The greatest Test and an immortal moment

It was undoubtedly one of the greatest Tests every played. All nails were bitten and after days of skill-war, it all came down to the battle of nerves. Then came the deserved triumph for England and what followed was this moment. A moment that famously went on to be the image of ‘spirit of the game’.

On this day, 10 years back, England won a thriller of Test match at Birmingham by two runs. After losing the first Test at Lord’s, England managed a 99-run lead in the first innings at Edgbaston. But Australia got things back in favour when they bowled out England for 182. The chase of 282 wasn’t going to be cakewalk but Australia were the best. August 7, 2005, began with Australia needing 107 with two wickets in hand. [Also Read: Brett Lee and Andrew Flintoff relive the Ashes 2005 battle that united foes]

Shane Warne and Brett Lee added 45 for the ninth wicket. And the never-dying Aussie spirit saw Lee and Michael Kasprowicz bring the side three runs close to the win. Andrew Flintoff was bowling fire and Lee gave it all not even minding the bruises. But three runs away from the win, Kasprowicz ballooned a Steve Harmison short ball to the wicketkeeper. It was a heart-break for Australia and Lee was devastated. Bedlam broke at England camp with celebration while Lee fell dejected. It’s easy for anyone to lose it in such a moment, but Flintoff bent to shake the hands of a dejected Lee. This moment truly symbolises cricket as a “gentleman’s sport”.

Here’s how Flintoff put it years down the line, “While growing up as a cricketer in Lancashire, I was told that in victory or defeat, you respect your opposition first and then you have a lot of time to celebrate and do whatever you do.”