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Ashes history - England stand out

Don Bradman
Bradman clinched a stylish victory despite an infamous duck

The Second World War hit the prime of many Ashes stars, including Don Bradman who only played two series afterwards.

Bradman signed off in style, leading his Invincibles to an emphatic 4-0 victory in England in 1948.

The 1950s brought a golden era for England, with a line-up including famous names like Cowdrey, Compton, Trueman, Statham and Laker.

But Australia entered a period of Ashes dominance in the 1960s under captain Richie Benaud.

Volunteers attempt to mop up a wet Oval pitch during the fifth Test

Ashes review - 1968 (UK only)

Despite the enforced break, Bradman retained both the captaincy and his ability to compile big innings as England came home from their 1946-47 visit beaten 3-0.

But the Don decided 1948's tour would be his final Test series, and he went out in style, leading his country to a 4-0 success.

England were, on paper, no pushovers, but Australia were simply too strong.

They won the first Test by eight wickets, the second by 409 runs, the fourth by seven wickets, and the fifth by an innings and 149.

The fourth match at Headingley saw England set Australia 404 to win in a day.

On his favourite English ground, Bradman hit 173, and Morris 182, as the tourists achieved the seemingly impossible.

Bradman's Ashes swansong came in the victory at The Oval, but after a lengthy standing ovation he famously went for a duck, bowled by Eric Hollies.

Just four runs would have given him a 100.00 Test average.

The first four matches in the 1953 series were drawn, but England won the fifth Test at The Oval to regain the Ashes.

Fred Trueman marked his Ashes debut with four first innings wickets, but the bowling of Jim Laker and Tony Lock sealed victory.

Exemplary fast bowling from the likes of Frank Tyson and Brian Statham enabled the England revival to continue in 1954-55.

A batting order consisting of Len Hutton, Bill Edrich, Peter May, Colin Cowdrey and Denis Compton is still considered one of England's best ever.

Laker's 10 first innings wickets in Surrey's win over Australia in 1956 hinted at what was to come in a rain-hit series won 2-1 by England.

In the fourth Test at Old Trafford he took nine wickets in the first innings, then all 10 in the second, ending the series with 46.

Tureman congratulated by Cowdrey
Trueman claimed his 300th Test wicket in 1964

Australia hit back in the 1958-59 tour, although there was much controversy over the actions of Aussie bowlers Meckiff, Slater, Rorke and Burke in a 4-0 verdict.

In 1961, skipper Benaud's 5-12 at Old Trafford helped the Aussies to a 2-1 tour win.

They retained the Ashes in 1962-63 following a 1-1 draw in a series dominated by batsmen.

The visiting Australians triumphed 1-0 in 1964, winning by seven wickets at Headingley. At The Oval, Trueman became the first bowler to reach 300 Test wickets.

England were unable to wrest the Ashes back on tour in 1965-66, winning at Sydney but losing in Adelaide. Australia's Bob Cowper hit 307 in Melbourne - the only Test triple century Down Under.

Another 1-1 draw in 1968 left the Ashes in Aussie hands, with the tourists taking the first Test but England levelling matters in the fifth, with Derek Underwood claiming 7-50.





see also
Ashes Legends XI
18 Sep 06 |  England

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