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A Comeback Ashes for Aussies

After being beaten by India 2-1 in one of the greatest test series, Aussies made a strong comeback when they toured England for the Ashes Series of 2001.

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Last updated: 25.09.2023
A Comeback Ashes for Aussies- Slater's 77 against England | Sports Social Blog

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5th July, 2001 was the first day of the Ashes. Australia reached England after they were beaten by India 2-1 in one of the greatest test series. Still, they were the best team around and they wanted to make a strong statement from the beginning.

At Edgbaston, Australia won the toss and decided to bat. Jason Gillespie took a wicket on the very first ball of his spell. Despite the early wicket, England did not play slowly and reached 100 with more than four runs per over. Michael Atherton scored 57 and Mark Butcher 38. However, they kept losing wickets and on 191/9 looking in lots of trouble. This is when the number eleven Andy Caddick joined Alec Stewart and the duo decided to make merry. They added 103 runs in partnership off 76 deliveries. Stewart scored an 82-ball 65 with nine boundaries whereas Caddick added 49 runs off 40 balls with seven fours and a solitary six.

Unfortunately, Caddick was stranded on 49 as a Glenn McGrath Delivery kept low and found Stewart’s pads in front of the wicket. England finished with 294 in 65.3 overs with a run rate close to 4.5, which was unlikely even just an hour before.

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If England’s batting for last one hour was dramatic, what happened at the start of Australian innings was sensational. Michael Slater did not have a good tour of India and was behind the shadow of his opening partner Matthew Hayden. But on that day he launched himself in the very first over of Darren Gough. The first over of the Australian innings went for 18 runs. From then on, there was no one to stop Slater. Hayden scored a 41-ball 35 and Ponting scored just 11. Slater, on the other hand, reached 76 by the end of days play. Australia reached 133/2 in 22 overs with a run rate above six. Slater was unbeaten on 76 and with eight more wickets in hand; almost half of England’s total was achieved.

From day two it was more of a normal test match. Slater went early, bowled by Gough who took his revenge. But the English bowlers could not stop Steve Waugh, Damien Martin, and Adam Gilchrist from scoring hundreds and finally, it was an innings victory for Australia.


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