Test matches in England in 2005


Test matches in England in 2005

There were seven Test matches played in England in 2005. The first two were against Bangladesh, the bottom-ranked test team. England started this series ranked second in the LG ICC Test Championship table.

The remaining tests were played for the Ashes against Australia, the top-ranked team in the world. The series is widely regarded as one of the best ever played.

England v Bangladesh

First Test: England v Bangladesh (26-28 May)

Day One

A low-scoring first day of cricket at Lord's included two batting collapses, first from Australia and then from England who got their go at batting just before tea. Ricky Ponting won the toss and chose to bat, and after Steve Harmison had shaken up the opening batsmen early on, hitting Australia's batsmen with bouncers, in particular one that had Justin Langer on the elbow, a procession of wickets began. Matthew Hoggard was inaccurate, but the early swing under the cloud suited him, and the ball that he did get on line swung between bat and pad to smash into Matthew Hayden's off stump. Australia still scored quickly, helped by aggressive field placings from England, but Harmison got the reward for short and pacy bowling when Ricky Ponting edged him to Andrew Strauss at third slip for 9. Langer, who had looked immaculate all morning and taken on the bowlers, was next to depart, Michael Vaughan getting reward with his bowling changes as Andrew Flintoff lured Langer into an expansive pull to Harmison at square-leg. And when Simon Jones was brought on in the sixteenth over, he got an immediate reward, with Damien Martyn gone for 2. Another man came and went before lunch, Michael Clarke, and Australia were five down after the first session of play.

Adam Gilchrist, Simon Katich and Shane Warne all played a part in getting Australia past 100, with their scores in the 20s, but Harmison - coming back for a second spell - wrapped them up with variations in length along with his ever-reliant pace. He finished with five for 43, allowing Glenn McGrath to be stranded on 10 not out, and McGrath was to take centre stage when England batted. They survived six overs until tea, scoring ten runs, but McGrath, who bowled his usual accurate line and length and got the odd ball to move, reaped massive rewards. Marcus Trescothick fell first ball after tea, edging to slip, and Strauss fell in similar fashion three balls later. Michael Vaughan and Ian Bell were shaken up, but survived six overs - before McGrath started the torture again. They were both bowled, as was Andrew Flintoff, and England had lost five wickets for 21 runs, with five of their front line batsmen out in single figures. However, Kevin Pietersen and Geraint Jones gave England a glimmer of hope, pairing up for 58 before Brett Lee's reverse-swing with the old ball induced a backward edge off Jones' bat to Adam Gilchrist. Ashley Giles hit two quick boundaries, but a short pacy ball from Lee undid him, and England were 92 for 7 overnight - needing 98 for the last three wickets to get level with Australia.

Day Two

England's difficulties continued in the morning. Despite McGrath not getting nearly as much swing, Hoggard departed for an eight-ball duck, cutting a delivery from Shane Warne to Hayden in the slips. Throwing caution to the wind, Pietersen launched himself into his natural game, taking twenty-one runs off seven deliveries before finally being out caught by Damien Martyn, a splendid catch just metres off the ropes, as England looked to subside for 130. However, in yet another twist, Simon Jones and Harmison fought back with some streaky accumulation, pairing up for 33 - the fifth-highest partnership of the game thus far - to reduce Australia's lead to 35 runs. England also got a good start fielding, Pietersen having a flat throw at the stumps to run out Langer for 6, but Hayden and Ricky Ponting rebuilt well.

In fact, the entire top order apart from Langer batted to high scores, but Clarke needed an extra life to do it. Pietersen dropped him on 21, with the Australian score 139 for 3, and instead of England getting the vital breakthrough Clarke and Martyn ran away with it, hitting 155 in 34.3 overs. Flintoff was smashed to all corners, and his figures read for 84 runs in nineteen overs, but England fought back late in the day - in the frantic last ten overs, started by an inside-edge from Clarke off Hoggard, Australia lost four wickets for 24 runs. However, Australia had gained a lead of 314 runs by the end of the second day, and still had Katich there on 10.

