Ashes have had great performances since its inception. We have compiled a list of some of the best individual performances in the history of the series. Bowlers are in the spotlight now that we’ve covered the top ten batting performances of all time between Australia and England. Once again via ashes live update, the selection procedure seems to be impartial in its treatment of players from different periods.
Since this is only a preview for the next series, it’s important to note that only performances in England were evaluated. Feel free to voice your disagreement with the ranking in the comments area, since it is based only on opinion and not data.
Australia’s Frederick Spofforth was the game-changing hero in the 1882 Test. Somehow, after being bowled out for a paltry 62 runs in their first innings, the visiting team came back to win the game. Although they needed just 85 runs to win, England ultimately came up short as Spofforth secured a seven-run victory for his team in a match that was decided in under two days.
After 64 overs, the New South Welshman completed with match stats of 14 for 90. While there aren’t many photographs from the 1880s, we hope you like these highlights from the first Test of the 2009 Ashes series.
It’s not often that a single ball makes it into the list of the best bowler’s performances, but Shane Warne’s bowling of Mike Gatting in 1993 is one of the few exceptions. While England was replying to Australia’s score of 289 runs with their first innings, the leg-spinner was brought into the match for his debut Ashes Test. England’s score was 80 for 1. His first move in the series was a leg break that was powerful and soared, dove, and swung all at the same time.
Both Gatting’s sense of flying and sense of spin were fooled. It was a work of art, and it marked the beginning of Warne’s decade-long reign of terror over English batters. While making his debut for Australia, he took eight wickets, contributing to a 179-run victory for the hosts over their long-time rivals.
England’s historic win at Headingley in 1981 was aided by Ian Botham’s century, but it would not have been possible without an outstanding spell from Bob Willis. Australia was bowled out for 111 in 36.1 overs when chasing a modest goal of 130, with the fast bowler taking eight wickets.
After getting to 56 out of one, the visitors suddenly collapsed because Willis was too much for them to bear. Willis subsequently disclosed to the Sunday People (via the Mirror) that he had almost been left off the team for the game at Leeds due to worries about his fitness after an illness. This did not stop the Warwickshire star from achieving personal bests in his stats.
On the last day, skipper Mike Brearley changed the ends in an act of optimism rather than expectation and it paid off. Willis did his job on the difficult field and bowled Ray Bright to seal the victory for England and tie the series.
In the 1934 second Test between England and Australia at Lord’s, Hedley Verity took 14 wickets in one day. England won by an innings. After a rest day, Australia began their first innings at 192 for two, but they were bowled out twice on a drying track and were all out before the end of the game. Verity, a slow left-arm bowler for England, benefited greatly from the weekend weather. The Yorkshireman had match stats of 15 for 104 after taking seven wickets in the first innings and then eight in the second.
Australia lost badly, and the series is now tied 1-1 thanks to his eight victims, one of which was Don Bradman. While serving his nation in Italy in 1943, Verity lost his life. At a rate of 24.37 runs per game, he amassed 144 wickets in 40 Tests.
The Australian seamer enjoyed the opportunity to play on the iconic pitch during an Ashes trip, despite the slope fooling some of the visiting bowlers. He took eight wickets for 38 runs in the second game of the 1997 series, and overall he took 26 wickets in the home of cricket at an average of 11.50.
With the aid of McGrath’s five-for, Australia’s Mark Taylor, who won the toss and elected to bowl, bowled England out for 77 in 42 and a third overs. Despite his excellent performance, the bowler’s team still lost the game. Due to rain and some dogged batting from England’s top order the second time around, the home team was able to salvage a draw.
The all-149 rounder’s not out in the third Test at Headingley is perhaps what he is most remembered for, as it helped England pull off a miraculous comeback and win. But the following match, at Edgbaston, may have been the greatest summertime escape for the home team. Australia, who needed 151 to take the series lead once again, seemed to be on track to meet their objective when they reached 114 for five.
He bowled an incredible 28 balls and only gave up one run, his route to taking the last five wickets. Bowling out the visitors for 121, England took a 2-1 lead in the series that would become remembered as Botham’s Ashes.
For his first Test, Bob Massie took 16 wickets at Lord’s in 1972. With his first major contribution, the seamer guided Australia to an eight-wicket triumph that knotted the series at one win each. Massie’s success in the game wasn’t due to speed like that of his new-ball partner Dennis Lillee.
He instead relied on his superb control and the fact that the ball could swing in both directions to confuse the English batting order. As a result of his efforts, the home side was blown out for 118 runs in the second inning, giving the visiting team an easy target of 81 runs. His final match numbers were 16 for 137. Massie only appeared in five more Tests for Australia until his last appearance in January 1973.
Australia was bowled out for 205, losing by an innings, and the off-spinner set a record by taking 10 wickets in an innings in a Test match. They stayed for 150.2 overs trying to get a draw, with Laker bowling out for more than 30% of that time.
Incredibly, this wasn’t even his first time taking 10 outs in an inning. Earlier in the summer, when representing Surrey, Laker took 10 for 88 while playing against Australia at the Oval.