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England's record at the Gabba

Dubbed the 'Gabbatoir' in recent years, England will take heart from their last appearance in Brisbane when they recovered from a perilous position to salvage a confidence-boosting draw.

Trailing by 221 runs after the first innings, England batted again and made a scarcely believable 517 for one – something Graham Gooch called 'the perfect scoreboard'.

Alastair Cook, who struck an unbeaten 235, put on 188 with Andrew Strauss (110) and 329 with Jonathan Trott (135 not out) to ensure England travelled to Adelaide with the series level.

Jonathan Trott, Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss chalked up centuries as England made 517 for oneYou have to go back to 1986 for England's last victory at the Gabba.

In that game Ian Botham cracked 138 as England rattled up 456 after being asked to bat first.

Graham Dilley then took 5-68 as Australia followed on and five wickets from John Emburey in the second innings left England chasing 75 to win, which they duly did.

"It was the perfect start to the tour," recalled captain Mike Gatting. "The Gabba has changed a fair bit since I last played there; it's quite an arena now.

"As captain, if you win the toss you think you should bowl, but then have a bat. You need to bat well, though, but once you get through the first session it becomes a good pitch for two or three days.

"Quite often the team that wins the first session at Brisbane wins the Test. That first ball, first over and first couple of hours are crucial."

Twice in recent series the first ball at Brisbane has set the tone for the rest of the Test.

In 1994 Michael Slater sent Australia on their way towards a big victory by hitting Phil DeFreitas' first ball of the series for four.

Who could forget Steve Harmison bowling the opening delivery of the 2006-07 Ashes to second slip? We all know what happened after that.

The scoreboard at the Gabba made pleasant reading for England fans who saw the tourists pile on the runs

And perhaps we should not mention Nasser Hussain's decision to field first at Brisbane in 2002.

In the 19 Tests England have played in Brisbane, they have won just four and lost 10.

It all started so well, too. The tourists triumphed in their first two Tests at Brisbane, a seven-wicket victory in 1933 followed by a 322-run win three years later.

In that game Maurice Leyland's 126 in the first innings put England in a position of strength, which fast bowlers Bill Voce and Gubby Allen exploited. Voce finished with match figures of 10-57 while Allen took eight wickets.

England had to wait 42 years for their next success in Brisbane, which began with Bob Willis, Chris Old and Ian Botham bowling Australia out for just 116.

Derek Randall made 75 as England built up a healthy lead but Australia regrouped, and hundreds from Graham Yallop and Kim Hughes set the visitors 170 to win.

It was Randall who took England home with an unbeaten 74 while David Gower played his part to finish on 48 not out.

 

 

England-Australia Brisbane records

England wins: 4

Australia wins: 10

Draws: 5

Ian Botham hits out during his 138 in the 1986 Test which England won

England - highest total: 517/1; lowest total: 79

Australia - highest total: 645; lowest total: 58

 

1933: England won by six wickets

1936: England won by 322 runs

 

1946: Australia won by innings and 322 runs

1950: Australia won by 70 runs

1954: Australia won by innings and 154 runs

1958: Australia won by eight wickets

1962: Draw

1965: Draw

1970: Draw

1974: Australia won by 166 runs

1978: England won by seven wickets

1982: Australia won by seven wickets

1986: England won by seven wickets

1990: Australia won by 10 wickets

1994: Australia won by 184 runs

1998: Draw

2002: Australia won by 384 runs

2006: Australia won by 277 runs

2010: Draw

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