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The Ashes: This year's five venues and their past highlights

The Ashes: This year's five venues and their past highlights
© Reuters
Australia are looking for their first Ashes win in England since 2001.

England will begin their bid to regain the Ashes at Edgbaston on August 1.

Here, PA takes a look at the five venues and a famous previous Ashes encounter they have hosted.

Edgbaston, Birmingham

Record: Ashes Tests 14, England wins 6, Australia wins 3

England have a strong record at Edgbaston
England have a strong record at Edgbaston (Nick Potts/PA)

England begin the Ashes at probably their favourite venue. They have won their last 11 matches at Edgbaston across all three formats and have not lost any of their last eight Tests there since a defeat to South Africa in 2008.

Australia have not tasted Ashes victory at Edgbaston since 2001 – the last year they won the series in England – losing two and drawing one of the last three encounters.

Memorable match

Steve Harmison took the last wicket
Steve Harmison took the last wicket (Rui Vieira/PA)

The entire 2005 Ashes series was memorable but the second Test at Edgbaston was particularly special.

Having been thrashed in the opener at Lord's, England bounced back in remarkable fashion.

Glenn McGrath – Australia's star seamer – trod on a ball and was ruled out of the match before Ricky Ponting elected to bowl first and England racked up 400 runs in a day against Australia for the first time since 1938.

Australia surrendered a first-innings lead of 99, before bowling England out for 182 to set up a tantalising target of 282.

England looked certain to clinch victory heading into day four, requiring just two wickets while Australia needed 107 runs.

But Brett Lee shared 40 plus stands with both Shane Warne and Michael Kasprowicz to get within three runs of victory, before Harmison dismissed Kasprowicz with a bouncer that was brilliantly caught by wicketkeeper Geraint Jones.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest Tests ever.

Lord's London

Record: Ashes Tests 36, England wins 7, Australia wins 15

England have improved on their Ashes record at Lord's in recent years, with two wins in the last three meetings. Prior to that, they had not beaten Australia there since 1934.

It has not been an entirely happy hunting ground over the last few years for England. They have won four and lost four of their last 10 Tests at the home of cricket.

Memorable match

Glenn McGrath tore through England at Lord's
Glenn McGrath tore through England at Lord's (David Giles/PA)

Australia edged to a 3-2 series win in 1997, despite England winning the opener at Edgbaston before battling to a draw at Lord's.

It was a particularly memorable match for McGrath. The great seam bowler  claimed eight for 38 as England were skittled for just 77 on day two after a washout on day one.

Australia responded with 213 for seven before declaring to turn the pressure back on the England batsmen.

But Mark Butcher and Michael Atherton shared a nerveless 162-run opening partnership to effectively save the match as the hosts kept their series lead.

Headingley, Leeds

Record: Ashes Tests 24, England wins 7, Australia wins 9

England have struggled at Headingley, including suffering an agonising defeat to Sri Lanka
England have struggled at Headingley, including suffering an agonising defeat to Sri Lanka (Martin Rickett/PA)

England have only won one of their last five Ashes Tests at Headingley and, perhaps more alarmingly, have lost three of the last four by an innings.

In general, England do not really enjoy it in Leeds. Since 2008, they have lost five of their nine Tests held at Headingley, including chastening defeats to Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

Memorable match

Mark Butcher led England's chase in 2001
Mark Butcher led England's chase in 2001 (Gareth Copley/PA)

Australia marched into Headingley in 2001 with the Ashes in the bag, holding an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Centuries from Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn helped continue their dominance as they claimed a 138-run lead after the first innings. Australia then declared on 176 for four, so confident were they that England would not be able to chase a fairly-gettable 315.

At 33 for two, that confidence appeared well placed. Enter Mark Butcher. His swashbuckling innings of 173 not out carried England to a sensational chase, in the end completed the famous win by a comfortable six wickets, roared on by the Headingley crowd.

Old Trafford, Manchester

Record: Ashes Tests 29, England wins 7, Australia wins 7

Old Trafford has become something of a fortress for England since the turn of the millennium. They have won nine of their last 11 Tests in Manchester, drawing the other two – both of those draws coming against Australia.

But England have not beaten Australia in the Ashes at Old Trafford since 1981, losing three and drawing three of the six Tests.

Memorable match

Old Trafford hosted the series opener in 1993 and it was a match that will always be remembered – especially by Mike Gatting – for Warne's 'ball of the century'.

England had got off to a solid start in reply to Australia's 289, but it was their second wicket to fall that made history. The 23-year-old leg-spinner Warne, with his first delivery in just his 12th Test and his first Ashes encounter, produced a ball which drifted from an off-stump line to pitch outside leg stump before ripping back past the bat of Gatting and clipping the top of off.

It was a remarkable delivery which set Australia on their path to victory in that Test and in that series, and one which cemented the rising star of Warne – who would go on to claim 708 Test wickets and revive the art of leg-spin.

The Oval, London

Record: Ashes Tests 37, England wins 16, Australia wins 7

England have a mixed recent record at the Oval
England have a mixed recent record at the Oval (Adam Davy/PA)

Australia have lost just one of their last five Ashes visits to the Oval and certainly enjoyed themselves four years ago, clinching an innings victory – albeit in a dead rubber.

England have only won three of their last seven Tests at the home of Surrey, but have enjoyed comprehensive wins in the last two against South Africa and India.

Memorable match

England clinched the Ashes at the Oval in 2005
England clinched the Ashes at the Oval in 2005 (Chris Young/PA)

We return to 2005. At the culmination of that remarkable series, England held a 2-1 lead and knew anything but defeat at the Oval would clinch their first Ashes series win since 1986-87.

Andrew Strauss' century was met by hundreds from Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden, but England claimed a six-run first-innings lead. They needed to bat well second time around to grind Australia out of the match.

Nerves were jangling at 67 for three and 109 for four. But Kevin Pietersen, who had made such an impression in his first Test series, stood up again to hit 158 – his first Test century – which sealed England the series and sparked famous celebrations.


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