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2005 Ashes Edgbaston Test: When England finally Turned Tides

The Test of Edgbaston in Ashes 2005 is debatably argued as one the greatest test ever which changed England’s Ashes fate after almost two decades.

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Last updated: 09.08.2019
2005 Ashes Edgbaston Test: When England finally Turned Tides | Sports Social Blog

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7th August 2005 saw the last day of one of the closest and most memorable Test matches in the history of the game. The tension for the players and fans, both in the ground and in front of the television, for last one hour, was at a different level.

It was the second Test in the Ashes 2005 at Edgbaston. England’s last Ashes triumph came at 1986. This time they were again hopeful under an able captain in Michael Vaughn with some great young players like Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Simon Jones and experienced ones like Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Flintoff. 

The first Test was drawn but the Australian had a huge blow just before the second Test when Glenn McGrath twisted his ankle by stepping on a cricket ball during practice. He was replaced by Michael Kasprowicz in the eleven.

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England batted first and put up 407 thanks to fifties from Trescothick (90), Pietersen (71) and Flintoff (68). Along with Warne’s four wickets, the replacement Kasprowicz also took three wickets. English bowlers were in good form. Special Simon Jones with his reverse swing (2/69), Flintoff (3/52) and Ashley Giles (3/78) ensured that Australia were all out within a day for 308. The English lead was 99.

Australia came back strongly. Shane Warne was introduced early and he and Brett Lee reduced England to 31/4 and soon 75/6. Again Flintoff was the saviour for England as he guided the tail and took the total to 182. Flintoff himself scored 73 with the second-highest score being 21. He also added crucial 51 runs with Jones in the last wicket partnership. For Australia, all the 10 wickets were taken by Warne (6/46) and Lee (4/82).

A target of 282 runs in the fourth innings was a tricky one but for this Australian team, nothing was impossible. They started well and openers added 47 runs in 12 overs. But then one Flintoff over changed everything. With the second and sixth ball of the 13th over Flintoff got rid of Justin langer and Ricky Ponting, the later for a duck. It was a huge moment for the match. Australia kept losing regular wickets. Hayden went on 82, Damien Martin was dismissed on 107 as Jones and Hoggard took those wickets. Australia lost three wickets with the score between 134 and 137 as Giles took Katich and Gilchrist whereas Flintoff got the wicket of Gillespie. At 137/7 it looked all England but the Test match took another turn.

Michael Clarke and Shane Warne added 38 runs before Clarke was out. Australia ended day three with 175/8. On the morning of day four Warne and Lee, Australia’s second innings bowling heroes, started putting up a great partnership. Bad balls were treated accordingly as Warne hit four boundaries and two sixes. However, with the score on 220 Warne tried to play a flick on the leg side and stepped on the stumps in the process. He was out hit wicket with 62 more runs required.

The last batsman Kasprowicz joined Lee and then next 12 odd overs were one of the greatest exhibitions of Test match cricket. Both the teams were desperate for a win and playing out of their skin. However, the Aussie batsmen survived many times and kept adding to the total. They crossed 250 and then took the score to within 10 runs of the target. Slowly the runs were piling up. Vaughn tried all his tricks. He brought Harmison for another spell and finally with the total on 279, Harmison dismissed Kasprowicz.

England won the match by two runs and players were jubilant. The two Australian batsmen in the ground were crestfallen and were on their knees. A great picture emerged as English hero Flintoff moved out of the celebration and went to Lee to console him. This was a special match which changed England’s Ashes fate after almost two decades.


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