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As the post-mortem from the 2009 Ashes series begins, skysports.com looks back at 10 critical moments from another enthralling series between England and Australia.
Wales' first Test went down to the wire as England staged a remarkable rearguard action to salvage a draw in the series opener. James Anderson and Monty Panesar were the unlikely batting heroes as their last-wicket partnership held out for 11.3 overs to inch England into a lead to leave Australia with insufficient time to complete the job. Their heroics were made possible by Paul Collingwood, who batted stubbornly on a tense final day to score a gritty 74.
England took charge on the opening day at Lord's thanks to a superb 161 from captain Andrew Strauss. After putting on 196 for the first wicket with Alastair Cook, Strauss might have hoped for more than 425 on what seemed a good batting surface but it proved wonderfully sufficient due to the efforts of his bowlers.
The first innings at Lord's appeared to be following a similar pattern to that at Cardiff as England failed to make the most of a solid start but this time Australia could not capitalise. Anderson produced a superb spell of swing bowling as Australia slumped to 156-8 on the second day. They battled on to 215 and Strauss chose not to enforce the follow on but Anderson's 4-55 had put the hosts in control.
It always seemed most unlikely Australia could chase down 522 at Lord's but a stand of 185 for the sixth wicket between Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin gave them an outside chance. Andrew Flintoff, however, bowled outstandingly to them as they held out on the fourth evening and they could not stay firm on the final day. Graeme Swann claimed the crucial wicket of Clarke but Flintoff's performance, finishing with 5-92, was colossal.
After torrential rain left the Edgbaston outfield sodden, the third Test at Edgbaston looked destined for a draw after the first three days. However, after England had opened up a first-innings lead of 113, the home fans started dreaming of an unlikely victory. Then, with the Aussies still 61 runs behind in their second innings, Graeme Swann produced the ball of the series to clean bowl Ricky Ponting late on day four.
Trailing the series 1-0 following defeat at Lord's and in grave danger of slipping further behind at Edgbaston, Australia vice-captain launched a brilliant counter-attack to force a draw. Perilously poised on 161-4 in the second innings - a lead of just 48, Clarke and Marcus North held their nerve with a match-saving 185-run partnership to frustrate England. Clarke made an unbeaten 103 - his second century of the series.
Not so much a moment as a debacle as England produced one of their worst performances it recent memory to surrender their lead in the series. The tone was set from the first ball, when Strauss should have been out lbw, and England never improved. Australia's winning margin - an innings and 80 runs - if anything flattered England.
With the winner-takes-all fifth Test tantalisingly poised, Stuart Broad was handed the ball at The Oval with Australia going well in response to England's first-innings score of 332. However, 73-0 became 111-7 in the blink of an eye as Broad ripped through the Australia top-order before finishing with figures of 5-37 to put England within touching distance of Ashes glory.
Jonathan Trott was thrown into the Ashes arena under the most pressurised of circumstances and he responded in style. After making a solid 41 in the first innings, the Warwickshire batsman became the first England player since Graham Thorpe in 1993 to score a century on debut in the second innings. His 119 took the game away from Australia after England had been reduced to 39-3 late on day three.
Flintoff may not have contributed much in his farewell Test with bat or ball, but he produced the defining moment of the five days when he ran out Australia skipper Ricky Ponting on the fourth afternoon. His direct-hit ended a 127-run partnership between the Aussie skipper and Mike Hussey and moved England a step closer to victory.