sure honey, must be some kind of rock concert." The England players ran in circles, not entirely sure what they should do or where they were heading. That's what beating Australia does to you.
Swann it was, ploughing through 40.2 overs in Australia's second innings and taking eight wickets in the match, who polished things off. Meanwhile, Nathan Hauritz, Australia's front-line spinner, was given five days off.
Baffling decision by Ponting, and you have to say he has been out-captained in this series. The first Australian to lose two Ashes series on English soil since Billy Murdoch in 1890. Murdoch ended up playing for England. I wonder would Ponting consider doing the same? It would certainly solve England's problems at number three.
Ponting didn't have much luck, with Brett Lee injured, Mitchell Johnson misfiring and the rain playing a part in Cardiff. Some in the Aussie media will be calling for his head. The heat will be intense. Don't worry, Ricky, at least the English public seems to have warmed to you.
As Ponting pointed out after the match was over, people will look at the player statistics and averages in years to come and be baffled. But he was big enough to admit that England had won the "big moments" and were the worthy winners.
As Strauss had it, "when we were bad we were very bad, and when we were good we managed to be good enough".
Trott's very inclusion was testament to cool heads in the England hierarchy. With others screaming for Mark Ramprakash and Robert Key after the debacle at Headingley, Strauss and coach Andy Flower stared the melodramatics down and dealt them the Warwickshire rock instead.
Strauss, occasionally Lord Brocket to his team-mates, has gravel in his guts, despite the unthreatening public school exterior. Most of the best Aussie skippers are gnarled and leathery, just as most of the best England skippers are slightly refined.
Strauss took on the toughest job in sport with England in chaos after the Kevin Pietersen-Peter Moores affair. But, with the understated touch of a Brearley, he has steered them out of the storm and onto the promised land.
There are still cracks in this England side, make no mistake. But their fans won't care a jot at the moment. If I were you I'd join the England boys for a couple of beers. You've all had a fright. It's been another scary old series.