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1960 Ashes

The Australians for the 1961 Ashes tour to England was led by all-rounder Richie Benaud. The tour was a five-Test series, with Test matches played at Edgbaston, Lord's, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval. Australia won the series 2-1 to retain The Ashes.

The decisive moment in the series was in the 4th Test at Old Trafford. The series was locked at 1-1 after three Tests. On the final morning, England was in the driving seat, with Australia nine wickets down and only 162 ahead. Australia's last-wicket pair of Alan Davison and Graham McKenzie added 98 more runs to extend their lead. In England's run chase, a bright 76 from Ted Dexter got them into a winning position. Enter Richie Benaud who tore through the English batting to finish with 6-70, steering his side to a famous 54-run victory to retain the Ashes.

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1960 Ashes

The Ashes: A brief history (28 June 2013)

The first Test match was played between England and Australia in 1877 at the MCG. The Ashes legend started 5 years later, after the ninth Test, played in 1882 at the Oval in London.

The third Australian team to tour England in 1882 achieved the unthinkable. Until then, the English had never been beaten on home soil, but Australia led by by WL "Billy" Murdoch shocked England, with the legendary WG Grace in their ranks, lost by seven runs with Aussie fast bowler Fred Spofforth taking 14 wickets for 90 runs.

The following day, a mock obituary ran in the Sporting Times "in affectionate remembrance of English cricket, which died at the Oval on 29th August, 1882". 

During the next tour to Australia in late 1882, a small terracotta urn was presented to the England captain Hon Ivo Bligh by a group of Melbourne women, led by Lady Clarke, after a friendly game that was played at Sir William Clarke's Rupertswood manor in Sunbury, Victoria. The contents of the urn are reputed to be the ashes of an item of cricket equipment such as a bail, or scarf, depending on which legend is true.

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