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September 12, 2005: England end 18-year wait to clinch historic Ashes series

With their last Ashes win coming way back in 1987, hardly anyone gave England any chance against a star-studded Australian contingent. However, with four matches gone, the hosts were 2-1 up in the series and at the Oval, the onus was on Ricky Ponting’s side to continue their 18-year winning streak.

cricket Updated: Sep 12, 2018 11:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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File image of England batsman Kevin Pietersen.(AFP)

The Ashes Test series between England and Australia is arguably one of the most legendary rivalries in world cricket and the 2005 series in England will go down as probably the greatest in history.

With their last Ashes win coming way back in 1987, hardly anyone gave England any chance against a star-studded Australian contingent. However, with four matches gone, the hosts were 2-1 up in the series and at the Oval, the onus was on Ricky Ponting’s side to continue their 18-year winning streak.

England captain Michael Vaughan won the toss and elected to bat first. Andrew Strauss’ century took their total to 373 and although Shane Warne picked up six wickets, the hosts were able to post a respectable score. In response, openers Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden put on 185 for the first wicket. However, the innings crumbled after their dismissals and the visitors were dismissed for 367.

In the second innings, England did not start well but they found a saviour once again in Kevin Pietersen. With wickets tumbling on the other hand, Pietersen continued to play his natural game and the 187-ball 158 ensured that the match ended in a draw to hand England a historic Ashes series victory.

First Published: Sep 12, 2018 11:04 IST