The Ashes 1998/99 (Part One)

Authored by
Mon, 29/11/2021
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Courtesy: IANS.
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IANS

The era of Australian dominance continued when England travelled to Australia in the winter of 1998, although the fact that home captain Mark Taylor won all five coin tosses did not help England’s cause one bit.

Initially, though, it looked like it might be a tighter contest than expected after the first Test, at the Gabba, Brisbane ended in a draw.

Australia batted and, not for the first, or last time, were indebted to the batting of Steve Waugh. He scored 112 and Ian Healy 134, and an unbeaten 71 from bowler No. 9 Damien Fleming helped them reach 485.

England responded with 375. Mark Butcher made 116, Graham Thorpe 77, captain Alec Stewart 69, and Nasser Hussain 59.

When Australia batted again, it was the turn of one of their openers, Michael Slater to make a century, while Justin Langer made 74, enabling Australia to declare on 237/3.

However, England were able to salvage a draw by making 179/6 in their second innings. Hussain top-scoring with 47.

Any hopes, though, that English fortunes were improving for the better took a dent at the second Test, in Perth.

This time Australia invited England to bat on a green pitch, with predictable results. They were all out for just 112, Fleming starring with 5-46.

Batting was no means easy, as Australia then found out, but Taylor’s 61 helped them take a first innings lead by making 240.

When England batted for a  second time, Graeme Hick made 68 and Mark Ramprakash an unbeaten 47, but they were dismissed for 191. Fleming took another four wickets and Jason Gillespie 5-88.

Set just 64 to win, Australia got there for the loss of three wickets.