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Four other great England wins

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Oliver Brett | 16:09 UK time, Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Tuesday's Ashes win in Adelaide will resonate powerfully as a landmark England victory. Delivered by the crushing margin of an innings and 71 runs, it was the first to be achieved down under with the series still up for grabs since Mike Gatting's victorious tour in 1986-87.

The 2-1 series success from 24 years ago did not release the floodgates for a great run of form from England, in fact it was much the opposite. By the time new captain Nasser Hussain' side were beaten on home soil by New Zealand in 1999, they were ranked bottom of the pile in the Test rankings.

After that woeful summer, Duncan Fletcher was installed as a full-time coach and results have generally been much better since then, despite a post-2005 Ashes blip. The win in Adelaide, which moves England up to third in the latest edition of the ICC's Test Championship ladder, is potentially hugely important.

Since the dawn of the millennium there have been some splendid victories for England on foreign soil across the globe, and here follows a selection of some of the best.

Karachi, Dec 2000 - Eng 388 & 176-4 beat Pakistan 405 & 158 by six wickets

Graham Thorpe and Nasser Hussain celebrate the victory in Karachi

Summary: After two drab draws on flat, slow wickets, England pulled off a thrilling run chase as they battled the impending darkness to pull off their first Test triumph in 39 years in Pakistan, and end a five-series drought against those opponents.

How they did it: The match appeared to be heading to another stalemate until Pakistan collapsed to Darren Gough, Ashley Giles and Craig White either side of lunch on the final day.

England were left with a chase of 176, and crucially earned the sympathy of umpires Steve Bucknor and Mohammad Nazir while Pakistan captain Moin Khan employed some dubious delaying tactics.

Finally, with everyone struggling to see the ball, an inside edge from Graham Thorpe (64 not out) just missed the stumps and England scampered the winning runs. Somewhere in a riotous England dressing room, even the usually sombre-looking Fletcher was smiling.

Kingston, March 2004 - Eng 339 & 20-0 beat W Indies 311 & 47 by 10 wickets

Steve Harmison during his amazing spell

Summary: Mercurial pace bowler Steve Harmison enjoyed his finest hour in an England shirt, recording an extraordinary 7-12, as West Indies capitulated on the fourth morning. The result set up a 3-0 whitewash for Michael Vaughan's team.

How they did it: A match which had been keenly contested for three days exploded into life when West Indies resumed on the fourth morning at 8-0 in their second innings, trailing by just 20 runs.

Using his natural height and pace to maximum effect, Harmison found a perfect length from the off, and the Windies batsmen nicked everything - and missed the straight ones.

With the frontline batsmen blown away in next to no time, Vaughan had eight slips and a short leg to the last few batsmen. With nobody able to launch any sort of fightback, the all-out total of 47 remains their lowest ever.

Jo'burg, Jan 2005 - England 411 & 332-9d beat South Africa 419 & 247 by 77 runs

Matthew Hoggard celebrates in style

Summary: This was the fourth of five Tests in an engrossing and competitive series won 2-1 by England. With only the last two sessions of the Test to bowl out South Africa, Matthew Hoggard (7-61) led the way with an irresistible burst of swing and seam.

How they did it: For four days, these two high-quality sides appeared to have batted each other to a standstill, but Marcus Trescothick resumed on 101 not out on the final day and a plan was afoot.

Trescothick played with brilliantly controlled aggression before falling for 180, adding big runs with the lower order, whereupon Michael Vaughan declared, with South Africa chasing an improbable 332 to win.

With much of the attack either injured or out of form, Hoggard, according to Matthew Engel in the Wisden Almanack, "carried the team on his shoulders like Atlas". He nabbed the last wicket just in time and later dressed up in a cowboy hat and a cigar for photographers eager to mark his "Magnificent Seven".

Mumbai, March 2006 - England 400 & 191 beat India 279 & 100 by 213 runs

Andrew Flintoff gives Shaun Udal a hug

Summary: Despite England's gradual resurgence through the last 11 years, India have remained a fiendishly difficult opponent to overcome whether at home or away, but Andrew Flintoff's often-criticised captaincy worked a treat in this rare triumph.

How they did it: An Andrew Strauss century and James Anderson's 4-40 ensured a healthy first innings lead and when play resumed on the final day, India were 18-1 chasing 313 to win.

Desperate to end the series with a 1-0 win, India never considered going for the runs, and were three wickets down at lunch. But with Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire played at full volume in the England dressing room at the interval, the tourists suddenly seized the match by the scruff of the neck, with the last seven wickets falling in just 15.2 overs.