Day Three

Four overs into the morning, Ashley Giles returned what could arguably be said to be his most useful contribution of the match, having Brett Lee run out for 8. However, the always defensive Jason Gillespie proved too difficult to get out for England, Harmison menacing him with bouncers and yorkers but not managing it, and it was the quietly toiling Jones who finally got his reward with an away-swinger that crashed into Gillespie's off-stump - after having a number of catches dropped, one especially simple one by namesake Geraint. Glenn McGrath and Katich continued with a partnership of 43, as England was set what would be a world record 420 to win.

They started positively, riding their luck and good favour with the umpires - a number of lbw appeals were turned down both before and after tea - as Strauss and Trescothick paired up for 80 for the first wicket before Strauss edged a classic pace-man's short-ball from Lee back into the bowler's waiting hands. Vaughan got nicely off the mark with a four with his second ball, however, suggesting that England would be playing positively to get the target - but Lee and Warne just kept pounding. Trescothick departed for 44, edging a straight ball from Warne to first slip - having taken him for ten in the previous over - and Bell was left hopelessly plumb to a ball that didn't turn. When Vaughan - who had failed to buy a run off the last 23 deliveries - was bowled comprehensively by Lee, there was nowhere to hide for England, and not even an unbeaten 42 from Pietersen to see England to stumps could hide the inevitable - that England needed 301 for the last five wickets, with a world-class bowling attack at the other end.

Day Four

Rain frustrated both Australia and neutral fans on the morning of the fourth day, but after four hours the sun finally broke through and the covers were taken off. It only took ten overs for Australia to wrap up England's innings, McGrath taking four of the five wickets required and Warne the last - Giles, Hoggard, Harmison and Simon Jones all gone for ducks - as England could only add 24 runs, 22 of them from Pietersen who was left stranded on an unbeaten 64 to have a Test batting average of 121 after the first match. [http://www.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/AUS_IN_ENG/SCORECARDS/AUS_ENG_T1_21-25JUL2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]

econd Test: England v Australia (4-7 August)

Day One

Glenn McGrath was once again ruled out due to injury, this time to his elbow, and Australia also dropped the out-of-form Jason Gillespie, leaving them with a seam attack of Brett Lee, debutant Shaun Tait and Michael Kasprowicz. England, having been on top in the last two Tests, were unchanged.

England won the toss and chose to bat, and they got off to a flyer. Boosted by no-balls from the seamers — a total of 18 before lunch — Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss made hay quickly, and enjoyed batting on a pitch which gave the bowlers no aid. They recorded their second 100-run opening partnership of the series, before Strauss was freakishly dismissed for 35, sweeping Shane Warne onto his boot and into Matthew Hayden's waiting hands at slip — a wicket confirmed by the third umpire. Michael Vaughan continued on his fine form from Old Trafford, though, punishing bad balls from Brett Lee to go into lunch with his score on 14. Trescothick, meanwhile, rode his luck, as he was bowled off a no-ball on 55, much to Lee's displeasure. At lunch England were 129 for 1.

Only 3.1 overs were possible in the afternoon session due to rain. Coming back after tea, England immediately lost two wickets to Shaun Tait, who used the cloud cover to good effect and swung the ball well. However, Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen batted well together for a 67-run partnership, although they were each dropped once. Towards the end of the day, Ricky Ponting brought himself on, and his medium pace yielded a wicket — that of Vaughan for 58. Overnight, the match was evenly poised with England 229 for 4.

Day Two

Australia dismissed Pietersen at the beginning of the morning's play, edging a full oustwinger from Lee through to wicket-keeper Gilchrist. But an unbeaten century partnership from Andrew Flintoff and Geraint Jones took England's score to 344 for 5 at lunch.

