Attacking cricket from Australia and England left all three results just about possible on the final evening of the Investec Ashes.
It was an unlikely scenario after a turgid third day and a fourth washed out by rain, but at tea the tourists, 3-0 down in the series, declared after increasing their lead to 226, leaving England a tantalising chase with 44 overs still left in the day.
With a lead of 115 as they started their second innings, Australia rejigged their batting order but enjoyed qualified success as regular wickets left them 111 for six at tea, with captain Michael Clarke then promptly declaring.
Stuart Broad was the primary beneficiary, claiming four for 43.
England had scored briskly in the first part of the day, adding 130 in good time to finish 377 all out.
Having wrapped up the England innings, Australia needed to advance the game at pace if they were to have any chance of setting up any result other than a draw.
The signs were positive, David Warner and Shane Watson opening with the more defensive Chris Rogers stood down, but the first five overs yielded just seven runs, hardly an electric effort.
Watson might even have gone for a nine-ball duck had Broad held a simple catch off James Anderson.
If the drop left Anderson unamused, the fact that Watson scored 16 off his next over rubbed salt into the wounds.
When he did make the breakthrough it was all his own work, pounding Warner's splice and taking a stunning one handed catch mid follow through.
Graeme Swann needed just seven balls to join the fun, Watson falling to a steepling catch from Kevin Pietersen at long on.
Australia's revised batting order, cobbled together on a seemingly ad-hoc basis, saw James Faulkner and Brad Haddin sent in at three and four.
It was inventive, though hardly a roaring success.
Broad dismissed both men, Haddin first ball and Faulkner for a bright 22, to leave the score 67 for four.
Australia continued their devil-may-care approach, Broad happily cashing in with the wickets of Steve Smith and Ryan Harris in four overs.
Smith's dismissal was the mirror of Watson, while Harris was castled by a yorker.
Clarke managed 28 not out at a run a ball, to keep the score moving before tea.
England's aggressive batting in the morning session was somewhere between provocative and perverse, having so defiantly ground the innings down on day three.
Their top order crawled along at a shade more than two runs an over then, cynically - though understandably given their 3-0 series lead - strangling much of the life from the game.
Here, they romped along with 103 runs in 21 overs before lunch.
Both not out batsmen had plenty to play for with Ian Bell hoping to become the fourth player in history to make four Ashes centuries and Chris Woakes with a chance to make an impression on debut.
Neither succeeded, Woakes gone for 25 when he nicked Harris to slip and Bell reaching 45 before becoming Faulkner's first Test victim, feathering one down leg side.
By that point England had already passed the declaration figure of 293, denying Australia the most obvious prospect of pushing for an unlikely result.
Matt Prior and Swann were most at ease with the advanced tempo, freeing their arms either side of interval.
Prior made 47 in 57 balls, with eight boundaries, while Swann raced to 34 in 24 deliveries - including a six off Nathan Lyon.
Both fell to Faulkner, who finished with four wickets, while Haddin held Anderson for his 28th catch of the series - levelling the world record.