Flashback – Ashes 2005 Part 2

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

So where were we…

After the bizarre incident which forced him out of Edgbaston, it was perhaps always fated that Glen McGrath would pay a big part in Test number 3. What nobody could have predicted however, is that it would have been with the bat.

Yet it was everyone’s favourite number 11 who held out for four overs alongside Brett Lee right at the death. Never had the Aussies celebrated a draw with England so forcefully, and Michael Vaughan must have suspected he would never get a better chance to take a 2-1 lead.

But typically for a series that surprised at every stroke, the next test at Trent Bridge produced a relatively comfortable three wicket victory for England, a little bit of huffing and puffing aside, on their way to chasing down a target of 129.

The stage was set for an extraordinary final test at the Oval. Australia needed to win, or they would become the first Aussie team in a generation to cede the urn. And by the Monday, the stage was set for an extraordinary final day. Thousands were locked out, in scenes typically associated with a big football final. And after football’s Glenn McGrath took out Vaughan and Bell with successive balls, England were 133 ahead at lunch with just five wickets remaining.

It was then time for Kevin Pietersen to show his worth – dropped three times he may have been – but boy did he punish the Aussies for doing so. His innings of 158 will live long in the memory of that afternoon, alongside Richie Benaud’s final commentary on UK television, and at 6.17pm, Billy Bowden removing the stumps to signify that after 18 years of hurt, the Ashes were finally coming home.

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