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2nd August 1981: Botham's Ashes Begins

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: August 2, 2017, 2:20 PM IST
2nd August 1981: Botham's Ashes Begins

Ian Botham in action during the 1981 Ashes series. (Getty Images)

Sir Ian Botham's status as one of the finest allrounders in the history of international cricket was confirmed during the Ashes series of 1981 when he single handedly brought England back in the series and led them to an eventual 3-1 series win, which helped the hosts retain the Ashes.

It all started on August 2, 1981 as Botham engineered a second innings collapse which ensured Australia failed to chase down a small total of 161 runs for victory. 'Beefy' as he is known was at his destructive best with a ball in hand as he picked up 5 wickets while giving away only 1 run. Australia who were still in the game went from 105/5 to 121 all out.

England went on to win the match by 39 runs and took a 2-1 lead in the series. They would eventually go on to win the series 3-1, a series that has since been known in cricketing folklore as 'Botham's Ashes'.

He scored 399 runs in 12 innings, the most by an Englishman in the series, with the help of two centuries and also picked up as many as 34 wickets, only behind the Aussie duo of Terry Alderman and Dennis Lillee.

Botham would go on to play 102 Test matches for England, scoring 5200 runs and picking 383 wickets. He in fact continues to be England's most successful bowler till date in Ashes, picking up 128 wickets in 32 Test matches.

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First Published: August 2, 2017, 2:20 PM IST

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