After lunch, the pair continued to score quickly for another hour, and extended their partnership to 177 before Flintoff was lbw to Tait for 102, his first Test century against Australia. The loss of Flintoff did not deter the English, as Jones continued to hit runs through the off side on the way to his highest score against the Australians, making 85 before he was caught and bowled by Kasprowicz. The next two wickets fell quickly, but a stubborn last-wicket partnership of 23 between Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones — including an incident where the ball hit the stumps but the bails failed to fall off — saw England to 477 all out at tea.

In the evening session, England's bowlers, especially Matthew Hoggard, managed to find much more swing than the Australian bowlers had done, and ripped through the Australian top order. The first three wickets fell in a crucial period of 11 balls (although the third, which dismissed Damien Martyn lbw, was a debatable decision — television replays indicated that the ball might have hit the bat before the body). By stumps Australia had been reduced to 99 for 5 to complete an excellent day for England.

Day Three

Simon Katich and Adam Gilchrist decided that attack was the best form of defence, adding 58 in only 8.5 overs in the morning, before England came back to take the next four wickets for the addition of only 18 runs, leaving Australia perilously placed at 175 for 9. Simon Jones was the main culprit, using swing to good effect as he removed Katich and Warne in successive balls, and then had Kasprowicz clean bowled. Brett Lee added 47 in 44 balls, including three huge sixes, to take Australia's score to 218, before he was caught off Simon Jones's bowling to give Jones his fifth wicket of the innings. Despite their aggressive batting, Australia therefore finished the first innings 259 runs behind.

Michael Vaughan then gambled, by enforcing the follow-on on the visitors (the first time Australia had followed on in 17 years). By lunch, Australia had reached 14 without loss in their second innings, and they powered on in the afternoon session, only losing Matthew Hayden and adding 100 more runs before tea. For England, the afternoon session was their worst of the match — to compound their misery, Simon Jones showed signs of injury, and Andrew Strauss dropped Justin Langer on 38.

In the evening session, England managed to take three wickets, but also dropped a catch and missed a stumping. Australia thus finished the day still 37 runs in arrears but with six wickets still in hand. Simon Jones also went off the field during the evening session with an ankle injury, and was taken to hospital for an ankle scan. While Jones was off the field receiving attention, substitute fielder Gary Pratt ran out Australian captain Ricky Ponting, who verbally expressed his displeasure at England's use of subs to the players, umpires and administrators as he left the field.

Day Four

Day Four began in earnest with Michael Clarke and Simon Katich continuing their partnership from the previous day. However, Katich had already twice flirted with dismissal, saved only by chance both times. In the words of BBC cricket commentator Henry Blofeld, "It's very much a game of chess - white-flannelled figures on green grass." The English and the Australians proceeded into a cold war for a good part of the morning, with England attempting to frustrate the Australian batting, but with the latter refusing to take the bait. England's lead slowly evaporated without a wicket falling, but Matthew Hoggard's taking of Clarke's and then Adam Gilchrist's scalps on either side of the lunch break swung the initiative back into England's hands.

The injury to Simon Jones became somewhat obvious as the pacers struggled to capture the magic that Jones had created the previous day that had forced Australia to follow on. Despite this, the Australian run rate remained low as both sides stared each other down. Mistakes by Geraint Jones and Kevin Pietersen were quickly nullified by the dismissal of Warne for 45 and Kasprowicz for 19, and after a few overs' resistance Tait was bowled middle stump for 4, leaving 129 for the English to chase after tea.

England then proceeded to send the game into a nailbiter — English wickets fell quickly as Shane Warne took four wickets (including those of Marcus Trescothick (27), Michael Vaughan (0) and Andrew Strauss (23)). Brett Lee dismissed Ian Bell (3) and at 57 for 4 England were in trouble. Andrew Flintoff (26) and Kevin Pietersen (23) then steadied the ship with an invaluable partnership of 46 before both fell in quick succession to Lee. Despite Geraint Jones (3) being dismissed cheaply, the partnership of Ashley Giles (7) and Matthew Hoggard (8) guided the English home. Man of the match honours went to Andrew Flintoff, but more importantly this gave the English a crucial 2–1 edge heading back to London for the fifth and final Test, ensuring that they could not lose the series. However, with the Ashes going to Australia in the event of a drawn series, there was still all to play for at The Oval.

