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July 16, 1888 – Lord’s Cricket Ground

Australia 116 & 60, England 53 & 62. Australia won by 61 runs.

The Ashes of 1888 were quite peculiar. It featured just three games in total, all of which ended in a matter of two days! Here, we present the first game of this series, where the Aussies were victorious after defeating England by 61 runs, which doesn’t seem much. But after a quick look at the scores, it looks like a rout!

Australia won the toss and chose to bat, and were reduced to 82/9, but a last-wicket stand of 34 runs between Jack Edwards and number 11 J. J. Ferris meant that Australia’s innings closed at 116, which would be the highest total of the game.  England were 18/3 at the close of Day 1 and were then bowled out for 53 with number ten batsman Johnny Briggs top-scoring with 17.

220px-Ranji_1897_page_099_J._J._Ferris_in_the_act_of_delivery
J. J. Ferris, the Aussie hero!

Australia looked to have the upper hand but were reduced to an unbelievable 18/7! J.J. Ferris once again came to their rescue and managed to conjure up some runs to take Australia to a total of 60.

Chasing 124, England might have gone in with some hopes of getting the win. However, they were skittled out for a paltry 62, with just two batsmen reaching double figures. Two Aussie bowlers took fifers, with Charlie Turner being one and the second being none other than J.J. Ferris, as he ended with the figures of 5/26!

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