Cricket ListiclesThe Ashes

The Ashes: Ranking the Greatest 5 All-round Performances

The Ashes is a highly prestigious cricket series played between England and Australia. It originated in 1882 and has been fiercely contested ever since. The series consists of five Test matches, with the winner taking home the symbolic urn. 

Over the years, the Ashes encounters have witnessed some incredible performances, including remarkable all-round displays by players such as Ian Botham, Andrew Flintoff, Ben Stokes, and Shane Watson. These cricketers showcased exceptional skills with both bat and ball, leaving an indelible mark on Ashes history.

Andrew Flintoff’s All-Round Brilliance – Ashes 2005, Edgbaston:

Andrew Flintoff emerged as the ultimate hero in the second Test of the 2005 Ashes series at Edgbaston. With England posting 407 runs in the first innings, Flintoff showcased his all-round brilliance. His devastating bowling display of 4 wickets for 79 runs dismantled the Australian batting lineup. However, his outstanding batting effort, with scores of 73 and an unbeaten 68, led England to a nail-biting 2-run victory. The charismatic English all-rounder changed the momentum of the match on its head. Edgbaston crowd was on their feet cheering for the Flintoff.

The Headingley Miracle: Ben Stokes’ Unbelievable Heroics – Ashes 2019, Headingley:

In the third Test of the 2019 Ashes series at Headingley, Ben Stokes etched his name into cricket folklore with an awe-inspiring display. Chasing an improbable target of 359, Stokes played an innings for the ages. His breathtaking knock of 135 not out, studded with 11 boundaries and 8 sixes, defied the relentless Australian bowlers. Against all odds, Stokes propelled England to an astonishing one-wicket victory, creating an unforgettable Ashes moment known as the “Headingley Miracle.” This remarkable performance will forever be etched in the hearts of cricket fans worldwide.

Ian Botham’s Unforgettable Counter-Attack – Ashes 1981, Headingley

Ian Botham executed an unforgettable exhibition of talent and resilience in the third Test of the 1981 Ashes series at Headingley. In the face of a threatening follow-up, Botham launched an incredible counter-attack. His unbeaten 149-run knock, led by one of the fastest Ashes centuries, shifted the course of the game and re-energized England’s chances. Botham added 6 wickets for 95 runs in Australia’s second innings to his heroics, opening the door for an unlikely 18-run triumph. This innings is a testament to Botham’s never say die attitude and will permanently be etched in the memory of the cricket fans.

The Old Trafford Showdown: Ian Botham’s Dominance – Ashes 1981, Old Trafford:

The fourth Test of the 1981 Ashes series at Old Trafford witnessed Ian Botham’s extraordinary all-round prowess. After England’s first-innings collapse, Botham displayed his bowling mastery with figures of 5 wickets for just 11 runs. This exceptional performance played a significant role in dismissing Australia for 198. Moreover, Botham contributed a crucial innings of 118 runs in England’s second innings, propelling them to a commanding total. With two more wickets in hand, Botham guided England to a resounding 103-run victory, solidifying his status as a cricketing legend.

The Oval Masterclass: Shane Watson’s Superb Effort – Ashes 2013, The Oval:

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In the final Test of the 2013 Ashes series at The Oval, Shane Watson delivered a memorable all-round performance. After Australia set a daunting total of 492, Watson showcased his bowling prowess, taking remarkable figures of 6 wickets for 51 runs. His superb display restricted England to 377 in their first innings. Watson then showcased his batting brilliance with an unbeaten knock of 176 runs, leading Australia to a draw and earning himself the well-deserved Man of the Match award. This remarkable effort at The Oval will forever be one of the best performances by a visiting player on English soil.

Read Now: What makes Ben Stokes a match winner?

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