England win the Ashes
Monday, September 12, 2005
England won the series 2-1, with the other two tests drawn. Australia won the first Test comfortably, but the Second Test saw England level the series with a two run victory that was the narrowest win in Ashes history. The third Test ended in a draw (with England one wicket away from a win), and England narrowly won the fourth Test in Nottingham by three wickets after the English enforced follow on after a poor first innings by Australia.
The fifth and final Test started on 8 September at the Oval in London. It entered its final day evenly balanced with all results still possible and the destination of the urn still in doubt. Australia needed to win to force a 2-2 series draw and retain the Ashes; any other result would give them to England, ending 18 years and eight series of Australian dominance. In the end, England managed to bat out the final day, and a draw ensured the Ashes were coming back to England.
Kevin Pietersen and Ashley Giles hit personal bests of 158 and 59 respectively, to bat out the best part of the last day. Pieterson's 158 was his maiden test century, and included 7 sixes. Early in the day, Australia looked to be in with a chance of winning the match, with early wickets leaving England at 67 for 3. Giles and Pietersen's century partnership, though, left Australia with no hope of catching England in the remains of the day, sealing England's Ashes win since 1987.
England's next Tests will be an away series in Pakistan. Meanwhile, the world champions Australia will play an ICC World XI (which inclues Kevin Pietersen, Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff) in the Johnnie Walker Super Series in early October.
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