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  Wednesday, 16 October, 2002, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Ashes History: 1946-68
Fred Trueman is congratulated by team-mates, The Oval, August 1964
1964: Fred Trueman takes his 300th Test wicket
The Ashes resumed after the Second World War with England beaten 3-0 in Australia in 1946-47.

Many of the players had lost some of their prime years to the conflict, including Don Bradman, who retained both his pre-war captaincy and his ability to compile big innings.

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.

  Ashes history


1946-47: Aus 3-0 Eng
1948: Eng 0-4 Aus
1950-51: Aus 4-1 Eng
1953: Eng 1-0 Aus
1954-55: Aus 1-3 Eng
1956: Eng 2-1 Aus
1958-59: Aus 4-0 Eng
1961: Eng 1-2 Aus
1962-63: Aus 1-1 Eng
1964: Eng 0-1 Aus
1965-66: Aus 1-1 Eng
1968: Eng 1-1 Aus
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. Just four runs would have given him a 100.00 Test average.

Regained

England's 1950-51 tourists ran Australia close in the first two Tests, but eventually lost 4-1 as Len Hutton and Alec Bedser struggled to carry the team.

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

Jim Laker, Surrey and England, 1956
Laker: Awesome against the Aussies in '56

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

Exemplary fast bowling from the likes of Frank Tyson and Brian Statham enabled the England revival to continue in 1954-55 with a 3-1 win in Australia.

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.

Australia then entered a period of Ashes dominance, starting with England's 1958-59 tour.

They won 4-0 but there was much controversy over the actions of Aussie bowlers Meckiff, Slater, Rorke and Burke.

In 1961, skipper Richie Benaud's fine bowling (five for 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.

Australian skipper Richie Benaud at Edgbaston, 1961
1961: Benaud in action against England
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.

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See also:

17 Oct 02 | Sports Talk
16 Oct 02 | Sports Talk
Links to more History stories are at the foot of the page.


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