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1986/87 Ashes

Mike Gatting led the English tourists in 1986–87 for a 5 Test series. His team started badly in the pre-Test state games and attracted severe criticism as one of worst teams to tour Australia. Gatting had the last laugh.

Chris Broad scored three hundreds in successive Tests and fine bowling from Graham Dilley, Ian Botham and Gladstone Small meant England won the series 2–1.

One of the most decisive events took place in the 1st Test at the Gabba. Ian Botham came into bat with England in trouble at 198-4. Botham smashed 138 off 174 balls including 13 fours and four sixes to wrest the game away from Australia. The tourists posted 456 and gained a 7 wicket win. England never looked back and retained the Ashes with an innings and 14 run win in the 4th Test at the MCG.

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1986/87 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 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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