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1998/99 Ashes

Alex Stewart led England's touring party down-under in 1998/99 to take on Mark's Taylor's Australians in a 5 Test series. Australia won the series 3-1 with Taylor winning all five coin tosses.

Late on the first day of the 5th Test at the SCG, Darren Gough took a hat-trick. With Australia cruising at 319-5 following a century from Mark Waugh and 96 from his brother Steve, Dean Headley started the slide by removing Mark. Enter Gough as he snared his hat trick. Australia still won this match by 98 runs after Stuart Macgill (7-50) bowled out England for 188.

Steve Waugh (498 runs), Michael Slater (460 runs) and Nasser Hussain (407 runs) shone with the bat whilst Stuart Macgill (27 wickets) and Darren Gough (21 wickets) were the best strike bowlers during the series.

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1998/99 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 bowle 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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