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The Best of Tests: Kasprowicz gloves one from Harmison, England pull off 2-run heist in 2005 Ashes

Test cricket mirrors life. The ebbs and flows of the format have given birth to some of the most breath-taking cricketing epics. A Cricket World Series, The Best of Tests, highlights the finest of these spectacles, be it Ben Stokes' superhuman chase at Headingley or the Dravid-Laxman gargantuan partnership at Eden Gardens.

 

Match Summary

 

ENG 407/10, 182/10 (52.1)

AUS 308/10, 279/10 (64.3)

 

Result - England won by 2 runs

 

Player of the Match - Andrew Flintoff

 

 

It was an era of Australian dominance. Australia had been almost invincible in the first decade of this century with England having last won the Ashes in 1987.

 

However, under the captaincy of Michael Vaughan, the team was beginning to rise back up and had won 14 of their last 18 Test matches. When the two teams met in the 2005 Ashes, neither side was willing to accept defeat.

 

Australia were successful in starting on another dominant note with a 239-run victory over England at Lord's. It was now England's turn to return the favour.

 

When Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss added 112 in the first innings and England scored a mammoth 407, an English victory looked likely. Andrew Flintoff and Ashley Giles then shared 6 wickets as Australia were bowled out for 308.

 

However, England collapsed for just 182 in the 3rd innings, with all-rounder Flintoff being the highest scorer with an 86-ball 73.

 

Australia needed 282 to win in the final innings and Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden added a cautious 47. But once the doors opened, England had Australia down at 175-8. Shane Warne (42) and Brett Lee (43) then pitched their tents at the crease once the ball got a bit old.

 

At last, it was down to Lee and Michael Kasprowicz (20) to take Australia home and it was looking quite likely despite a 4-wicket haul from Flintoff.

 

As it turned out, with just 3 runs to win, Kasprowicz gloved one from Steve Harmison and Geraint Jones accepted it gleefully behind the wickets as England scripted a historic two-run Ashes victory.

 

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