One year to go: Specsavers Ashes Test at Emirates Old Trafford
Top Three Ashes Moments at Emirates Old Trafford
Emirates Old Trafford is one of the most iconic cricket grounds in the world. It has seen many great performances with both bat and ball in international and domestic cricket, as well as historic happenings off the field too.
We’ve picked our top three Ashes moments from over the years.
In 2019, Emirates Old Trafford will host the 4th Specsavers Ashes Test from Wednesday 4 – Sunday 8 September, with England looking to reclaim the iconic urn on home soil next summer against Australia.
Laker sweeps Australia at Old Trafford
Jim Laker is regarded as one of the best spinners ever to have turned out for England in the longest format of the game but he is forever remembered for his heroics in the fourth Test of the 1956 edition of the Ashes.
Laker played 46 Tests for the Three Lions in which he picked up 193 wickets, which included nine 5-wicket hauls and three 10-wicket hauls (in a match).
However, whenever anyone take the name Jim Laker, everyone is reminded of just one thing — his 19 wickets in Manchester against Australia.
The five-match series was locked 1-1 after Australia won the second Test at Lord's and England hit back in the next match at Leeds.
In the first innings of the penultimate Test, England posted a mammoth score of 459 — with Peter Richardson and David Sheppard both slamming their respective centuries.
In reply, the visitors were bundled out for a paltry 84, with Laker ending the innings with astounding figures of 9/37. This was also the best figures by an bowler in Ashes cricket then.
England enforced the follow and Laker then did the unthinkable as he bettered his own first innings record by capturing all ten wickets in the second essay. The visitors were dismissed for 205 and lost the match by an innings and 70 runs.
Laker's match figures of 19/90 remains the best in Test cricket till this day and it seems an impossible task for any bowler to match it, let alone break it. Only Anil Kumble has ever matched his feat of 10 wickets in an innings in Test cricket after he dismissed all ten Pakistani batsmen at the Feroz Shah Kotla in 1999.
Ball of the century from Shane Warne in 1993
On the second day of the opening Test of the 1993 Ashes series at Old Trafford, with England 80-1 replying to Australia’s 239, a then little-known Australian leg spinner came on at the Warwick Road End to bowl his first-ever delivery against England.
Facing him was former skipper Gatting – one of England’s most experienced batsmen.
What followed has gone down in Old Trafford – and cricket – history.
Warne’s leg break drifted to the right and pitched several inches outside Gatting’s leg-stump.
Gatting thrust his left leg forward and got his bat in line. But he looked back in horror as the ball pitched, turned, beat his bat and his leg and hit the top of his off-stump.
A stunned Old Trafford had just seen the Ball of the Century, and Warne had begun his journey towards becoming a cricket legend.
The draw, 2005
In one of the greatest Ashes Tests ever played, Ricky Ponting led from the front on the final day with a feisty knock of 156 to deny England a victory.
It was the same Test match in which Shane Warne reached the landmark of 600 international wickets. The day began with huge expectations and it attracted even bigger crowds. An estimated 20,000 ticketless fans were turned away from Old Trafford before 10am. The lucky few who grabbed their £10 tickets - some had camped overnight for the privilege – watched.
The series was level at 1-1, and this game could have turned the series either way, Australia were battling on the final day for a draw, with Ricky Ponting scoring 156 off 275 deliveries - a rather quiet innings by his standard.
But when he was dismissed, being the ninth wicket to fall, it did seem as if England would steal a victory, but then it was the turn of Brett Lee along with Glenn McGrath to show the fight.
They faced 24 balls, with Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff steaming in with the ball in hand. McGrath famously batted outside the crease to negate the lbw. The game ended in a draw, but England did manage to win the next Test played in Nottingham, and went onto win the series 2-1.
4th Specsavers Ashes Test Tickets
The Specsavers Ashes Test will take place at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester from Wednesday 4 – Sunday 8 September 2019.
Tickets are now on sale for this historic Test match. Don't miss out and buy yours now.