Aussie (Don’t) Rules
It is a day that every true English cricket fan has emblazoned on their heart, memory and, possibly, loins. It was on this particular balmy Monday afternoon in 2005 that England drew their match against Australia on the final day at the Oval and won the Ashes for the first time since 1987. It has been described as the ‘most thrilling Ashes series ever’ with matches nail-bitingly close, the power balance constantly shifting and some exceptional play on display. After a shaky few cricketing years, the captaincy of Michael Vaughn and stalwarts such as Freddie Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen, had improved England’s standing in the world. They went into this final match 2-1 up, after thrilling games at Edgbaston, Old Trafford and Trent Bridge. Going into day five, the game was still finely balanced. A 158 from Kevin Pietersen (and some help from the British weather) insured that Australia ran out of time, the match was drawn and England had the Ashes once again. Monumental stuff.