The Ashes contest involving England and Australia stands as one of cricket’s oldest and most fierce rivalries. Commencing in 1882, these two prominent cricket teams have engaged in an ongoing struggle for dominance, resulting in a plethora of enduring moments within the annals of the sport. Among these are spectacular bowling performances that have swung matches and turned series on their head. As per live cricket match video, here is a look at 10 of the best Ashes wickets of all time:
Shane Warne – 1993
No Ashes wicket list would be complete without Shane Warne’s mesmerizing delivery to Mike Gatting at Old Trafford in 1993. The first ball Warne ever bowled in an Ashes Test spun viciously to beat Gatting’s defensive prod and clip the top of off-stump. It heralded the arrival of a new spin wizard who would torment England for years to come. That astonishing ball was later voted the greatest moment in Ashes history and set the tone for Warne’s prolific Ashes career.
Andrew Flintoff dismisses Ricky Ponting – 2005
The Ashes series of 2005 is often hailed as one of the most exceptional in history. During the second Test held at Edgbaston, a remarkable performance by England’s Andrew Flintoff in a single over played a pivotal role in dramatically altering the course of the match. With Australia well-placed at 175/2, Flintoff fired out Ricky Ponting with a brutal delivery that reared up off the pitch to take the edge. He then rattled the stumps of dangerman Adam Gilchrist next ball with a perfect yorker. It exemplified how the pendulum swung during that epic series.
Bob Willis’ 8/43 at Headingley – 1981
Going into the third Test of the 1981 Ashes at Headingley, England were trailing 1-0 and forced to follow-on. Yet Bob Willis produced a spell for the ages to bundle Australia out for just 111. In an inspired burst, he blitzed through the Aussie lower-order to finish with career-best figures of 8/43. It set the platform for Ian Botham’s heroics and sparked an incredible English fightback to win the Test and ultimately the series.
Glenn McGrath’s 5-wicket haul at Lord’s – 2005
Australia’s premier fast bowler Glenn McGrath relished bowling at Lord’s, contributing to his nickname “Pigeon”. In the opening Test of the 2005 series, he proved a thorn in England’s side once again. After dismissing star batsmen Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen, McGrath returned to run through the lower order, grabbing his 29th 5-wicket haul in Tests. His 5/53 helped bowl England out cheaply and gave Australia control. Unfortunately for McGrath, injury ruled him out of the Edgbaston Test which proved a turning point.
Jim Laker’s 19 wickets at Old Trafford – 1956
No bowler has dominated a Test match like Jim Laker did against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956. His mesmerizing off-spin helped England dismiss the visitors for just 84 in the first innings. Laker incredibly took all 10 wickets, the only time this has ever been achieved in Test history. He backed it up by grabbing 9 more wickets in the second innings, giving him match figures of 19/90 – another record that still stands today. Unsurprisingly, England won that Test convincingly.
Mitchell Johnson’s pace barrage – 2013/14
The 2013/14 Ashes saw the breathtaking resurgence of Mitchell Johnson as a fearsome fast bowler. Johnson had struggled prior to that series, but found his mojo again in a blistering spell at the Gabba. He ripped through England’s top order with lethal pace and bounce, taking key wickets like Jonathan Trott and Graeme Swann. Johnson maintained this rhythm throughout the series, taking 37 wickets at just 13.97 to help Australia record a thumping 5-0 whitewash. England had no answer to this sustained pace assault.
Steve Harmison’s precision – 2005
The Ashes 2005 series showcased not just Glenn McGrath’s skill but also England spearheads Steve Harmison. At his blistering peak, Harmison’s steep bounce and late movement crushed Australian batting. His excellent 4/79 at Edgbaston included the vital wickets of Ponting and Clarke. But it was his delivery to dismiss Michael Clarke in the final Test at The Oval that lives on in Ashes folklore. Harmison’s slower ball ruthlessly hit the top of off-stump to clinch the series for England.
Freddie Trueman’s fiery spell – 1961
England’s Freddie Trueman is regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers cricket has seen. At Headingley in 1961, he gave a captivating display of hostile seam bowling against Australia. Trueman’s use of the new ball was masterful as he uprooted the stumps of both openers and the mighty Norman O’Neill to leave Australia reeling at 5/13. Trueman and Statham skittled Australia for just 120, paving the way for England to take a 2-0 series lead. It exemplified Trueman’s Test dominance.
Terry Alderman’s prolific Ashes – 1989
Terry Alderman was the surprise bowling hero of Australia’s 4-0 drubbing of England in the 1989 Ashes. Returning from shoulder surgery, the swing bowler proved unplayable in English conditions. He snared 41 wickets at just 17.36 over the five Tests, including best figures of 6/47 at Trent Bridge. Alderman demolished Graham Gooch’s batting four times and made the ball talk in both directions. His exploits saw him win Man of the Series and cemented his Ashes legacy.
Derek Underwood kills off Australia – 1968
Spinners often play a key role in Ashes battles and Derek Underwood’s bowling was vital to England’s 4-1 series win in 1968. On a dried-out Oval pitch tailor-made for him, Underwood skittled Australia for just 39 runs. He used drift and subtle variations to grab 7/50 and become just the seventh bowler in Test history to take all ten wickets in an innings. It wrapped up the Ashes for England and demonstrated why Underwood was so lethal in home conditions.
The storied history of the Ashes has seen some remarkable bowling feats that have swung matches in an instant. These ten wickets represent a selection of the very best, from lethal pace and swing bowling to unplayable spin as per cricket live video free. Players like Warne, Flintoff, Laker and McGrath stamped their authority on this famous cricket rivalry with truly unforgettable performances. That is part of what makes Ashes cricket so special – the prospect of witnessing greatness at any moment. Going forward, there will undoubtedly be more spectacular bowling spells and Ashes wickets for cricket fans to savour.