Memorable Cricketing Facts and Moments from Ashes

Sports 3471 Hits > 2009-08-22 21:42:05

Sorry end to a phenomenon called Bradman

Sir Donald Bradman was one of the few Australian cricketers who played his first and the last Test against England. He had made his debut during 1930 Ashes, in which he accumulated 974 runs, a series aggregate yet to be bettered.

During the 1932-33 Ashes, England captain Douglas Jardine, who was aware of the threat that Bradman posed to his side, asked his bowlers to bowl short in the line of the Aussie batsmen with a packed legside field. This ploy paid rich dividends along with some harsh criticism as Bradman's average was halved and England took the Ashes.

Bradman played his last tour in 1948. Ausralia were unbeaten throughtout the tour but the series became immortal because of the duck that deprived Australia's greatest batman from getting his career average of 100. Bradman needed just four runs in his last innings to get that feat but his dream came crashing down when he was done in by leg-spinner Eric Hollies's googly.

No one though before or since has come close to Bradman's mark of 99.94

When Laker spelled doom

Any other bowler in the history of Test cricket has never bettered England spinner Jim Laker's haul of 19 wickets for 90 runs in the fourth Test against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956.

Many Australians who were there remain convinced for ever more that the pitch had been 'doctored' to assist Laker's off-spin.

But even if the conditions were in his favour, Laker's feat - which saw him take all 10 Australian wickets in the second innings - was a remarkable feat. The only other player to achieve this feat is Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble, who picked all 10 wickets against Pakistan in 1999 at New Delhi.

It was made all the more so by the fact his Surrey colleague and left-arm spinner Tony Lock, who took the only other wicket to fall, was all the time trying to get batsmen out from the other end.

Massie's Match

Western Australia swing bowler Bob Massie's haul of 16 for 137 would have been astounding at any time. That he took so many wickets on his Test debut, and at Lord's in 1972, 'the home of cricket', to boot, made it almost the stuff of schoolboy dreams.

A succession of England's best batsmen were left utterly bewildered by Massie's late swing, whether from over or around the wicket.

Unsurprisingly the game was dubbed 'Massie's Match' but sadly for the bowler himself he fell as fast as he rose and played just five more Tests

Boycott's tons of ton

One of the best openers of all times, Geoffrey Boycott had went into a self-imposed exile from Test cricket when Mike Denness was elected England captain ahead of him in 1974.

A beloved Yorkshireman, Boycott came back in 1977 against Australia. At his Headingley home ground, in front of his adoring fans, he scored his 100th first-class hundred when a textbook on-drive off Greg Chappell went for four.

It indeed was a classic comeback. No doubt India's Sourav Ganguly was so dear to Geoff.

Botham's Ashes

So immense was England all-rounder Ian Botham's impact on this series of 1981 that it became known as 'Botham's Ashes'.

His innings of 149 not out at Headingley and 118 at Old Trafford were both, in their different ways, thrilling efforts.

But in between those two centuries, Botham produced a stunning bowling display in the fourth Test at Edgbaston.

Australia, set just 151 for victory, were in command before swing bowler Botham took five wickets for just one run in 28 balls to seal an astounding 29-run win.

Warne's miracle delivery

On the second day at Old Trafford Test in 1993 when something unbelievable happened and the architect was none other than the spin wizard Shane Warne. Rarely can one delivery have resonated for so long as Warne's first ball in Ashes cricket.

Mike Gatting, one of England's better players of spin, was at the crease when Warne produced a spitefully dipping and turning leg-break. It pitched outside leg-stump and took a sharp curve to clip the off-bail, beating the bat almost by a metre.

Warne went on to pick 34 wickets in the series and had the English batsmen at his mercy. His enthralling performance not only played a huge role in Australia's victory but also helped in the revival of the art of slow bowling.

Freddie's sportsmanship

It was a win that had brought the hopes alive for England before their historic Ashes triumph in 2005.

While the rest of the England team euphorically celebrated a nailbiting two-run win at Edgbaston that saw them level an Ashes series they'd eventually win 2-1, Flintoff took time out to drop down to his haunches and offer some consoling words to not out batsman Brett Lee, who'd so nearly won the match for the Aussies.

It was proof that the 'spirit of cricket' was more than just a trite phrase and the gesture made Flintoff a national hero in two nations.

When England end 75 years of Lord's hurt

Andrew Flintoff rekindled the spirit of 2005 by heroically bowling England to their first Lord's win over Australia in 75 years.

Flintoff bowled unchanged from the Pavilion end to finish on the honours' board with five for 92 as England wrapped up the second Ashes Test by 115 runs before lunch on the final day to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

It was an effort on par with his memorable 14-over spell at The Oval four years ago which helped clinch the Ashes.

Captain Andrew Strauss seized the initiative after Cardiff to score 161 in England's first innings and Paul Collingwood completed his third half-century of the series.

Then there was Flintoff.

The giant Lancastrian announced last week he would retire from Test cricket at the end of the series after four injury-ravaged years since he touched the heights as an all-rounder in 2005.

He showed no ill-effects from the troubled right knee which required an operation this year to bowl as fast a spell as any in his career after dismissing both Australian openers on the previous day.

44 posts

joined 1730 days ago

Om N Poddar

31 years old,male

New Baneshwor,Kathmandu,Nepal

More From : ombabu

Warning: Unknown: write failed: Disk quota exceeded (122) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (/tmp) in Unknown on line 0