LAWRENCE BOOTH: Five great Ashes Tests in Sydney

LAWRENCE BOOTH: It’s more than a decade since Alastair Cook rounded off the series of his life… England’s most recent Test win on Australian soil is one of the five great Sydney Tests in Ashes history

  • England’s fourth Test of the Ashes gets underway in Sydney on Wednesday 
  • Sydney has been home to some of the most memorable moments in the Ashes
  • Sportsmail takes a look at the five of the best Ashes tests in Sydney 

After their miserable start to the Ashes, England will begin their fourth Test against Australia on Wednesday in Sydney.

Sydney has been home to some memorable Tests in the long history of the Ashes.

Sportsmail‘s Lawrence Booth takes a look at five of the best Tests to take place in Sydney.

Joe Root’s side start the fourth Test in Sydney on Wednesday after a dismal Ashes to date

Sydney though saw England’s last Test victory on Australian soil back in 2011 (pictured above)

1884-85: Australia won by six runs

Arthur Shrewsbury’s England needed 214 to go 3-0 up with two to play and looked on course at 194 for six after a century stand between Wilf Flowers and Maurice Read. 

But Australia’s demonic fast bowler Fred Spofforth bowled Read for 56, before William Attewell was run out first ball and Bobby Peel fell to Hugh Trumble. 

When Spofforth removed Flowers to finish with six for 90, Australia had squeaked home. They squared the series soon after, before a relieved England won at Melbourne to retain the Ashes.

1894-95: England won by 10 runs

There have been three instances in Test history of a team winning after following on. Australia have been the victim on each occasion and this was the first. 

England were stuck back in after replying to the hosts’ 586 with 325, but a century from opener Albert Ward took them to 437, leaving Australia 177 for victory. 

At 130 for two, it looked over. But overnight rain had turned the SCG pitch into a sticky dog and spinner Bobby Peel — after being shoved under the shower by captain Andrew Stoddart to sober up — claimed six wickets and knock Australia over for 166. England ran out 3-2 winners.

1954-55: England won by 38 runs

Len Hutton’s team were already 1-0 down after a heavy defeat at Brisbane when they were skittled for 154 at Sydney. 

Australia replied with 228, before a hundred from Peter May helped set a target of 223. 

Fast bowler Frank Tyson had been piqued by a blow to the back of his head by Ray Lindwall in England’s second innings and now stormed in to bowl four Australians en route to innings figures of six for 85 and a match haul of 10 for 131.

Tyson went on to take seven for 27 at Melbourne and England would eventually complete an Ashes-retaining 3-1 win.

1970-71: England won by 62 runs

Thanks to rain earlier in the series at Melbourne, this game was — and still is — the only seventh Test in history. Australia had held the Ashes since 1958-59 and needed 223 to square the series and keep them. It was a fiery game. 

England captain Ray Illingworth argued with home umpire Lou Rowan about whether fast bowler John Snow could bowl bouncers at Australia’s tailenders, then led his team off after the crowd hurled bottles on the outfield. 

Eventually, England re-emerged to complete a famous win, with Illingworth chaired off the SCG by his team-mates.

Ray Illingworth had to be chaired off the SCG by his team-mates in the 1970-71 Ashes

2010-11: England won by an innings and 83 runs

It seems hard to imagine now but just over a decade ago England’s batsmen were racking up 644 and taking 20 relatively cheap Australian wickets — seven of them claimed by Jimmy Anderson. 

Alastair Cook rounded off the series of his life with 189, before centuries from Ian Bell and Matt Prior ground the home bowlers into the SCG dust. 

It was England’s third innings win of a memorable series and their most recent Test victory on Australian soil.

Alastair Cook (R) had the series of his life when England last won a Test on Australian soil




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