England vs Australia at the Oval

Updated: 19 August 2009 07:29 IST

The Oval is both England's oldest Test ground and their most successful home venue when it comes to Tests against Australia.

England vs Australia at the Oval

London:

The Oval is both England's oldest Test ground and their most successful home venue when it comes to Tests against Australia.

And that should give England some encouragement when the fifth and final Test starts here on Thursday in a match they must win to regain the Ashes.

The Oval, which staged its first Anglo-Australian clash in 1880, has seen England defeat their oldest rivals in 15 of 34 Tests with 13 draws and just six defeats for a 44 percent victory success rate.

It has witnessed some of the most memorable Ashes moments of all-time and below are 10 highlights from 129 years of England-Australia Tests at the Oval:

01. 1882: The Ashes are born

Australia's seven run victory, their first Test win in England, was such a shock to many home fans the Sporting Times newspaper published a mock obituary which read: "In Affectionate Remembrance of English Cricket, which died at the Oval on 29th August, 1882. Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances. RIP. N.B. The body will be cremated and the Ashes taken to Australia."

02. 1934: Ponsford and Bradman pound England

England had Australia 21 for one in their first innings. But that was as good as it got for the hosts with Bill Ponsford (266) and Don Bradman (244) sharing a then world record second-wicket stand of 451 in a match Australia won by 562 runs to take the Ashes 2-1.

03. 1938: Hutton and England rewrite the record books

Yorkshire batsman Leonard Hutton broke Bradman's record for the highest individual Test score, making 364 to surpass the Australia great's 334.

England's total of 903 for seven declared was a world record at the time and still remains their highest while the winning margin of an innings and 579 runs remains the widest of all-time.

04. 1948: Bradman bags the most famous nought of all

Bradman, needing just four runs to finish with a Test average of exactly 100, was bowled second ball for nought by leg-spinner Eric Hollies. But Bradman's career average of 99.94 has never been surpassed and that year he led his 'Invincibles' to a 4-0 Ashes series victory.

05. 1953: Compton ends England's long wait

England hadn't held the Ashes for 19 years when the dashing Denis Compton swept the winning runs to spark a mass pitch invasion as the hosts won by eight wickets and so take the series.

06. 1964: Trueman takes 300 Test wickets

Fred Trueman became the first bowler to take 300 Test wickets when he had Australia's Neil Hawke caught in the slips by Colin Cowdrey.

Asked if anyone would break his record, Yorkshire fast bowler Trueman replied: "I don't know, but whoever does it will be bloody tired!"

07. 1968: Fans help Underwood put Australia in a spin

Rain appeared to have washed out all hope of an England last day win but enthusiastic spectators mopped up before spinner Derek Underwood cleaned up with seven for 50 as England won with minutes to spare.

08. 1972: Chappell brothers just tonderful

Test cricket had been taking place for nearly a hundred years when Australia captain Ian Chappell (118) and his younger brother Greg (113) became the first siblings to score centuries in the same Test innings. Australia won by five wickets and the series ended all square at 2-2 - the last drawn Ashes.

09. 2001: Waugh wounds England

Australia captain Steve Waugh, a thorn in the old enemy's side, didn't let a calf muscle injury stand in the way of his marking a final Test appearance in England with an unbeaten century.

10. 2005: Pietersen seals stunning series

England, needing 'just' a draw to regain the Ashes after 16 years, were 67 for three on the last day and in danger of seeing the prize slip away from their grasp when Kevin Pietersen stepped in with an astounding counter-attack innings of 158.

But it might have been all very different had he not been dropped early in his innings by Shane Warne, a county colleague at Hampshire.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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