Ashes 2005

2005 Ashes Series

Ashes Winners 2005 EnglandFor many the 2005 Ashes Series in England was the best ever seen and for home fans it was the highlight of a fantastic sporting summer as the England team regained the Ashes against all the odds. They won the series 2-1` and it was the first time that they had held the urn since 1987.

The series started however in typical fashion with the Australians winning comfortably at Lords, but little did they realise it was the only test that they were to win. What made this series so thrilling was the closeness of each test match; one match for instance was decided by 2 runs, one match was drawn with only wicket remaining and one match was won by only three wickets. The outcome of the series was only decided on the very last day.

Bookmakers reported huge betting on each test plus the series outcome. The top run scorer and bowler markets were particularly fluid.

First Test - Australian Win

2005 Ashes First TestRicky Ponting, captaining the Australians for the first time in aa Ashes Test Series, won the toss at Lords and elected to bat. However unusually for a first day at Lords, wickets began to tumble quickly, with England quickie, Steve Harminson bowling out of his skin. He was to take five wickets in the innings and Australia were bowled out before tea for a mere 190. Things looked good for England.

England also failed to bat on the Lords pitch and before close of play on the first day, they had lost seven wickets. They were bowled out eventually for 155, with Glenn McGrath taking five wickets. Kevin Pietersen top scored for England making his first Ashes fifty.

Australia took the game away from England in their second innings, racking up an impressive 384 with Michael Clark scoring 91 of them. England in reply could only manage 180, with Pietersen again the only batsman to make a fifty, the deadly Australian dup of McGrath and Shane Warne took four wickets a piece and Australia went one up.

Second Test - England Win

Flintoff Consoles Brett LeeEngland levelled the series at this Edgbaston in one of the most exciting test matches ever played. They were to win by just two runs the closest ever test match in Ashes history. It started with Ricky Ponting winning the toss and choosing to bowl.

In twelve of the previous thirteen test matches played at Edgbaston, this had been the winning formula, but as soon as England began to bat, Ponting knew that he had erred. England proceeded to pile up the runs, with Marcus Trescothick leading the way to an excellent total of 401;Trescothick made 90. Warne bowled superbly for the Aussies however, claiming another four wicket haul.

Australia made a modest 308 in the first innings, with Justin Langer top scoring with 82. England were then put on the rack in their second innings, Ashes legend, Shane Warne was up to his usual tricks and he took a further six wickets, bringing his total to ten for the match, as England were bowled out for 182, knowing that they had left the door open for Australia to win.

The Australians, needing 281 to take a 2-0 Ashes lead, were whittled out by some magnificently hostile and more importantly, accurate bowling by the English seamers. bowling out the Aussies out just two runs short of their target. It was Harminson who took the final wicket of Michael Kasprowicz, but it was Andrew Flintoff who went over to the not out batsman, Brett Lee to console him. It was a pulsating victory for England and proved that the spirit of the game was still in tact after Flintoff’s magnificent gesture.

Third Test - Drawn Match

Ashes Cricket 2005 Third TestWith the series level at 1-1, it was all to play for at the Old Trafford test and when Michael Vaughan won the toss and elected to bat, England became favourites. It was another test match full of thrills and spills, with Australia clinging on valaintly at the end for an unlikely draw.

England made a very challenging 444 in the first innings, with a Vaughan scoring yet another big ton against the Aussies. His 166 was a majestic knock and it was the first hundred of the series. Australia replied with 302, thanks largely to Warne, who proved he could do it with a bat to, scoring 90 runs and top scoring for the Aussies.

England consolidated their advantage in their second innings, scoring 280-6 declared, leaving Australia a formidable total of 422. It was highly unlikely that they could do it and most people thought that they would defend and play for the draw.

However, Australia didn’t think like that at all, instead that went after the total and they managed 371/9 at the close of play on the final day. Ricky Ponting once again led from the front scoring a magnificent 156 runs and whilst he was in there was every chance that the Aussies would reach their target.

In the end however, Australia were down to their last pair, Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath, who managed to bat out the last three overs to secure the draw.

Fourth Test - England Win

Ashes Cricket 2005 Fourth TestEngland took an unassailable lead in the series when winning this fourth test at Trent Brdge, but once again the match could have gone either way. Once again England won the toss and elected to bat, and bat they did. They made an excellent 477 with Andrew Flintoff hitting his first test century against Australia.

There was also an excellent contribution from wicket keeper, Geraint Jones, who hit a superb 85, Vaughan was also to score a good fifty.

Australia bated poorly in their first innings and were unable to handle the outstanding bowling of Simon Jones, who took figures of 5/44, as Australia mamaged only 218 and were forced to follow on.

Australia's second innings was in complete contrast to the first, all batsmen contributing to an excellent total of 387 all out, this however left England only 127 runs to win. But in keeping with the series, England toiled in reaching what was an easy target, Warne as usual was the culprit, he dismissed four of Englands top order very cheaply and before they knew it, England were at 57/4 and staring doen the barrel of loaded gun.

Fortunately Pietersen and Flintoff steadied the sinking ship and their partneship of 46 put England back on track to win, however even then England lost two more wickets, before Ashley Giles and Matthew Hoggard held on to bring England home.

Fifth Test - Drawn Match

Ashes Series 2005 Fifth TestThe final test at the Oval saw England win the toss and bat, they made a solid 373, largely due to a magnicficent century by Andrew Strauss, who was well supported by Andrew Flintoff, who mage 72. But it was Shane Warne who kept the Aussies in the hunt with yet another six wicket haul.

Australia replied with 367 with centuries from Matthew Haydon and Justin Langer, and they were still in with a chance providef they could get England out cheaply in their second innings, this unfortunately for them, they could not do.

England made 335, with a supern 158 knock from Kevin Pietersen, it was a total that was clearly beyong Australia, particularly with fading light and as soon as they were offered the light that took and thus ended their hold on the Ashes urn.