‘Thumped on the up through cover-point!’


For DeFreitas to Slater in 1994-95, will we one day be reading Cummins to Crawley 2023? The first ball of an Ashes series has long held a degree of mystique, and today’s long-awaited opener was no exception. Here’s how ESPNcricinfo’s ball-by-ball commentary has covered those moments since the start of the epic summer of 2005

Lord’s, 2005
0.1, Harmison to Langer, no run
Just short of a good length and outside the off stump, Langer watches the ball carefully and lets it go through to the wicketkeeper, and with that the Ashes are finally underway!

The Gabba, 2006-07
0.1, Harmison to Langer, 1 wide
And it’s wild and woolly, a massive wide taken by first slip. Welcome back to Australia, Steve.

Cardiff, 2009
0.1, Johnson to Strauss, no run
Starts with a decent length, if a touch too wide of the left-hander’s off stump, and it’s left alone

The Gabba, 2010-11
0.1, Hilfenhaus to Strauss, no run
Is it Harmison-esque? No it’s not! A straightforward start outside off stump from Hilfenhaus, Strauss leaves it alone and the keeper takes it – not second slip.

Trent Bridge, 2013
0.1, Pattinson to Cook, 1 wide
It’s a wide! Not quite Steve Harmison, but Pattinson starts with a very short, loopy bouncer.

The Gabba, 2013-14
0.1, Anderson to Rogers, no run
Good start by Anderson, full at off stump, hint of movement in the air, Rogers shuffles across and defends quite late, the ball runs to gully

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