5 of England's most memorable Test matches on home soil

31 August 2017 12:54

Test cricket received a welcome shot in the arm this week, with the West Indies demonstrating that they are not the spent force some had dismissed them as with a shock five-wicket win over England at Headingley in a five-day thriller.

The meteoric rise of Twenty20 cricket and a string of uncompetitive series in recent years had led to suggestions that interest in the longest format may be in decline.

Here, we look back at five dramatic Tests to have taken place on English soil in recent years.

England v Australia, Edgbaston, 2005

A contender for the greatest Test ever played, from the series which did more than any other to boost Test cricket's profile. England had not held the Ashes for 18 years and despite a strong showing at Lord's, lost the series opener. The hosts made a good start to the second Test as Andrew Flintoff's all-round brilliance helped them establish a 99-run first-innings lead. Shane Warne's six for 46 left the tourists chasing 282 and an England victory appeared certain when Steve Harmison yorked Michael Clarke late on the third day to leave Australia eight down and needing another 107 runs. Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz got them within a boundary of victory, before a short ball from Harmison caught Kasprowicz's glove and Geraint Jones took a tumbling catch down the leg side to seal a two-run victory.

England v Australia, Cardiff, 2009

Australia again made a strong start to an Ashes campaign, responding to England's 435 with 674 for six declared as Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting, Marcus North and Brad Haddin all reached three figures. Left needing to bat out the final day, England collapsed to 127 for six only for Paul Collingwood to marshal the tail superbly. When Collingwood became the ninth man down with more than 11 overs remaining, an Australian victory looked nailed on, but James Anderson and Monty Panesar held firm to the delight of the home crowd.

England v Sri Lanka, Headingley, 2014

A gutsy performance saw Sri Lanka defy Moeen Ali's maiden Test century to secure their first Test series victory in England. Liam Plunkett's five-wicket haul and a Sam Robson century put England on top but Angelo Mathews' outstanding 160 in the second innings left the home side needing 350 for victory. After stumbling to 124 for six, the final day became about survival, and Moeen and James Anderson almost salvaged a draw before Shaminda Eranga dismissed the latter with the penultimate ball of the day.

England v New Zealand, Lord's, 2015

A game full of aggressive cricket saw all four results remain possible until day five, when England's seam attack proved to be too strong for the Black Caps. Trent Boult with the ball and Kane Williamson with the bat put New Zealand in a commanding position, but Ben Stokes smashed his first Test century on these shores - and the fastest Lord's had seen in a five-day contest - with Alastair Cook's more sedate 162 guiding England to a position of strength. New Zealand had a dart at chasing 345, but James Anderson and Stuart Broad struck early and Ben Stokes and Mark Wood ran through the middle order as England won by 124 runs.

England v West Indies, Headingley, 2017

England had not lost to the once fearsome West Indies at home since 2000 and a sizeable gulf in class between the sides during the first Test at Edgbaston - which the hosts won by an innings inside three days - suggested a one-sided series was to follow. The Caribbean side responded strongly to bowl England out for 258 and then build a first-innings lead of 169. However, the Windies' chance appeared to have passed when Moeen Ali led England to 490 for eight in their second innings and Joe Root declared to set an improbable 322 for victory, only for Shai Hope's unbeaten century to deny England.

Source: PA