Flintoff opened the door with the critical wicket of Rahul Dravid, before unheralded 37-year-old spinner Shaun Udal blew it off its hinges with four of the last five wickets. Udal was never picked again.

Have I chosen well? What do you think? Does the excitement of these four matches exceed the refreshing dominance of England in Adelaide? Is Adelaide in fact the best of the lot, or is there another famous win out there you remember?


  • Comment number 1.

    I agree with you on all points. Easy to say but I remember these like yesterday. But Adelaide probably tops the lot. An Ashes sentiment perhaps. Jo'burg was enormous. Adelaide humungous. (Is enomity a greater value than humungosity?!!) Last word.....too close to call for me. Thanks.

  • Comment number 2.

    Good choices, although I rather enjoyed the first time England beat West Indies after all those years of domination and whitewashes.

  • Comment number 3.

    This was one of my favourites!

    The way England ripped through that SA second innings was fantastic - and any post match interview where GSmith has to congratulate England is always fun...

  • Comment number 4.

    Excellent choices Oliver, all chart the milestones from the depths of despair back in 99 - I was at the Oval (day 2 if memory serves correctly) when NZ finished us off in 99 and since then Nass and Fletch, followed by Vaughan have done a very good job of building England into a team that is very difficult to beat.
    Winning in 3 days in Bridgetown in 2004, and seeing a Hoggard hat-trick is also one of my personal favourites.
    I think being an England Cricket fan is going to be an enjoyable experience for some time to come!

  • Comment number 5.

    Sorry, but thé trip down Memory Lane has got me lamenting the sad end to Trescothick's international career. What a legend. And Strauss/Tresco....maybe not as enduring as Hayden/Langer but RIGHT up there (in my book). A change of subject perhaps, but brought on by memories of classic & successful encounters against a top-notch S. African team. Genuinely feel for Tres. Thanks.

  • Comment number 6.

    All of the matches that you have described are marked in my memory and I can remember where I was/what I was doing whilst listening or watching the victories. One that you have not mentioned but sticks in my mind when I had Sky was the final test victory against Sri Lanka at Colombo in 2001 with Ashley Giles and Graham Thorpe edging England over the line for a 2-1 series win.

  • Comment number 7.

    Worryingly I remember the first two like yesterday but the others are hazy!

    All excellent games though now you've reminded me! This one tops the lot though, so long as we clinch the series win!

  • Comment number 8.

    4 epic away displays in the last year: 2 x great escapes from Graham Onions, the T20 World Cup win, and Adelaide. Beating the Aussies by an innings is priceless!

  • Comment number 9.

    I was at the Mumbai win in 2006. At the start of day 5 all 4 results were possible. Was a strange game - Jimmy Anderson's comeback (Harmison injured), Cook had just made his debut at Nagpur, but was ill, so Ian Bell opened with Strauss. Owais Shah batted really well on debut - till he got cramp. Dravid's decision to field first was bizarre. Sachin had a shocker in front of his home crowd, and the Indian guy next to me burst into tears when Udal got him in the second innings. Monty dropped a sitter off of Dhoni, absolutely dreadful shot that he repeated 2 balls later and Monty clung on. It was a fantastic victory - my daughter's favourite moment was Flintoff getting caught at deep square-leg by Munaf Patel, but he'd hit the ball so hard that Munaf stepped back over the boundary - SIX! During the evening session on day 4 we spotted a couple of chaps clinging to thin branches at the top of a very tall tree outside the ground, very precarious, but a great view. Morning of day 5 they were up there again - never figured out if they'd climbed all the way down then back up again, or just stayed in the tree all night...

  • Comment number 10.

    Thanks for the excellent feedback. Colombo, Bridgetown and Durban - which all get a mention here - were not far away on the list, and there was a good one at Port Elizabeth - the series opener in the 04-05 series.

    Now here's a poser. Apply the same criteria to the 90s and what do you get? Precious little. A couple of one-off Ashes successes in Australia when the urn was no longer obtainable, the great win in Kingston in 1990, and... what then?

  • Comment number 11.

    What about the series in Sri Lanka which we won 2-1 after improbably bowling out Sri Lanka for under 80?

  • Comment number 12.

    Oliver, You are quite right about the "great win" in Kingston in 1990. That stands out for me as one of our greatest triumphs in recent years.

