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Ashes 1989 - Worst Aussie Team Ever - Part Eight

  • Ashes 1989 - Worst Aussie Team Ever - Part Eight

THIRD TEST, England v Australia, Edgbaston, Birmingham, 6-11 July 1989


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All eyes now moved on to Birmingham as England tried to get some sort of foothold on the series.  Australia, in confident mood, announced an unchanged side from Lord’s as they sort to confirm The Ashes would be back in their hands for the first time since they relinquished them at The Oval in 1985.

England ditched Broad and Jarvis from their Lord’s team but were buoyed by the return of Lamb and Botham.  But just before the game they lost Lamb, Foster and Smith to injuries and then Gatting to a family bereavement.  Jarvis was recalled at the last minute along with Chris Tavare, who’d last seen test cricket in 1984.  The final addition to the team was Worcestershire opener, Tim Curtis.  Curtis made his debut against West Indies at Headingley twelve months earlier, scoring 69 runs in the four innings he played, but in county cricket he was enjoying his sixth successive season scoring over a thousand runs.  Foster was a big blow, he’d been by far the best bowler on view for England in the two tests so far and they really needed a sustained period of him bowling with Dilley.  But Foster’s misfortune meant a debut for Middlesex seamer, Angus Fraser.


Border finally won a toss against Gower and had no hesitation in batting first.  Marsh and Taylor finally got a decent partnership together as they batted diligently through the whole first session.  England would’ve been concerned neither Dilley, Jarvis or Fraser could make the breakthrough and it was clear it would be a tough day ahead.  For Marsh this was his highest score of the series so far.

LUNCH: Australia 69-0 (Marsh 30*, Taylor 32*)

The opening pair added 88 for the first wicket before Emburey made the breakthrough having Taylor stumped for 43.  Marsh then followed shortly after as Botham got his first wicket in his comeback match.  It was Botham’s first test since Pakistan at The Oval in August 1987.  Border was next to depart when Emburey bowled him for just 8 and Australia were 105-3, having lost three wickets for seventeen runs.  When he reached 7, Border passed 8000 runs in Test matches.  Boon and Jones steadied things to the tea break adding 72.

TEA: Australia: 177-3 (Boon 31*, Jones 42*)

After tea the two took their partnership to 96 giving Australia a much firmer hold on the game, but the wicket came with a certain amount of luck for the home side.  Jarvis deflected a drive from Jones onto the stumps and Boon was out of his ground, backing up.  Jones was joined by Waugh, who was yet to be dismissed in the series, and the two dealt comfortably with whatever England could throw at them until rain curtailed proceedings.  Jones fifty came up off 76 balls with 5 fours.

CLOSE OF PLAY (DAY ONE): Australia 232-4 (Jones 71*, Waugh 17*)



Rain ruined most of day two only allowing 59 minutes play at the end of the day.  But this was enough time for Fraser to grab his first Test wicket and it was a memorable one.  Waugh and Jones had added 71 for the fifth wicket when Fraser bowled Waugh for 43.  It ended Waugh’s remarkable run of 393 runs in four innings having faced 584 balls.  Fraser then bowled Healy for his second wicket and at 289-6 Australia still weren’t clear of England.  There was just enough time left for Jones to complete his century off 160 balls with 11 fours.

CLOSE OF PLAY (DAY TWO): Australia 294-6 (Jones 101*, Hughes 1*)


Day three also fell foul of the weather with no play possible until 3pm and only 31 overs were bowled.  Almost as soon as play restarted Dilley finally got a wicket as he got Hughes to edge to slip where Botham took the catch.  By the close, Jones had taken his score on towards 150 as England’s hopes of winning the game seemed to be fading under a deluge of rain.  Hohns was also able to score his highest Test score when he neared a half-century.

CLOSE OF PLAY (DAY THREE): Australia 391-7 (Jones 141*, Hohns 40*)



Early on Monday morning, Dilley found the edge of Hohns bat and he went for no addition to the score.  He’d batted for two hours with Jones and added 92 for the eighth wicket.  Fraser then took his third wicket when he bowled Lawson and then finally Jones was well caught at long leg by a substitute, Folley off Fraser and the innings was wrapped up in under an hour of the fourth day’s play.  Fraser’s return of 33-8-63-4 was an excellent first outing with the ball for his country.

AUSTRALIA: 424 (Jones 157, Taylor 43; Fraser 4-63)

Gooch and Curtis opened up for England but found it heavy going and when Gooch was out for 8 after 40 minutes batting, England were only 17-1.  Gower, now up to number three in the batting order, was similarly circumspect leaving Curtis to make the running.

LUNCH: England: 31-1 (Curtis 19*, Gower 2*)

After finally finding the boundary, Gower was then trapped in front by Alderman for 8, having batted virtually as long as Gooch did.  Tavare lasted just nine balls before he became Alderman’s second victim for 2.  Curtis and Barnett, both of whom made their debuts a year earlier, were now charged with recovering the innings but Hughes had Curtis lbw for his highest Test score, 41 having hit 7 fours and then Barnett went next over for 10.  England were now in big trouble at 75-5.  Botham and Russell then had to bat sensibly to avoid the follow-on and they began to build a partnership.

TEA: England: 113-5 (Botham 23*, Russell 8*)

After tea Botham and Russell continued to bat patiently, which for Botham was certainly out of character.  The two had almost put on a hundred when Botham was bowled by Hughes for 46.  He’d batted for over two and a half hours, hitting 6 fours and no sixes.  Russell was then back in the pavilion when Hohns took his first Ashes wicket.  England were still short of the follow-on target and their ability to reach that was left in the hands of Emburey and Fraser, but the two at least made it to stumps

CLOSE OF PLAY (DAY FOUR): England: 185-7 (Emburey 2*, Fraser 12*)



With 40 runs still needed to make Australia bat again, things got off to a poor start for the home side as Fraser was run out with no addition to the overnight score.  But Emburey, in his usual unorthodox way, took them closer to safety.  He was then Lawson’s second victim for 26 and Dilley was joined by Jarvis to try and score at least 10 to avoid the follow-on.  Jarvis was as unorthodox as Emburey and at they added 27 and England had at least made certain the tourists would have to bat again.

ENGLAND: 242 (Botham 46, Curtis 41; Alderman 3-61)

There was some conjecture as to whether Australia would go for a quick blitz to extend their lead and then put England back in for an awkward end to the day, but Border chose batting practice.  In the end the game was drawn and England had at least held onto The Ashes for another day, but with them chasing every session in this series it seemed only a matter of time before Australia would regain the urn. 

Marsh and Taylor put on 88 in the first innings and then 81 in the second before Marsh was bowled by Jarvis for 42.  Taylor passed his fifty off 146 balls with 4 fours in almost three hours of batting, and then he was second man out with the score on 109, as Gooch took a rare wicket.  Healy came in ahead of Border, Jones and Waugh and the game drifted out for a draw.

Although we didn’t know it at the time, this Test would see the final appearances for Tavare, Barnett and Graham Dilley.

AUSTRALIA: 424 (Jones 157, Taylor 43; Fraser 4-63)

ENGLAND: 242 (Botham 46, Curtis 41; Alderman 3-61)

AUSTRALIA: 158-2 (Taylor 51, Marsh 42)



MAN OF THE MATCH: Angus Fraser

Australia lead 2-0

Part Seven - County matches between 2nd and 3rd Test

Part Six - Second Test

Part Five - County matches against Lancs & Northants

Part Four - First Test

Part Three - Build-up for First Test

Part Two - Texaco Trophy One-Day Series

Part One - Opening matches of tour

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