The history of this vicious battle goes back to 1882, at the Oval cricket ground on the Thames River in London. One-hundred and thirty-three years later, the ersatz teams were brought together in Grayshott, a small village just off the A3. Australia having won the toss and put England into bat in weather conditions which were favourable for bowling, made an early breakthrough when Charles Spencer was caught off the bowling of Henry Cook.
That brought the England skipper to the crease, who started to build a promising partnership with Thomas Rose before sending him back after chipping the ball to mid-on: by then, the bails had been removed and Rose was on his way back to the pavilion. Marcus Blake was the next man in and he made an instant impact, hitting 33, during which Frazer James had been dismissed for 18 after being bowled by Australia’s ‘leggie’, Jared Moggach, missing a sweep. After an impressive performance from the leg spinner, who recorded figures 15-3, England were bowled out for a slightly worrying 109. Her late collapse meant that lunch was taken straight away, play resuming 40 minutes later.
After lunch, there came more misery for England as Thomas Rose went for 10 runs in the opening over, and after efforts from Frazer and Marcus, Kelvin Boyman was finally dismissed playing down the wrong line to Thomas Rose who pinned him LBW. After opener and leg spinner Jared Moggach had been dismissed by Charles Spencer, Australia were on 53-2, requiring 57 runs off 15 overs. Things got worse for England as the captain dropped two difficult chances and silly-mid-on, but Reuben James and Charles Spencer sparked a collapse, the latter taking two further key wickets.
Frazer was into his fourth over and hadn’t yet taken a wicket, 8 wickets had fallen, and a further two were to fall in the next 3 balls. Karsten, the last man in, was out first ball to a delivery that pitched outside off and nicked back in to crash in to the top of off-stump. Australia’s reply came horrifically short, completing their innings for a dismal score of 69 in just 16 overs. An effort, we might add, that was actually 9 runs more than Australia’s at Trent Bridge a month later.
Charles Spencer won the man of the match award for his excellent performance with the ball, removing three key wickets. Australia were clearly outplayed and England regained the Ashes with a 40-run win over their rivals.