The first-ever Ashes series

The first official Ashes series between Australia and England was played in 1877 in Down Under. The series ended in a 1-1 draw.

The first-ever official Ashes clash between Australia and England was played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which Australia won by 45 runs.

Australia scored 245 runs in the first innings of the first ever test match with opener Charles Bannerman scoring 165. Interestingly, no other batsman scored more than 18 runs. Alfred Shaw and James Southerton took three wickets each for England.

England were bowled out for 196 in reply with Harry Jupp making 63 and Harry Charlwood making 36. Allen Hill also contributed with 35.

Australia made 104 in their second innings. Alfred Shaw was the star for England and uprooted five Australian wickets in the second innings. George Ulyett also picked up three wickets from his 19 overs to give England a real sniff.

However, the visitors could not chase down the 154 run target in the final innings and were skittled out for just 108. Tom Kendall was the top wicket taker for Australia and took 7 wickets from 33.1 overs to guide Australia to a victory in the maiden Ashes test.

In the second test, Australia batted first and were bowled out for just 122. Billy Midwinter was the top run scorer with 31 runs. Allen Hill was the top wicket taker for England with 4 wickets while James Lillywhite Jr and George Ulyett picked up two wickets each.

England replied with 261 all out. There was a half century from George Ulyett while Andrew Greenwood, Tom Emmett and Allen Hill scored 40 odd each.

Tom Kendall was the top wicket taker for Australia with four scalps from more than 50 overs, conceding 82 runs. Frederick Spofforth also picked up three wickets but was expensive.

Australia made 259 runs in the second innings on the back of good contributions from their top four – Nat Thomson, captain Dave Gregory, Charles Bannerman and Thomas Kelly. James Lillywhite Jr was again the star for England with the ball and picked up four wickets from 41 overs while conceding 70 runs.

England chased down the 121 run target in the final innings but not before losing six wickets as they went on to win by 4 wickets. George Ulyett was again the top run scorer with 63 runs including 5 boundaries.

As a result, the series ended at 1-1.

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