Australia's First Defeat Over England on English Soil - Birth of 'The Ashes'

Date of Record: Aug 1882

The beginning was a Test match between Australia and England at The Oval in London in the summer of 1882.

Following one and a half days of play the match reached a dramatic conclusion in the final innings. with England needing only 85 runs their win seemed assured, but the Australians were determined to pull off an unlikely victory after an unsporting incident in the previous innings. The famous English champion Dr W G Grace had controversially run out Australian batsman Sam Jones when he was clearly not trying to complete a run.

This run out infuriated the Australian players, especially their bowling spearhead, Fred 'The Demon' Spofforth. Before they took the field for the final innings Spofforth assured his teammates that 'this thing can be done'. An hour into the innings England still seemed certain to win - the total was reduced to 34 with seven wickets still in hand and Grace still at the crease. However, the course of the match changed dramatically when Grace's wicket fell, triggering one of the most famous collapses in cricketing history.

Remarkably the Australian team won by seven runs, registering its first victory over England on English soil.