Five memorable Ashes Tests at Old Trafford

Ian McCullough
(Australian Associated Press)

 

FIVE MEMORABLE TESTS BETWEEN ENGLAND AND AUSTRALIA AT OLD TRAFFORD

* 2005 – Third Test – match drawn

Ricky Ponting produced one his finest innings to save the match for his side in a thrilling encounter. Backing up from their memorable two-run win to square the series at Edgbaston, England racked up 444 with skipper Michael Vaughan scoring 166. Shane Warne’s 90 helped Australia avoid the ignominy of following-on but the tourists were bowled out for 302. A second innings Andrew Strauss century set Australia a target of 422 on the final day. Over 20,000 fans were locked out of Old Trafford in full anticipation of an English victory. But on a wearing pitch and amidst some high-class reverse swing bowling, Ponting held firm as wickets fell around him with a brilliant 156. When the captain fell four overs from the close, the match appeared lost. But ninth-wicket pair Brett Lee (18) and Glenn McGrath (5) held firm to see out the draw.

* 1997 Third Test – Australia won by 268 runs

Mark Taylor won the toss and elected to bat despite the overcast, bowling-friendly conditions synonymous with England’s wettest city. Steve Waugh showed amazing strength of character with a battling 108 in a seemingly under-par total of 235 as six of his teammates failed to reach double figures. But England, not for the first time, had no answer to the brilliance of Warne, who took 6-48 as the hosts were spun out for 162. Waugh then became the first player for 50 years to score two Ashes centuries in the same match with a fine score of 116. England, needing 471 to take a 2-0 lead in the six-match series, limped to 200 all out. Australia won the next two Tests to retain the urn.

* 1993 First Test – Australia won by 179 runs

The match where Warne announced himself to the world with the “ball of the century” to dismiss Mike Gatting with his first ever Ashes delivery. Debutant Michael Slater and Taylor put on 128 for the opening wicket after Allan Border won the toss and elected to bat. However, rookie spinner Peter Such (6-67) ran through the tourists, who collapsed from 2-183 to 289 all out. But with Warne and Merv Hughes taking four wickets apiece the hosts were rolled for 210. An unbeaten 102 from Ian Healy and 93 by David Boon put Australia in full command as England were set an improbable 511 to win. Skipper Graham Gooch scored 133 before becoming only the fifth player in Test history to be out for handling the ball. Warne and Hughes again took four wickets to seal victory, with Australia going on to win the series 4-1.

* 1956 Fourth Test – England won by an innings and 170 runs

Known simply as Laker’s match after England off-spinner Jim Laker finished with astonishing match figures of 19-90. The Surrey twirler became the first man to take all 10 wickets in an innings as Australia were rolled for 205. This came after the tourists had followed on with Laker claiming 9-37 from 16.4 overs as Ian Johnson’s side were dismissed for just 84 in response to England’s 459. Laker’s milestone was matched by India’s Anil Kumble who took 10 wickets in an innings against Pakistan in 1999, but his record still stands as the best Test figures by a bowler.

* 1902 Fourth Test – Australia won by three runs

In one of the most dramatic Test victories of all time, Hugh Trumble and Jack Saunders won the match and the Ashes for Australia on a thrilling final day. A Victor Trumper century helped the tourists open up a modest first innings lead of 37 runs but in Australia’s second dig England quick Bill Lockwood ran riot, taking 5-48 as Joe Darling’s side were skittled for 86. England looked on track to reach their target of 123 at 2-68 – only to lose eight for 52. Trumble claimed 6-53 and Saunders 4-52. Australia won a fourth successive series 2-1 and lost just two of 39 matches across a tour that lasted five-and-a-half months.

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