BBC Sport cricket

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 12:37 GMT, Thursday, 2 November 2006

Classic Ashes clashes - 1961, Old Trafford

1961 - Fourth Test, Old Trafford
27, 28, 29, 31 July & 1 August
Australia won by 54 runs

Richie Benaud spins Australia to victory
Australia 190 all out
Bill Lawry 74
Brian Statham 5 for 53
England 367 all out
Peter May 95
Ken Barrington 78
Geoff Pullar 63
Australia 432 all out
Bill Lawry 102
Alan Davidson 77*
Norman O'Neill 67
Bobby Simpson 51
England 201 all out
Ted Dexter 76
Richie Benaud 6-70

In a Test of fluctuating fortunes, Richie Benaud helped his side win the Ashes with some mesmerising spin.

England took the early initiative, and although Australia fought back, they were always chasing the game.

Trailing after the first innings, a Bill Lawry century helped set England a victory target of 256 in three hours and 50 minutes of playing time.

The hosts were going well before Benaud struck, his six wickets sealing a 54-run victory with 20 minutes to go.

The legendary Australian has since mused that his match-winning figures of 6-70 helped save his career: "I might well have been dead cricketwise if the game had gone the other way."

He was in a trough of form with bat and ball and, having gone one up when the skipper was absent through injury, his side had since relinquished the initiative in the series.

And Benaud's personal crisis deepened when, after electing to bat, his side were all out for just 190.

Brian Statham prospered on a green track with the ball before Peter May cemented England's advantage with an elegant 95.

Test Match Special audio highlights from the 1961 series

Australia cleared their deficit of 177, but on the final morning David Allen took three wickets for no runs from 15 deliveries to leave Australia with a slender advantage of 157.

However, Alan Davidson and Graeme McKenzie frustrated home hopes with an even-time partnership of 98, during which Davidson helped transform the game with 20 off a single Allen over.

Despite the hindrance of that hold up, England moved steadily to their victory target as Ted Dexter attacked the bowling with imperious majesty.

Benaud was running out of options when he decided to put himself on and go round the wicket aiming at the footholes. His decision was rewarded with the key wicket of Dexter.

England subsided. From 150-1 they stumbled towards defeat losing nine wickets in the space of two hours, Benaud turning his figures around - and his fortunes - with a spell of 5-12 from 25 balls.

When Davidson dismissed Statham, Australia, against the odds, had won with 20 minutes to spare.

Did you know?
Richie Benaud was the first man to achieve the Test double of 200 wickets and 2,000 runs. He has since been joined in that select club by 10 other players.





see also
Ashes Legends XI
18 Sep 06 |  England

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.