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2nd August 1981: Botham's Five Wipes Out Australia at Edgbaston

(Image: Getty Images)

(Image: Getty Images)

Sir Ian Botham's status as one of the finest all-rounders 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.

Sir Ian Botham's status as one of the finest all-rounders 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.

The revival started at Headingley, with Botham engineering an English victory with a stunning century in the second innings of the third Test - only the second instance of a team forced to follow-on ending up on the winning side.

In the fourth Test at Edgbaston, Botham engineered a second-innings collapse which ensured Australia failed to chase down a small total of 151 runs for victory on the final day.

'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 11 runs. Australia, who were cruising at 105/5, were bowled out for 121.

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England won the game 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 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.

first published:August 02, 2019, 12:23 IST