    To put it into context, we had been soundly thrashed at home by Border's Australians the previous summer. Nevertheless, after snippets of news had emerged during the autumn of 1989 about England's preparations in a quest to improve , I became convinced that we would not only win the first Test in the Windies but that we would go on to win the series. At first, at Sabina Park, things semed to be going well for the hosts but then Greenidge was run out. My memory of that incident is that he and Haynes decided to run on a fumble by Malcolm at fine leg only for Greenidge to be beaten by a whizz-bang throw from Devon. Then in the Windies 2nd innings Malcolm and Small just blew the home team away.
    We would have gone on to win the series, too, had it not been for blatant time wasting by Haynes, as skipper, in the 2nd Test, and for injuries incurred by a battering from the likes of Walsh and Marshall.

  • Comment number 13.

    Almost forgot....I was at the SCG for the '98/99 Test and saw Gough get his hattrick. Special moment.

  • Comment number 14.

    What about the wins in India in 1984? Hammered in the first test with Sivaramakrishnan taking 12 wkts in the match (I think). Great comeback in the next test at Delhi, with Tim Robinson getting a big score. Two tests later, Fowler and Gatting getting double tons.

  • Comment number 15.

    England beating South Africa in the 1998 series is probably a bit of a standout from the 90's................

    Good old Gus Fraser having a quality series with some outstanding swing bowling. Also the classic Donald vs Atherton duel from the 4th test.

  • Comment number 16.

    Never forget Jim Laker v.Australia in 1956. He finished the match with 19w.for 90 runs. Lock taking the other.

  • Comment number 17.

    The Zimbabwe v England test that ended in a draw with the scores level was a memorable match, albeit for the wrong reasons...kind of summed up England at the time. The '90s were a terrible decade for England, burdened by appalling management and mediocre players - the fabulous win in Kingston in 1990 was a real false dawn. Since 2000, it has been a joy and a pleasure to be an England fan, and the team now is as good as I've ever known it. Feels like payback for those dark days and months and years...

  • Comment number 18.

    I remember staying at work listening to the TMS commentators trying to describe the ball-by-ball commentary of Englands victory in Pakistan - it was a fantastic achievement. Its amazing how those moments, like Edgebaston 95, Adelaide 2010 can wipe all those other horrible memories!

  • Comment number 19.

    This current England side has been doing justice to its enormous potential. Coach Andy Flower has been getting out the maximum from his hugely talented bunch of cricketers. Bowlers, fielders and batsmen have thrived under the guidance of the hardworking and insightful man manager.
    Good going for Strauss and his centurions, double centurions and his band of takers of five wickets.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 20.

    12 and 17. My dad and I watched the final day of the second Test in 1990 in our neighbour's living-room (it might have been the first series shown on Sky) and it was heart-breaking. I think Gooch was injured, and the Windies time-wasting was truly horrendous. Was there some bad weather around as well? Despite all that there was an outside chance we might be able to chase the runs but in the end had to settle for a draw. As you say from that point onwards there was a very bleak period.

    14. Great shout from the 1980s - Neil Foster had some good moments in that one too didn't he?

  • Comment number 21.

    I remember watching the climax of the Karachi test in an Indian hotel hotel room. Happy memories, but was it 10 years ago!!!

  • Comment number 22.

    The best result for me may have been a draw, but I Cannot for the sake of me remember the opposition. It was definately a one day game - abroad and England were in Blue. It was approximately 5 years ago and I Remember the joy on the English players when they secured the draw because I think at one point it was very unlikely.

    I remember the England wicketkeeper Gerraint Jones celebrating on the shoulders of Other players and I think Sky sports used this as advertising. Although not a massive cricket fan I remember being absolutely over joyed with the result and the way the players celebrated. I think the opposition was Australia or South Africa can some one enlighten me please, It was amazing at the time.

  • Comment number 23.

    I can't remember many away wins for England during the 80s and 90s of any note.The one stand out whole tour of that period for me was India in 84/5 under David Gower.We went 1-0 down and came back to win 2-1.

  • Comment number 24.

    22. I think you are talking about the second ODI in Bloemfontein (Feb 2005), when Geraint Jones stumped Andrew Hall off the final ball to secure a tie. Kabir Ali, who has been a bit unlucky not to play more for England, bowled the final over with South Africa needing eight to win. The first ball was a no-ball smashed for four but somehow he dug deep and England got awat with it.

    The match also featured KP's first ton for England, and the result kept England at 1-0 in the series, but it went horribly wrong after that, SA winning the a seven-match series 4-1.

