England clinch thrilling two-run win

Birmingham, August 7:

England ended a gallant chase by Australia at Edgbaston on Sunday to win the second Test by two runs, the closest result ever in an Ashes series. Chasing 282 to win, Australia was dismissed for 279 with the No 10 and No 11 partnerships adding a combined 104 runs to move the tourists within a batting stroke of a 2-0 series lead. Instead, England held its nerve and Steve Harmison ended the resistance when he had No 11 Michael Kasprowicz caught behind to level the five-match series 1-1. No 10 Brett Lee ended unbeaten on 43 when Kasprowicz (20) gloved a legside catch to Geraint Jones. Sunday’s 100 minutes of high-tension cricket is sure to add significantly to Ashes lore. A batsman should only be given out for gloving a ball if the hand hit is in contact with his bat. His view obscured by the angle and speed of delivery, umpire Billy Bowden missed what TV replays showed — that Kasprowicz was holding the bat only with his other hand at the moment of contact.

Andrew Flintoff inspired England to the brink of victory with two half centuries and 4-79 in the second innings. England needed only two wickets after Michael Clarke was bowled by Harmison with Saturday’s last ball. But Shane Warne and Lee added 45 runs, with the stand only broken when Flintoff was gifted his fourth wicket by Warne stepping on his stumps while on 42. Australia then moved on from 220/9 to 262, when Flintoff cannoned a sharply rising short-ball into Lee’s left glove. Lee needed lengthy on-field treatment, but got an inside edge to the boundary in the next over to push the total to 267. Flintoff’s bowling sealed the man of the match award. Warne was the only other contender, his batting following a second-innings 6-46, to boost his world-record total to 599.