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5 Most memorable moments of the Ashes

There have been so many special moments throughout the history of the Ashes, but we’ve narrowed them down for you.

Ashes
Kevin Pietersen and the English cricket team perform the sprinkler after winning the fourth test in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

One of sport’s longest standing rivalries, Ashes has produced some dramatic moments since the first game was played way back in 1877. Dubbed as the greatest cricketing duel in the world of cricket, the bitter age-old rivalry between England and Australia could not be exhibited any better than by the cricket the two countries engage in every couple of years.

There have been so many special moments throughout the history of the Ashes, but we’ve narrowed them down for you. As hosts Australia and defending champions England prepare to battle it out once again for possession of the Ashes urn, we take a recap of 5 most memorable moments from the Ashes folklore.

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1. Dawn of Sir Donald Bradman

Sir Donald Bradman
Sir Donald Bradman of Australia (Credit: Allsport Australia/ALLSPORT)

The 1930 Ashes witnessed the rise of a prodigal batsman, a young 21-year-old Donald Bradman who arrived in England to represent Australia with just 4 Test matches under his belt. The greatest ever batsman to have graced the game of cricket announced his arrival with a phenomenal knock of 334 at Headingley.

He scored an impeccable 334 off 448 balls with 46 delightful fours. This innings marked Sir Donald Bradman’s first triple hundred and is recorded among Wisden’s best innings. It remained the highest individual Test score by an Australian until Mark Taylor equalled it in the late 90s and then Matthew Hayden overtook it in 2003. The match was drawn, but Bradman’s knock was a testament to the greatness he would become.

2. The marathon man

Len Hutton
Len Hutton. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

After the advent of Australia’s Sir Donald Bradman in 1930, England’s Sir Leonard Hutton came into the fray in 1938 in what was one of the most one-sided Ashes Tests ever.

England batted for three consecutive days as Hutton made history by scoring 364 in the fifth and final Test of the series at the Oval. The Yorkshireman, playing in just his sixth match, batted for three straight days and piled misery on Australia. He faced 847 deliveries and struck 35 fours to set a new record for the highest Test score. Hutton’s record was eventually broken by West Indies’ Garfield Sobers when he scored 365 in 1958.

3. The Ball of the century

Shane Warne Aggression
Shane Warne. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Heralded as the ‘King of Spin’ Shane Warne is the leading wicket-taker in the Ashes and started with his very first delivery in the tournament. During the 1993 edition, Warne bowled an astonishing delivery to dismiss Mike Gatting at Old Trafford in Manchester, which came to be known as the ‘Ball of the Century.”

The delivery received such a nomenclature owing to Warne’s sheer brilliance wherein he pitched the ball on the leg stump and it spun sharply to hit the off stumps. A delivery that remains etched in Ashes and world cricket folklore forever. The champion leg-spinner’s reign that began with clipping Gatting’s off bail lasted 14 years and claimed 708 victims.

4. A bittersweet goodbye

bowling partnerships in Cricket
Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. (© Getty Images)

The 2006-07 edition of the Ashes was arguably its greatest ever. Right from Steve Harmison’s first-ball wide, to Ricky Ponting’s 196 in Brisbane and Adam Gilchrist’s fastest ever Ashes century, off just 57 balls, the on-field action lived up to the hype as never seen before. The hosts completely dominated and wrapped up the series 5-0. It was the first Ashes whitewash in 81 years.

However, it was a bittersweet feeling for the Australian cricket fans as they witnessed the loss of two legends of the game – Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne in one go.

5. England skittles Australia for 98 at MCG

Kevin Pietersen and the English cricket team perform the sprinkler after winning the fourth test in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Australia had all the momentum heading into the 2010 Melbourne Test, but that all changed very quickly as England enjoyed one of their greatest days against their arch-rivals. After being invited to bat first by Andrew Strauss, Australia was sensationally skittled for a measly 98 following a shockingly ill-disciplined batting display.

England famously ended the match doing their celebratory ‘Sprinkler” dance in the outfield and another win in Sydney put the icing on the cake.

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