Summer Of Cricket
Top Tens Ashes Special
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Top Ten - Ashes highlights

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Some notable milestones from England v Australia clashes

The Ashes has never been short of drama. We take a look back at some notable milestones from England v Australia clashes.


Legendary Australian batsman Don Bradman required just four runs from the final innings of his career in the fifth Test at The Oval to average 100 in Test cricket. But Bradman's quest was cut short when leg-spinner Eric Hollies bowled him for a second-ball duck. Bradman finished with a batting average of 99.94. Cricket almanac Wisden lauded Bradman as "the greatest phenomenon in the history of cricket, indeed in the history of all ball games".


At Manchester in the fourth Test of a series England won 2-1, off-spinner Laker achieved something which will surely never be equalled or bettered when he took 10 wickets in the second innings to end with an incredible match haul of 19. Anil Kumble has since become the second bowler to take all 10 in a Test innings, while Muttiah Muralithaan has bagged an exceptional 17 in a match. Laker, though, stands alone - and probably always will. He had conditions in his favour on a dusty, near grassless surface against opponents with little experience or expertise for off-breaks. At the other end, Laker's spin twin Tony Lock bowled superbly too - but his left-arm orthodox was less of a mystery to the Australians, and his reward was the only wicket which eluded his team-mate.


Massie's fast swing bowling tore England to shreds, as he claimed match figures of 16 for 137 in the second Test at Lord's. Massie - who played just a further five Tests for Australia - took the scalps of Alan Knott, Ray Illingworth and John Snow in both innings. Massie's outstanding debut helped Australia draw the series 2-2 and retain the Ashes.


Doug Walters completed a dramatic century in a session, including a hook off Bob Willis for six. Walters, who hailed from a dairy farm outside Dungong in New South Wales, scored 15 Test centuries but none on his four Ashes tours.


After abandoning Test cricket for four years, Geoffrey Boycott returned in 1977 and notched his 100th first-class century against Australia in the fourth Test at Headingley with 191. The Yorkshireman, one of the finest opening batsmen in history, scored 22 Test centuries and averaged 54.57.


An heroic performance from legendary all-rounder Ian Botham handed England a 2-1 advantage in the fourth Test at Edgbaston. 'Beefy' produced an amazing spell and took five wickets for one run in 28 balls to reduce Australia - chasing 151 - from 105 for five to 122 all out. It was no surprise Botham was named man of the series, after the influential all-rounder plundered 399 runs - including his match-transforming 149 not out at Headingley - and bagged 34 wickets.


Australia were just four runs away from regaining the Ashes after a scintillating partnership between Allan Border and Jeff Thomson. In the 250th Ashes Test, the pair put on 70 for the last wicket before Thomson edged Ian Botham's delivery to second slip. Initially, Thomson was dropped by Chris Tavare - but Geoff Cook caught the rebound.


England's best player of spin, Mike Gatting, was at the crease as Shane Warne stepped up to send down his first delivery in an Ashes series in the opening Test at Old Trafford. Warne completely bamboozled Gatting with a vicious, dipping leg-break which pitched on or just outside leg-stump and clipped off. A pumped-up and animated Warne clenched his fist in realisation that Gatting's wicket was a defining moment in his career. Gatting dubbed Warne's delivery the 'Ball of the Century.'


Yet again, Warne was England's tormentor-in-chief. The mercurial leg-spinner terrorised the tourists on a fifth-day pitch in the second Test at the MCG and dismissed Phil DeFreitas, Darren Gough and Devon Malcolm with three consecutive balls. It was the first hat-trick by an Australian in an Ashes Test for more than 90 years. England were bowled out for 92 and lost by 295 runs.


Although Australia led 4-0 going into the fifth Test at the SCG, captain Steve Waugh's form was under the microscope after just two-half centuries in the series. But the experienced middle-order batsman strolled to the crease with his team in trouble at 56 for three and compiled a breath-taking century in three hours. However, Waugh's 102 could not prevent England from winning the fifth and final Test by 225 runs. Waugh completed his last Ashes century with a boundary off the last ball of the day from off-spinner Richard Dawson.


The spirit of cricket was illustrated at the end of the second Test at Edgbaston - one of the greatest matches of all time. While England's players celebrated after clinching a nail-biting two-run win over their arch enemies, Andrew Flintoff - their lynchpin all-rounder - took time out to console Australia's devastated not-out batsman Brett Lee. In a thrilling, topsy-turvy Test, it was a great gesture of sportsmanship from Flintoff.

Comments (1)

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Allan Gobey says...

I always thought it was Geoff Miller that caught the Tavare fumble.

Posted 20:48 7th July 2009

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