The heat and craze of an Ashes battle can make players charged up. Others seem to overcome out of the red-hot atmosphere of playing in a game between arch-rivals England and Australia.
5. Don Bradman 304 (Headingley, July 1934)
Headingley proved a favorite place to visit for Don Bradman during his fascinating career. Australia had been 39/3 at one stage, then Sir Don Bradman and Bill Ponsford made combined 288 for the fourth-wicket. Bradman was eventually dismissed for 304, having hit 43 fours and two sixes in his 473 ball battle at the crease. The match meanwhile was ended in a draw.
4. Kevin Pietersen 158 (The Oval, 2005)
Kevin Pietersen’s maiden Test century was eventually a memorable one. He was drafted in the side at the start of the famous 2005 Ashes series to play ahead of experienced Graham Thorpe; he is South African born right-hander scored three half-centuries in his first three innings. However, he saved the best for last, making 158 on the final day of the fifth Test at the Oval. England needed a draw to win the series 2-1, though they were in deep trouble when they were 126/5. Pietersen then decided attack was the best form of defense. He took on anything short from Brett Lee, and his luck was unbelievable that day.
3. Don Bradman 334 (Headingley, July 1930)
Bradman made his Test-best in the Ashes, he initially hit 334 at Headingley in the 1930 series. What made his innings more remarkable was that the next highest score in the Australia innings was the 77 made by Alan Kippax. Bradman faced just 448 deliveries as he scored an outstanding 309 runs in a single day’s play as England’s bowlers were put on a roll. When he was, unfortunately, got caught behind off the bowling of Maurice Tate, the tourists were 508/6. Despite heroics of Bradman and England being force into follow-on, the third Test of the that Ashes summer finished in a draw.
2. Ian Botham 149 not out (Headingley, 1981)
Ian Botham wrote his name into Ashes record book in the summer of 1981. The England all-rounder got disastrous start to this series. Being dismissed for a pair in the second Test at Lord’s, he was resigned as captain with his side 1-0 down. It looked as Australia would double their advantage when they bundled the opponents to 135/7 in their second innings at Headingley, as there was the real possibility of an innings defeat. Botham then played one of the most famous knocks in Test history. With the tail-enders Graham Dilley, Chris Old and Bob Willis, he smashed an unbeaten 149 from 148 balls. Later in chasing just 130, Australia collapsed to 111 all out. Botham followed up his batting heroics with a wicket as England clobbered victory from the jaws of defeat.
1. Len Hutton 364 (The Oval, August 1938)
Len Hutton made history in 1938 when he scored 364 on the fifth and final Test of the Ashes at the Oval. He was playing in just his 6th match for England, yet made the most to enter cricket’s record books. Hutton’s innings continued for three days, facing 847 deliveries which included 35 fours. He was finally dismissed to Bill O’Reilly, though by then he had set a new best for the highest Test score by an individual batsman. His record was there until 1958 when Garfield Sobers made 365 for the West Indies. As the hosts, England declared on 903/7. Australia bundled 201 and 123 in reply, meaning they lost by the margin of an innings and 579 runs.