Throwback Thursday: Mark Butcher arrives in Australia at the 2001 Ash Test | Cricket News

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<pre><pre>Throwback Thursday: Mark Butcher arrives in Australia at the 2001 Ash Test | Cricket News
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We go back to 2001 when Mark Butcher won England a consolation ashes victory with a surprising 173 no against Australia.

We go back to 2001 when Mark Butcher won England a consolation ashes victory with a surprising 173 no against Australia.

Headingley has hosted some truly remarkable England Ashes innings, especially Ben Stokes' last summer and also Sir Ian Botham's in 1981.

But before Ben and after Beefy was Butch.

Surrey hitter Mark Butcher scored 173 magnificent undefeated in the fourth Test at Leeds in 2001 to lead England to victory on the final day and deny Australia any chance of a 5-0 series shutout.

In the first edition of Throwback Thursday, our weekly cricket show where our writers recall some memorable feats from years past, David Ruse reflect on Butch's best day …

Butcher scored 23 four and six in his excellent innings

Butcher scored 23 four and six in his excellent innings

Even England's most optimistic supporter would have ranked his team's chances of victory at Leeds as little as they started 4-0 on the final day chasing 315, Australia had declared late on the fourth day.

Only once before had they successfully reached a higher total to win a Test, in 1928 against Australia in the MCG when they reached 332-7.

But a part of me must have believed.

I recently turned 13 years old and in the middle of my summer school holidays, I remember choosing not to go out with my friends and instead I lay down on the couch to see if England could do the unlikely.

In the early summer of 2001, my partner Croydonian Butcher seemed ready for a season of the second XI cricket, with personal problems affecting his form.

In the end, he had played, according to Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, "one of the best ashes innings of all time."

He's still my favorite, vindicating my decision to give up fresh air entirely, and one I couldn't help mentioning when I interviewed him at my parents' house for my college dissertation.

Every time I see it at Sky Studios or in games over the summer, it's the first thing I think of. Someone from my South London pocket commanding Australia's superstars.

With the current situation, you're likely to try to see it in its entirety for the next few weeks. There are some advantages to self-isolation.

Butcher was all smiles after wrapping up England's six wicket win

Butcher was all smiles after wrapping up England's six wicket win

Butcher's blow did not cause a series of Ashes to topple over as Botham had done 20 years earlier, nor was it as amazing as Stokes' magic 18 years later.

The ashes were gone when Butcher starred.

England had been crushed by one inning and 118 runs (Edgbaston), seven wickets (Lord & # 39; s) and eight wickets (Trent Bridge) respectively in the first three Tests of the 2001 series, while an unbridled Australia concentrated on a clean sweep after winning the ballot box for the seventh consecutive time and crushing my hopes of seeing my country win it for the first time in my life. He would have to wait another four years later for that.

But Butch's efforts added a moment of joy to a steamy English summer and meant Australia would have to settle for a 4-1 success in what remains their most recent victory in England.

I remember Butch, whose place on the side had been in jeopardy before Headingley after he was seen late during the Trent Bridge test earlier that month, he was interviewed before playing saying something similar to how an England player needed to produce Something awesome .

Butcher coup in Leeds was his third century of testing

Butcher coup in Leeds was his third century of testing

It wouldn't be Michael Atherton this time. He put on a peach glove from his old foe Glenn McGrath to drop for eight three balls a day. Nor would it be Marcus Trescothick, who reduced Jason Gillespie to Matthew Hayden in the ravine by 10. England was 33-2. My decision to stay seemed crazy. I thought they were going to be dumb before tea.

However, Butcher, who had exited the 11th ball by exquisitely driving McGrath to the limit, found an excellent ally in Nasser Hussain, who was no doubt relieved that the decision to leave Butcher after his night in Nottingham, A call to Nasser initially accepted, had been revoked.

"When I got home, I had come to the conclusion that we were shooting ourselves in the foot by leaving Butch out," Hussain wrote in his autobiography. Playing with fire, Chatting with Atherton and Alec Stewart had changed his mind.

"So I called (the president of selectors) David Graveney to come back to talk about it. It turned out that he had the same doubts. He agreed that it was hard and said: 'If that's what you think and what what Ath and Stewie think, so let's reverse the decision. "

Among them, Butcher and Hussain added 181 for the third wicket, with the former deploying some brilliant square cuts and cover units, as no member of Australia's prized attack was spared. McGrath and Brett Lee attacked for consecutive limits. Nasser even entered the act by hooking Gillespie by six. What was I looking at?

Nasser Hussain played his part in England's victory

Nasser Hussain played his part in England's victory

However, there was a noticeable scare when Butcher was at 97. He headed towards the end of the non-striker, only to see Hussain static, so quickly he had to make a U-turn and take his place at the end of the keeper. It's not like Nasser was involved in a scare of exhaustion …

The position was broken when Hussain, incorrectly as it turned out, was declared trapped behind Gillespie by 55. England headed to tea at 222-3: with 93 needed to win, they had become favorites, but I still consider there might have been a stinger in the tail. After all, this was a formidable Australia, one with the arsenal to defend itself.

There was a sting on the tail, but only for Australia with Butcher taking his batting to an even higher plane towards the end of the third and final session. Gillespie suffers the brunt of the punishment.

Mark Ramprakash's firing for 32 with 26 required runs meant Usman Afzaal, remember? – I watched from the other end as Butcher knocked Gillespie down four, four, and six in a 73rd 19-run run before completing England's two-ball victory in the 74th with a Shane Warne three.

Butcher finished 173 not out of 227 balls with 23 four and six. Not bad for a guy whose lunch that day consisted of "a cup of coffee and a couple of cigarettes,quot; and whose international career was seen months ago.

Butcher scored five hundred more Test in his career to bring his total to eight, but he never played better that Monday at Headingley. Thank God I stayed home.

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