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Learning English - Words in the News
14 September, 2005 - Published 16:30 GMT
England win the Ashes
English cricket captain with the Ashes

England have won the Ashes cricket series against Australia for the first time in 18 years. England drew the last match played in London which gave them them a 2-1 victory over Australia in the five match Ashes series.

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Every one of the last four games has produced a close and enthralling finish. Grounds have been packed, and for the fifth and final Test, with the result in the balance, every available vantage point was occupied. Some spectators perched precariously on the roofs of adjoining buildings. Apartments overlooking the ground were full of joyous fans to watch a famous England win.

Midway through the afternoon there was nervous anticipation as Australia began to hold the advantage. But a brutal innings from Kevin Pieterson, who hit his first century with fearsome power, swung the game to a position where England couldn't lose.

Many observers regard the series as the greatest ever played and underlines the improvement English cricket has shown over the past few years.

Listen to the words

a close and enthralling finish
a tight and exciting end

grounds have been packed
lots of people have watched the matches

with the result in the balance
unclear which team would win

every available vantage point was occupied
all good viewing spots were taken

spectators perched precariously
people watched the game from quite dangerous places

to hold the advantage
to be in a stronger position

brutal innings
very strong batting performance

one hundred runs

swung the game to a position where England couldn't lose
changed the balance of the game so that England would definitely win

underlines the improvement
emphasises the advances

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