Top Ten dismissals
There have been thousands of wickets taken in more than a century of Ashes clashes down the years but some stand out more than others. Oli Burley takes a look at ten that will live long in the memory.
Last Updated: 03/06/13 5:30pm
We're counting down to a summer of Ashes cricket on Sky Sports. As we get ever closer to the 2013 series, we take a look back at the most memorable - and often the pivotal - wickets to fall in England/Australia clashes of yesteryear.
Don Bradman, August 1948
He may have a stand named after him at Edgbaston, but Eric Hollies is chiefly remembered for one ball at the Oval. When Don Bradman walked to the crease in his final innings needing four runs to finish with a Test average of 100 few, if any, expected him to fail. But he didn't spot the Warwickshire leg-spinner's googly and was castled for a second-ball duck. Cue stunned silence around Kennington. An emotional Bradman exited stage pavilion to ever-growing applause but stranded on 99.94.
Australia - bar one, 1956
Not so much one dismissal as 19! Australia got a taste of what was to come when Laker, bowling for Surrey, bagged 10-88 in one innings against the tourists - a tremendous feat in itself. But he saved his best for the Test arena, creating carnage at Old Trafford. With Tony Lock finding extravagant turn at one end, Laker produced one of the most incredible displays in cricket history by claiming 9-37 in the first innings and 10-53 in the second. Unsurprisingly, England went on to win the match by the small matter of an innings and 170 runs.
Geoffrey Boycott, 1972
It's tough to work out what's more surprising - Bob Massie's assertion that Boycott was playing across the line or the impact of his Test debut. Certainly the latter stunned Lord's. Massie's early success against England's opener on the first morning was the prelude to a mauling as he helped himself to 16 wickets in the match and propelled Australia to an eight-wicket win in the process. It was a massive Massie milestone.
Ian Botham, 1981
The wicket that turned a series. When Ray Bright bowled Ian Botham for a first ball duck in the second innings at Lord's to condemn the England skipper to a pair, a nation reached for the volume button; but no, Beefy was walking off to silence. England already trailed 1-0 in the series after a thrashing at Trent Bridge and Botham duly did the decent thing and resigned. His replacement? The master motivator himself - Mike Brearley - and relieved of the skipper's shackles Botham headed to Headingley a changed man and ready to change the series.
Ray Bright, 1981
The off-stump is there, so too is the leg-stump but the middle's flat on its back and Bob Willis wheels away to celebrate a famous England victory at Headingley before haring off to the pavilion hot in the footsteps of fellow paceman Graham Dilley. Bright, falling over to off, was beaten all ends up by one that angled into him and Willis finished with 8-43, the best Test return of his career. The emphatic finish this match deserved.
Wayne Phillips, 1985
Despite Richard Ellison's heroics with the ball, a combination of rain and Wayne Phillips' doughtiness gave Australia hope of escaping from Edgbaston with a draw before Allan Lamb offered a helping boot! Phillips, attempting to punch Phil Edmonds through the covers, fired the ball against the close-in Lamb and the subsequent deflection, off his heel, looped into the hands of Gower and victory was all but assured.
Mike Gatting, 1993
Nerves? What nerves? By his own admission, an anxious Shane Warne hoped his first delivery in Ashes cricket would not be a buffet ball for Mike Gatting. In fact it was the hors d'oeuvres for Warne's scintillating Ashes career. Drift, dip and excessive turn - Gatting was beaten all ends up by one that pitched outside leg and shot past him to hit the top of off. A new generation of leg-spinners was born.
Adam Gilchrist, 2005
Struggling against Andrew Flintoff's around-the-wicket line, Gilchrist needed every break he could get - but it didn't come at Trent Bridge. The burly Lancastrian sent down another missile that Gilchrist, on 27, edged wide of second slip but Andrew Strauss somehow defied gravity and at full-stretch pulled off a remarkable one-handed catch. The wicketkeeper trudged off and despite Brett Lee's 47 Australia went on to concede a sizeable first-innings deficit en route to a three-wicket defeat.
Ricky Ponting, 2005
Gary Pratt sparked something akin to a diplomatic incident when, as a substitute fielder, he dared to run out Ricky Ponting at Trent Bridge. The Australian skipper appeared well-set for a sizeable total but was beaten by a direct hit from the Durham player, who was on as a replacement for Simon Jones. Ponting's fury was all too obvious as he let rip at the England balcony but his words fell on deaf ears and the hosts had a new hero.
Michael Kasprowicz, 2005
Glovely stuff for England fans, who bit their nails down to the quick as Shane Warne, Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz added 104 between them to take Australia to the brink of an unlikely victory at Edgbaston. Suddenly Steve Harmison sends down a short, sharp ball that flicks Kasprowicz on the glove and Geraint Jones tumbles down the leg-side to take the catch and prompt mass hysteria across the home nation. Box Office stuff.