Some call it as one of the greatest Test matches of all-time. Some regard it as the nail-biter of the century. While some say that it was one of the best Ashes Tests ever. Yes, it is the second Test of the magical 2005 Ashes series!
After England were thrashed by 239 runs in the first Ashes Test of 2005, few would have thought that they will go onto make such a remarkable comeback to take the series 2-1. And it all began in the second Test in Birmingham where the hosts edged their arch-rivals in stunning style.
Batting first, England piled on 407 runs, courtesy of half centuries from Marcus Trescothik (90), Kevin Pietersen (71) and Andrew Flintoff (68). In reply, the visitors were bundled out for 308 runs, with Flintoff and Ashley Giles picking up three wickets each.
In England’s second innings, Shane Warne and Brett Lee destroyed the hosts by picking up 6 and 4 wickets respectively. England were all-out for a paltry 182 runs, giving a target of 282 for Australia to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
However, the visitors chase never began properly as England kept chipping away with wickets at regular intervals. At the start of the fifth day, Australia needed 107 runs with two wickets left.
Warne and Lee put on a spectacular partnership to get the visitors close to the target. But there a sting in the tail as Warne was dismissed hit-wicket for 42 off the bowling of Flintoff.
However, Lee hadn’t given up hope yet as he along with Michael Kasprowicz got them to winning distance of the Test. And just when the Aussies where three runs short of the target, Steve Harmison bowled a short delivery and Kasprowicz gloved it which was caught expertly by wicket-keeper Jones.
Australia lost the match by 2 runs and the picture of Flintoff consoling a heartbroken Lee became one of the most iconic Ashes images of all-time.