    Here's my report from the time:

  • Comment number 25.

    Karachi has to be my favourite, it was not just the time wating that got up the umpires noses, but the constant desperate appealing for anything that was within 2 inches of the edge of the bat. Still can picture vivedly Thorpe's eyes like gimlets on the gloom. By the end he was the only one to see the ball.

    That final ball went for 4 runs, straight past a fielder in the deep by only a few feet, who had his arms in the air back to his team as he had no idea where it had gone.

    Not "a great win" but Atherton's rearguard in SA still gives me a tingle down the spine.

  • Comment number 26.

    How can no-one have mentioned Edgbaston or Trent Bridge in 2005?

  • Comment number 27.

    Thanks Ollie,

    The BBC should bring back - great sporting moments and show highlights of this match.
    The never say die attitude of the players and the way they celebrated and cared about the result was incredible, the footage should be showed to every England team (whatever the sport) before they take to the field.

  • Comment number 28.

    Agree with all four of these Oliver, but what about Edgbaston 2005? Unless you missed it out deliberately as it has been written about ad verbatim.

    Here are our 10 best England wins of the noughties:

    England's 10 best Test wins of the noughties

  • Comment number 29.

    Re Edgbaston 2005 etc.

    "Since the dawn of the millennium there have been some splendid victories for England on foreign soil across the globe, and here follows a selection of some of the best."

  • Comment number 30.

    The focus of this article is England Test match wins on foreign soil around the World.

    Have to say I think you have pulled out some good ones there, where we managed to win where draws or defeat seemed likely. Adelaide 2010 is a different beast though. Right from ball 1 (ok ball 3) of the game we were all over the Aussies, stuffed 'em. They were never in the game for even a mini-session.

    The fact is there are no examples of England being so superior in a Test match abroad in my time following cricket, the mid 80s.

  • Comment number 31.

    One impressive away win from the 90s was the Test at Bridgetown, Barbados where the Windies had been unbeaten for donkeys years. Stewart scored centurys in both innings against Walsh, Ambrose and Benjamin while Fraser got 8 fer in the first innings and Caddick a 5 fer in the second. Although England couldn't win the series it was a great comeback after being 46 all out in the previous Test!

  • Comment number 32.

    I have to agree with you Oliver regarding the 4 victories you've mentioned. However my favourite noughties overseas victory was at the Kensington Oval in 2003/4 when Thorpe scored a brilliant 119*, Hoggard got a hat-trick, and England took a series clinching victory. I have the DVD and I love the bit where David Gower goes into the dressing room to interview the team and is attacked by flying muffins from a jubilant Flintoff.

    It's hard to think of a great overseas victory in the 90's, most came after the series had gone dead. Probably the 13 run victory over the Aussies at the MCG when Dean Headley produced the best spell of his career.

    Before this series I thought it might have the feeling of 04/05 in SA, both teams really close in ability & no clear winner, but if Australia fail to get it together at Perth it could be more like the 03/04 series in WI; an England team coming of age and realising their potential.

    Let's hope so anyway.

  • Comment number 33.

    England vs West Indies, 2000 at Headingley. Andy Caddick 4 wickets in one over. An innings victory and a crucial match that lead us to our first victory over the Windies for who knows how many years! That series was a classic thanks to Walsh and Ambrose terrorising our batsman, but at the same time our boys knowing that once we saw them off we could cash in. It was a real series of mind games.

    Also, the 2004 tour to the Windies, while the Harmison 7-12 game will always be the one remembered as the greatest game, spare a moment for the game at Kensington Oval. I'll always remember Graham Thorpe's amazing effort to shephard the tail with an amazing ton that lead us from 100 ish for 6 to a lead of a few runs, thus totally demoralising the Windies and giving Hoggard a chance for a classic hat-trick.

  • Comment number 34.

    All the four games you have listed above may be considered significant wins where England have surpassed both themselves, and the expectations of the ever-doubting English media. However, in terms of a true landmark win, none of them can compare to the enormity of the events that have transpired in the South Australian city of Adelaide.

    Stats alone do not portray the whole story, but there re-telling in this match provides a narrative of total dominance: Australia won the (all important?) toss but were skittled out for a paultry 245 runs on a wicket, described pre-match by the Austrailian media, as a road. In reply, England posted a mammoth 620-5 dec. scored at greater than 4 runs per over; could their dominance over the clueless Australian attack have been more complete? Autralia followed up with 305 in their 2nd innings and hence ensured their first innings defeat on home soil since 1993. They had, in fact, batted twice to England's once; lost 4 times as many wickets in the match compared to England, and had been left to rely on the whims of the weather as their hopes of savaging a draw slowly faded away. - WOW! The stuff that dreams are made of - if you are an England fan. How many of us pinched ourselves when reminded of the early morning score? Now that is what I call a landmark performance!

