The Ashes 2013 returns to Trent Bridge, 8 years after the 2005 English cricket heroics which clinched a nail-biting 3-wicket victory over Australia which set up long awaited Ashes Victory.
The Fourth Test of the 2005 Ashes Series Test at Trent Bridge was widely regarded as one of the greatest ever cricket tests with thrilling cricket on display in a contest that went down to the wire. If that wasn’t enough, Trent Bridge and indeed all other grounds hosting the series were privileged to watch legends of the game, not to mention great characters, playing at the very pinnacle of their careers; Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting and Glen McGrath of Australia and Freddie Flintoff, Kevin Pietersen and Marcus Trescothick.
A glorious summer of Test series action had the nation whipped into a cricket frenzy. Even those who had never before watched a test of cricket became glued to their screens as England dreamed of reclaiming The Ashes for the first time since the 1980’s.
Trent Bridge 2005 Ashes Drama
With the series finely balanced at 1 victory each, a defeat for either side would mean they could only draw the Series. The Fourth Ashes test was therefore critical and the Trent Bridge crowd who arrived in anticipation of a pulsating affair would not be disappointed.
England, cheered by the absence of Aussie fast-bowler Glenn McGrath, won the toss and elected to bat. They made a flying start as a succession of no-balls helped openers Trescothick and Strauss to a 100 run partnership. A further impressive partnership from Flintoff and Jones helped England to a commanding 477 all-out. The home support at Trent Bridge were in buoyant mood as Australia’s early order batsmen slumped to 99-5 at the end of day two.
Some aggressive batting by Australia helped them to a partial recovery as they ended the innings on 218. With England still 259 however, Michael Vaughan enforced the follow on, a gamble that initially looked suspect with some ominous run-building from Australia. Despite the best of efforts of the England attack this continued into Day Four until their persistence paid off and Australia were bowled out for 367.
This left England with a total of just 127 to chase and with their confidence high failure seemed improbable. Australia however, were in the mood for a fight and with Shane Warne claiming 3 of 4 early wickets England were quickly in trouble as they slumped to 57-4. Flintoff and Pietersen a formidable partnership throughout the series steadied the ship with a valuable partnership of 46 before their wickets fell in quick succession to the dangerous Brett Lee. Gerraint Jones then went for 3. England were down to their 9th and 10th wickets and with 15 runs required, the match was on a knife edge and the pulsating atmosphere at Trent Bridge reached a crescendo.
Australia’s attack threw the kitchen sink at England but a stoic partnership of Giles and Hoggard saw England home to jubilant scenes at Trent Bridge.
Australia would still have retained the Ashes with a final test victory to level the series meaning there was still everything to play for. Fans and pundits agreed however that the Fourth Test at Trent Bridge was the most thrilling of the Ashes 2005 Series and one of the greatest Tests of all time.
The Ashes 2013: Return to Trent Bridge
After missing out in 2009, it is perhaps fitting that Trent Bridge hosts the opening test of the 2013 Ashes after the drama of 2013. This time the roles are reversed with England riding a wave of recent Ashes success and Australia no doubt desperate to restore some wounded pride. The stage is set for more electric drama as both sides seek to seize the early initiative and the Trent Bridge crowd never disappoints in contributing an electric atmosphere from the stands.