The Ashes 2001 (Part Two)

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Wed, 01/12/2021
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Courtesy: IANS.
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IANS

Already two down in the series, England’s miserable summer continued in the third Test, at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, even though the two teams had been closely matched for the first part of the game.

England batted first. Despite 69 from Marcus Trescothick and 46 from Alec Stewart, they were bowled out for 185, Glenn McGrath taking 5-49. However, in turn, they limited Australia to 190, Adam Gilchrist with 54 the only batter to make a mark. Alex Tudor took 5-44.

It then became the Shane Warne shop. He claimed 6*33 in the England second innings, leaving Australia 156 to win.

They reached  their target for the loss of two wickets.

At least England stopped the rot with a much needed win in the fourth Test match, at Headingley, Leeds. 

Australia won the toss and batted, a decision that seemed fully justified when the racked up 447, Ricky Ponting leading the way with 144, while Damien Martyn made 118 and Mark Waugh 72.

In reply, Australia limited England to 309, Alec Stewart top-scoring with an unbeaten 76, while McGrath had another impressive haul, of 7-76.

Australia then reached 176 for the loss of four wickets before stand-in captain Gilchrist declared, Ponting making 72 this time.

On this occasion though, the declaration proved too generous. England, set 315, got there with six wickets in hand, largely due to Mark Butcher who made an undefeated 173, while his captain Nasser Hussain made 55.

Any hopes that a tide had been turned though were ruthlessly extinguished in the fifth and final Test, at the Oval.

Australia won the toss. Batting first, they went to town.

Three of their top five made centuries, led by captain Steve Waugh with an unbeaten 157 on one leg, while both Mark Waugh and Justin Langer both reached three figures. Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn also scored in excess of 60. They enabled them to declare on a massive 641/4. 

England did reasonably well in their reply. They were led by Mark Ramprakash, with 133, whilst Trescothick, Hussain and Usman Afzaal all made half centuries. However, their final total of 432 was not enough to avoid the follow-on.

This time their twin bowling nemeses of McGrath and Warne proved their undoing, bowling them out for 184, McGrath with 5-43 and Warne 4-64.

Australia had won by an innings and 25 runs, clinching the series by four matches to one.