    The next test moves onto the WACA with its oddly named wind called the Freemantle Doctor. However, this may not be the only hint of wind that is starting to blow. The winds of change are a foot. With the change being one of a shift in dominance between the cricketing powers that are Australia and England.

    So to answer the question you first posed - while the other victories were exciting and unexpected, this victory may prove to be a truely landmark one where something that was lost has now been re-discovered - and England find themselves in a place where they have rarely been in recent times against the old enemy; in ascendancy!

  • Comment number 35.

    31. At 4:51pm on 08 Dec 2010, Kentbred wrote:

    One impressive away win from the 90s was the Test at Bridgetown, Barbados where the Windies had been unbeaten for donkeys years. Stewart scored centurys in both innings against Walsh, Ambrose and Benjamin while Fraser got 8 fer in the first innings and Caddick a 5 fer in the second. Although England couldn't win the series it was a great comeback after being 46 all out in the previous Test!

    Forgot about Bridgtown in 98! Another great game, although finished a draw because of the rain.
    batting firs, we were effectively 5/55 at one point as Thorpe had to retire hurt with a bad back. What followed was an amazing fight back, firstly by Jack Russell who frustrated Walsh and Ambrose (who were at their absolute prime) for long enough for Thorpe's back to recover, and then Thorpe and Ramprakash (I think it was Ramps debut 100) batted for nearly a day and we ended at 403, and got a 141 first innings lead and set the WI 375 to win when it rained....Great match, Russell, Thorpe and Ramps were superb in the face of some very hostile bowling

  • Comment number 36.

    Does anyone else think Trott is the new Thorpe?

    Yes, he's right-handed and bats at 3, but his style of nudging and nurdling, hitting the ball in strange places and being someone you know can grind out long innings to get us out of trouble makes him a total Thorpe-alike for me. All Strauss needs to do is get him under a tin at short-leg instead of Cook!

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    Can't remember the year but it was on Sky fro sure England Pakistan or India and England win the series its nearly pitch black.
    Help me out here guys!

  • Comment number 39.

    Roberts answered it for me Karachi vs Pakistan

  • Comment number 40.

    No idea when it was, 1970's? In Australia, Australia needing 74 to win the test. They knocked of half the total before close of play. The next day Jeff Thompson helped them add 34 of the 37 runs required. 3 short when England got the last wicket. I was sitting in the living room with my dad, listening to the radio commentary at what must have been 1 in the morning. Our shouting woke my mum who wondered what all the commotion was about :)

  • Comment number 41.

    Fourth Test, Melbourne, 1982/83

    Thompson and Border.
    Australia were 2-0 up in the series and went on to win 2-1 after the 5th test in sydney was drawn.

  • Comment number 42.

    One of the few memorable England overseas wins in the nineties was the Barbados test on the 1994 tour. It was Atherton's first tour as captain.

    England had been humiliated in the previous test in Trinidad. After fluffing a good chance of winning the match by an innings after Hick dropped Chanderpaul (on debut), England found themselves with a still gettable run chase, until blown away for 46 runs by Curtly Ambrose.

    No one gave England any chance going into the Bridgetown match. It was Fortress Barbados, where the Windies had never lost a test.

    But thanks largely to a century in each innings by Alec Stewart, eight wickets in the first innings by Angus Fraser, and five in the second by Andy Caddick, England won a famous victory. They finished the tour in style in the next test, managing to draw comfortably despite Lara's then-record 375.

  • Comment number 43.

    Your choices are great Oliver and I was lucky enough to be there for the last 3 of them plus this Adelaide one, which I think is the best of the best, especially after 2006! Otherwise I go for Mumbai - the locals piled in expecting an India win but melted away as the wickets tumbled. I just remember how tough the conditions were even as a spectator and had nothing but admiration for the way England performed. Was this Fred's finest moment as captain that led to him getting the nod for the last Ashes tour? The only other one I would mention is England's win in Durban at the end of last year but I wouldn't put it ahead of your selection.

    Do you dare do a 5 worst overseas performances or would that be too painful?

    For more analysis of the current tour you can follow cricketmaddave on twitter with a link to the full blog


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