[http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/shared/fds/hi/statistics/cricket/scorecards/2005/8/11881/html/scorecard.stm (BBC Scorecard)]
[http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/cricket/england/4192310.stm Ashes Reactions from the public (last day)]

Final Test: England v Australia (8-12 September)

Team changes

Australia named Glenn McGrath, recovered from an elbow injury, to replace Michael Kasprowicz. England's Simon Jones did not recover from his ankle injury from the previous Test in time to be included in the England team, and was replaced after much speculation by all-rounder Paul Collingwood, in preference to specialist fast bowler James Anderson.

Day One

The final match to decide the fate of the legendary Ashes urn finally began, and the proverbial first blood was drawn by England as Michael Vaughan won his third toss of the series (much to the delight of the Brit Oval crowd). Vaughan elected to have his English side to bat first, and the English first innings got underway. Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss added 82 for the first wicket, as England's batsmen looked to take on the Australians, but subtle spin variations bowled from Shane Warne yielded three wickets as England went to lunch on 115 for 3.

Shane Warne continued after lunch by taking the wicket of Kevin Pietersen for 14. Andrew Flintoff emerged to form a vital partnership of 143 with Andrew Strauss, before to falling to Glenn McGrath for 72 an hour after tea. Strauss made his 2nd century of the series, before being dismissed by Shane Warne off an acrobatic catch by Simon Katich. The day ended with Geraint Jones and Ashley Giles at the crease, with England 319 for 7. Certain forecasts for London called for showers sometime during the weekend, which, it was thought, might wipe up to a day of action or more from the ledger.

Day Two

Day two began positively for the Australians, with Jones being bowled for 25 off Brett Lee, and Matthew Hoggard managing a meagre 2 before being dismissed by McGrath. However, Ashley Giles and Steve Harmison frustrated the Australians by taking the score past 370, before Warne trapped Giles lbw shortly before midday, leaving England all out for 373.

The Australian first innings got off to a solid start, with Justin Langer forging a 100 partnership with fellow opener Matthew Hayden — the first opening-partnership century of the series by the Australian cricket team. Langer played some blistering strokes off Giles' bowling in particular, but survived a sharp chance to Marcus Trescothick at first slip. The Australians were offered the light immediately after tea, despite the English protesting and wanting to bowl Giles. The Australians accepted it, and the light never improved, with light rain coming down later. Thus, the day concluded with Australia 112/0, 261 runs behind England.

Day Three

After a delay for wet field conditions, the third day began with a flurry of action, as both Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden had close calls with lbw appeals, which replays suggested should have been out, and shies at the stumps that just missed. However, no batsman was given out in the morning session, where only 14 overs of play was possible due to rain. Australia added 45 runs in that time.

After lunch Hayden and Langer continued their solid batting, frustrating the England bowlers, with Langer reaching his 22nd Test century. Shortly afterwards, England gained a minor victory as Harmison dismissed Justin Langer, who departed to a rapturous ovation. Ricky Ponting should then have been dismissed for a bat-pad catch off Giles, but Bowden turned down the appeal. Hayden also achieved three-figure success later in the day, while Flintoff's hostile and accurate bowling was rewarded with the wicket of Ricky Ponting, caught at slip by Strauss. With this wicket, Andrew Flintoff equalled Ian Botham's hitherto unique achievement of 300 runs and 20 wickets in an Ashes series. Flintoff had a later appeal for a catch behind turned down by Rudi Koertzen, despite it hitting the bat.

The Australian batsmen once again ended the day early by accepting an offer of bad light, bringing a much-interrupted day to a close after only 45.4 overs. Thanks to dogged batting and at least four umpiring decisions in their favour on the third day, they finished 96 runs behind with eight wickets of their first innings intact.

