On this day : The 12th of September 2005

England Regain Ashes

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The most dramatic Ashes series ever ended with a moment of utter anti-climax: the umpires strode across the greensward and removed bails and stumps at 18:17; the crowd had been waiting impatiently since bad light had interrupted play. Everyone expected the Aussies to return and have a go at an impossible target. But they didn’t.
When England lost the Lord’s Test in July the nation threw up its collective hands and waited for another drubbing. But in one of the closest finishes of all-time England won by just two runs at the next game, held atEdgbaston . At Old Trafford in Manchester centuries by Michael Vaughn and Andrew Strauss , and a six-wicket haul by Simon Jones, were frustrated by a last wicket stand that earned the old enemy a draw. Thanks to an Andrew Flintoffcentury and another brilliant performance with the ball by Jones England took a series lead at Trent Bridge . Still most English fans feared Warne, Ponting and McGrath would engineer an escape for the Australians. But they didn’t.
The following day saw massive crowds in London to witness an open-top bus parade. Telegrams were sent, politicians arranged photo opportunities; and Freddie Flintoff who had sworn off alcohol for the series made up for lost time. The Australians went home, expected after many changes and losing their invincible air to lose the next series. But they didn’t.

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