Five great Ashes series

npower Ashes Series 2009
Ian Botham

Ian Botham

1902 (Australia won 2-1)

After rain-affected draws at Edgbaston and Lord's, Australia took control with a 143-run win at Bramall Lane - the Yorkshire ground's only Test match - Clem Hill's 119 in the second innings swinging it their way.

The tourists secured the series with a narrow three-run win at Old Trafford - despite being bowled out for 86 in their second innings, thanks to six wickets from off-spinner Hugh Trumble.

Trumble was again outstanding with 12 wickets in the final match at The Oval - but England produced one of the great fightbacks to win by one wicket, chasing 263.

1930 (Australia won 2-1)

Don Bradman hit 974 runs at an average of 139.14 as Australia reclaimed the Ashes.

His innings included his Test-best 334 at Headingley, 254 at Lord's and 232 at The Oval.

Yet England fought hard to win the opener at Trent Bridge and kept themselves in the series with a draw in Leeds, courtesy of a hundred by Wally Hammond.

It was a different story at The Oval as Australia won by an innings and 73 runs in the decisive final game.

1932-33 (England won 4-1)

The most notorious and controversial series of all and one which led to serious diplomatic problems between England and Australia.

The Australians objected to the 'unsporting' Bodyline tactics of England captain Douglas Jardine, who devised a method of 'leg theory', using fast bowlers principally to contain Bradman.

With the brilliant Harold Larwood leading the attack, England sparked fury around Australia - but they came up with wins in Sydney (twice), Adelaide and Brisbane to take the series convincingly.

Yet even with the tactics to combat him, Bradman still averaged 56.57.

1981 (England won 3-1)

The sensational performances of Ian Botham turned a seemingly certain series defeat into a famous victory.

Botham had a dreadful start to the series and was removed as captain after the second Test - in which he made a pair - with England 1-0 down.

He bounced back in sensational fashion, inspiring the magnificent 500/1 win at Headingley with an unbeaten 149 and then taking a match-winning five for 11 at Edgbaston. His magic vontinued with 118 at Old Trafford.

2005 (England won 2-1)

England reclaimed the Ashes after 17 years in memorable fashion last summer.

A truly great team performance revolved around the all-round brilliance of Andrew Flintoff, a dangerous seam attack featuring Matthew Hoggard, Simon Jones and Stephen Harmison and a winning spirit propelled by the likes of captain Michael Vaughan and cocksure newcomer Kevin Pietersen.

Australia fought tooth and nail, but England held on for a dramatic draw at The Oval to clinch the series.

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