The Australian cricket team recorded their highest successful chase in Ashes in almost 75 years to pull off a thrilling two-wicket win against England in the first Test of Ashes 2023 at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham, England.
Chasing a target of 281, Australia were reduced to 227/8 heading into the final session on the fifth day.
Australia captain Pat Cummins (44 not out) and Nathan Lyon (16 not out) later stitched a match-winning 55-run stand for the ninth wicket to guide the visitors to a nail-biting victory and also take a 1-0 lead in the five-match Test series.
Interestingly, the 2023 Edgbaston Ashes Test had several similarities with the historic 2005 Edgbaston Test played during Ashes 2005.
During the 2005 Edgbaston Ashes Test, England beat Australia by two runs in one of the most epic Test matches played in the history of the sport. That memorable Test win helped England clinch the 2005 Ashes Test series 2-1.
Both the 2023 Edgbaston Ashes Test and the 2005 Edgbaston Test produced pulsating action and fascinating drama throughout the game.
Here we look at some of the similarities between the 2005 and the 2023 Edgbaston Ashes Tests.
Similarities between Edgbaston Ashes Tests of 2005 and 2023
England’s aggressive batting approach on Day 1
Even before Bazball, the Michael Vaughan-led England played with similar aggressive intent on the first day of the Edgbaston Test in 2005. Put in to bat, England amassed 132/1 in 27 overs at a run rate of 4.89 at Lunch on Day 1. In 2023, Ben Stokes’ men piled on 124/3 in 26.4 overs in the first session.
Similarly in 2005, England were bowled out for 407 in 79.2 overs at a run rate of 5.13, while they declared for 393/8 after 78 overs at a run rate of 5.03 in 2023.
Later, Australian openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja added unbeaten 14 runs before the end of day’s play in the 2023 Test. Thus, 407 runs were scored on Day 1 of both the Test matches at Edgbaston in 2005 and 2023.
Australia pacer’s expensive spell in first innings
During the 2005 Edgbaston Ashes Test, Australia speedster Brett Lee conceded 111 runs in his 17 overs at an economy of 6.52 in the first innings. Lee bagged his only wicket of Kevin Pietersen in the 67th over.
Meanwhile, Australia’s fast bowler Scott Boland gave away 86 runs in his 14 overs at an economy of 6.14 against England in the first innings of the 2023 Edgbaston Ashes Test. Boland also picked up one wicket in the first innings, dismissing England opener Zak Crawley.
No.1 Test batter dismissed for a duck
Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who was the then No.1 ranked Test batter, was dismissed for a duck in the second innings of 2005 Edgbaston Ashes Test.
Similarly in 2023, current world number one Test batter, Marnus Labuschagne, perished for a golden duck in the first innings.
Almost identical targets to chase in fourth innings
In yet another similarity, Australia was asked to chase almost identical targets in 2005 and 2023. In 2005, Australia needed to chase 282 to win the Edgbaston Test. However, the visitors fell short by just two runs.
On the other hand, Australia chased down 281 to pull off a nail-biting two-wicket victory in 2023.
Furthermore, in both run chases, Australia forged a decent opening partnership in the fourth innings.
While Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden stitched a 47-run stand in 2005, David Warner and Usman Khawaja added 61 runs for the opening stand.
Both Tests also witnessed solid contributions from the Australian lower order in the final innings of the match.
After being reduced to 175/8 in 2005, Shane Warne and Brett Lee forged a 45-run stand for the ninth wicket before the latter and Michael Kasprowicz combined for a further 59 runs for the final wicket as the Aussies fell short by a tantalising two runs.
The 2023 epic between England and Australia witnessed skipper Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon put on an unbeaten 55-run stand to guide the Aussies from 227/8 to a two-wicket win.
Photo credit: Alamy