Dubbed ‘The Greatest Test’ – at least until Ben Stokes’ heroics at Headingley this summer – the 2005 Ashes Test between England and Australia is the stuff of folklore. A handful of words can hardly do it justice. With just two tail-ender wickets remaining and needing 107 runs for victory, Australia produced an epic fourth-day fight-back led by Brett Lee. England’s bowlers squirmed as the run chase narrowed, knowing defeat would put them 2-0 down in the series, yet when Michael Kasprowicz edged Steve Harmison’s rising delivery to Geraint Jones the tourists agonisingly fell two runs short of their target. Unusually, the defining image of that match is not the winning delivery itself or even the wild celebrations that followed, but this quiet moment of sportsmanship displayed by Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, England’s talisman, towards Lee, his crestfallen rival. England would go on to win the series 2-1 and reclaim the Ashes for the first time in 18 years, lending this remarkable image even greater resonance.
Photograph: Tom Jenkins / The Guardian
Words: Jonny Weeks
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