'Best over I ever faced' - Ricky Ponting recalls Andrew Flintoff's spell at Edgbaston in 2005 Ashes
The 2005 Edgbaston Test is still regarded as one of the best ever matches.
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The Ashes is the most prestigious series for Australia and England. The players in these countries dream to play in an Ashes series and of course, win the urn. While there have been so many contests between the two countries which went down the wire in the Ashes, the 2005 Edgbaston Test still tops the list. England had won the game by two runs in a thrilling encounter and Ricky Ponting still remembers Andrew Flintoff’s fiery over from that match.
After being invited to bat first, England managed to post 407 runs thanks to half-centuries from Marcus Trescothick, Kevin Pietersen and Flintoff. In reply, the visitors could only post 308 runs conceding a crucial first-innings lead. However, Australia made a stunning comeback in the second innings bundling out the hosts for just 182 runs on the back of Shane Warne’s spin magic.
Flintoff’s exceptional over and the no-ball that mattered
Chasing 282 to win the Test and take a 2-0 lead, Australia’s openers got the team off to a decent start. They added 47 runs together before Andrew Flintoff struck in the very first over of his spell. He was already on fire in that game having scored 70s in both the innings and had picked a three-fer in the first innings too. And to strike off the second ball of his spell raised the voice of the jam-packed crowd as well.
Then in comes Ricky Ponting, the then Australia‘s skipper and undoubtedly faced the heat for the rest of the over. The ball swung left, right and centre and Ponting had no answer to it. Somehow, after surviving three balls, he finally managed to leave the outside off-stump delivery and would’ve heaved a sigh of relief as the over had finished. But Fintoff had overstepped and Ponting was left to face another delivery.
And clearly, he was in a dilemma while facing it. After leaving the previous ball, the batsman anticipated the ball to come in to him and accordingly, Andrew Flintoff pitched the ball full and outside off to eke out a drive from Ponting. But the ball just moved away enough to kiss the outside edge of his bat to leave the Edgbaston crowd in a frenzy.
And when the official Twitter handle of England Cricket posted the video of the same over on Thursday, Ricky Ponting termed it as the best over he has ever faced. “Best over I ever faced. Class reverse swing at 90odd mph!” he wrote in his tweet showing his respect to Flintoff.
As far as the match is concerned, Australia, after being 220/9, went close thanks to a fighting partnership between Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz. But eventually, they fell only a couple of runs short only for England to level the series and then win the Ashes later.
Here’s the tweet:
Best over I ever faced. Class reverse swing at 90odd mph! https://t.co/EUdN9P64Cr
— Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) April 10, 2020