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Classic Ashes clashes - 1953, The Oval

1953 - Fifth Test, The Oval
15, 17, 18 & 19 August
England won by eight wickets

Denis Compton saw England home to a famous victory at The Oval
Australia 275 all out
Ray Lindwall 62
Lindsay Hassett 53
England 306 all out
Len Hutton 82
Trevor Bailey 64
Australia 162 all out
Tony Lock 5-45
England 132 for 2
Bill Edrich 55*

England finally won the Ashes for the first time in 19 years with victory in the decisive fifth and final Test.

After four draws, the match was set for six days in the hope of getting a positive result. Only four were needed.

The teams were evenly matched, but the difference came in captaincy. Where Len Hutton was brave, Lindsay Hassett was hesitant and played without spinners.

In the second innings Hutton turned to spin, a masterstroke that helped his side to a famous eight-wicket win.

Hutton lost the toss and Australia opted to bat. With hindsight Hassett should have gambled and fielded, giving his pace attack the best opportunity to dismiss England for a low total.

As it was the home bowlers prospered, with Fred Trueman taking 4-86.

Having been 160-7 at tea, only a late resurgence, led by Ray Lindwall, helped the Australians to a respectable 275.

But if the first day had belonged to England, the second went the way of the visitors as their hosts, following a bright start during which Hutton and Peter May put on 100, collapsed from 137-1 to 237-8.

Audio highlights from the 1953 Ashes series

Again, stubborn resistance from the tail eked out valuable runs, the stoical Trevor Bailey finding support from Alec Bedser to put on 44 runs for the last wicket to earn a lead of 31.

Despite Bedser and Trueman's efforts with both bat and ball - a combined tally of seven wickets and 32 priceless runs - Hutton opted to turn to spin after just five overs of pace.

The Australians were known to be vulnerable to spin and so it proved as Jim Laker and Tony Lock, on their home patch, swung the match.

An hour after they had come on to bowl, half of the Australian team had been dismissed for 61, only 30 ahead and Ron Archer was left to pick up the pieces and set a target for England.

Backed by fervent home support, England's batsmen had to work for every one of those 132 runs but made it with no alarms.

Did you know?
For Fred Trueman the victory over Australia at The Oval was his first taste of Ashes cricket. "Fiery Fred" took his 300th Test wicket against the same opponents at the same venue 11 years later in the last of his 19 Tests against Australia.





see also
Ashes Legends XI
18 Sep 06 |  England

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