Day Four

The fourth day started brightly for England, Damien Martyn hooking a short ball from Flintoff straight into the hands of Collingwood, in the third over of the day, having added only one to his overnight score of nine. Further wickets fell, with an excellent knock by Matthew Hayden been brought to an end by Andrew Flintoff. Flintoff continued with impetus and trapped Simon Katich lbw for 1, before Hoggard had Adam Gilchrist lbw with an inswinger at the stroke of lunch. Gilchrist, however, had added a quick 23 that could be vital, as Australia went into the pavilion 17 runs behind with four wickets in hand.

However, it only took six post-lunch overs for England to end the Australian effort. Geraint Jones dropped a catch off Michael Clarke's bat, but it did not prove to be crucial, as Clarke was lbw to Hoggard in the next over. Warne and McGrath both went for ducks, caught off a mistimed hook and in the slips respectively. Finally Hoggard had Brett Lee (6) caught in the deep and Australia were bowled out for 367. Flintoff finished with five wickets, the second five-for of his career, while Hoggard's four for 97 was his best return of the series.

Thus England, who had expected to begin their second innings chasing a hundred runs or more, were actually leading by six as they took up their bats in mid-afternoon. Australia took a very quick wicket, that of Andrew Strauss, who was dismissed again by Shane Warne, caught bat-and-pad by Katich for a solitary run. The wicket was Warne's 167th against England, equalling Dennis Lillee's Ashes bowling record. 11 balls after this dismissal, umpires Rudi Koertzen and Billy Bowden judged it unfair to continue play due to inadequate light. One additional session of play was however subsequently possible, taking England to a 40-run lead without further loss, before poor light ended the day.

[http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/4234498.stm BBC day four synopsis]

Day Five

The fifth day began with the game still finely balanced. Ponting put his trust in his two proven wicket takers -- McGrath and Warne. England batted well for forty minutes, with Vaughan taking the game to the Australian bowlers, but McGrath produced two beautiful outswingers to dismiss him and Ian Bell with consecutive deliveries. The Australian charge was diminished by a couple of uncharacteristic dropped catches, but Warne and McGrath combined to take 4 wickets before lunch, leaving England 133 runs ahead with 5 wickets remaining.

The afternoon session was anchored by Pietersen, the beneficiary of three dropped catches, who scored his maiden Test century, with obdurate support from Collingwood and Giles. The session saw only two wickets fall, Collingwood was caught acrobatically by silly mid-off Ponting for 10, and Geraint Jones (1) decisively bowled when he was deceived by a rapid Tait delivery. Pietersen was finally dismissed for 158, a superlative innings including 15 fours and 7 sixes, while Ashley Giles added 59 and Steve Harmison was dismissed for a duck to bring Australia into bat with less than 19 overs remaining.

As the Australians began their innings, it was clear that not enough time remained for them to make up the 341 runs by which they trailed. Almost immediately they were offered the light; and having accepted it, both teams had to return to the dressing-rooms to wait for a formal finish. The situation became somewhat farcical. With the match effectively over, the crowd were eager for the Ashes to be presented to England, and the celebrations to begin. After a period of some uncertainty and confusion, at 18:17 BST umpires Koertzen and Bowden removed the bails and pulled up the stumps to signal the end of the match. With no result in this fifth and final Test, England took the series 2-1, regaining the Ashes for the first time since 1987.

Kevin Pietersen, having scored his maiden Test century at a crucial point, was voted Man of the Match by Channel 4 viewers. Andrew Flintoff was chosen by Australian coach John Buchanan as English Man of the Series while English coach Duncan Fletcher selected Shane Warne as the Australian Man of the Series. The new Compton-Miller Award for the overall man of the series (as selected by each side's chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns and David Graveney) was also presented to Andrew Flintoff. Finally, the replica urn was presented to jubilant English skipper Michael Vaughan, thus ending the series in favour of the home side.

The next series, scheduled for 2006-2007, will be played in Australia with England defending the Ashes.

[http://usa.cricinfo.com/db/ARCHIVE/2005/AUS_IN_ENG/SCORECARDS/AUS_ENG_T5_08-12SEP2005.html (Cricinfo scorecard)]


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