A stunning triple box set, containing over 3 hours of action:
David Steele looks back at England's six best games from the 1970's - a trip down memory lane to some of the greatest matches ever played:
1971 v Australia, 4th Test, Sydney, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 January.
An incredible performance by Ray Illingworth's men which ended with England's largest victory over Australia since 1936/37. 96 runs ahead after the first innings, England put Australia to the sword in the second with Boycott's 142 not out and 50's for D'Oliveira and Illingworth helping England to 319 for 5 declared, setting Australia 416 to win. Jon Snow then ripped into the Australians with figures of 7 for 40 reducing them to 116 all out, giving England a comprehensive victory by 299 runs.
1972 v Australia, 4th Test, Headingley, 27, 28, 29 July.
A dynamic performance by England that saw the Australians defeated with two days of the Test match remaining. The Australian batsmen were skittled out for 146 in the first innings and 136 in the second, 'deadly' Derek Underwood doing the damage with figures of 10 for 82. England were left with a mere 20 runs to win after reaching 263 in their first innings, and swiftly wrapped up victory by 9 wickets.
1974 v India, 2nd Test, Lords, 20, 21, 22, 24 June.
Mike Denness won the toss and elected to bat, a decision that was fully justified by a massive total of 629 runs with himself, Dennis Amiss and Tony Grieg all making centuries. India, forced to follow-on having made 302 in the first innings, were then dismissed for an amazing 42 runs, giving England victory by an innings and 285 runs.
1975 v Australia, 2nd Test Lords, 31 July, 1, 2, 4, 5 August.
Having been annihilated in the first Test the omens were not good for England, but a new look team, including test debutante David Steele, had other ideas. Winning the toss Tony Grieg elected to bat and England made 315 with a debut 50 fro Steele, 96 for Grieg and 69 for Alan Knott. Australia made 268 then England piled on the runs, led by John Edrich's 175, to declare their second innings at 436 for 7, a lead of 483. Australia were left to hold on to a hard fought draw.
1975 v Australia, 3rd Test, Headingley, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19 August.
An incredible game for many reasons. David Steele top scored in both England innings scoring 73 of England's 288 first innings total and 93 of their 291 second innings. In between debutante Phil Edmonds took 5 for 20 to reduce Australia to 135 all out. Australia started their second innings needing 445 runs and the game was interestingly poised at 220 for 3 coming into the final day before vandals, campaigning for the release from prison of a convicted criminal, sabotaged the Rugby Ground end of the pitch with knives and oil forcing the match to be abandoned.
1977 v Australia, 3rd Test, Trent Bridge, 28, 29, 30 July, 1, 2 August.
An excellent England performance with Geoffrey Boycott spearheading both innings having come back into the team after a 30 match exile, with 107 in the first (his 99th century) and 80 not out in the second. It was also notable for the debut of one IT Botham who celebrated his call-up by taking 5 of the Australian first innings wickets, a feat matched in the second by Bob Willis. England ultimately took the game by 7 wickets and powered to a 2-0 series lead.
Footage courtesy of BBC, Channel 9 and ECB.
David Gower looks back at England's six best games from the 1980's - an epic selection of matches with England at their flamboyant best.
1981 v Australia, 3rd Test, Headingley, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21 July.
It was the stuff of legends, and is unquestionably the most famous game of cricket ever played. England were down and out following-on 227 runs behind Australia's first innings total of 401 for 9. Enter Ian Botham and a sensational 149 runs from 148 balls nosed England ahead by 129 runs. Amazingly it was a bridge too far for the Aussies as Bob Willis ripped through them taking 8 for 43 and making it only the second time in history that the side following-on had won.
1981 v Australia, 4th Test, Edgbaston 30, 31 July, 1, 2 August.
It looked a routine victory for Australia and a fairly ordinary match. England were bowled out in the first innings for 189 then bowled Australia out for 258. England added 219 in their second innings, leaving Australia a seemingly facile 151 runs to win. They seemed to be coasting to victory until up stepped England's super-hero Ian Botham. His 5 wickets for 1 run in 28 balls snatched the game away from Australia and put England 2-1 up in the series.
1982 v Australia, 4th Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 December.
An amazingly tight game in which for the first time in any Test where all 40 wickets fell, all innings totals were within 10 runs of each other. Australia led by 3 runs after the first two innings and were set 292 to win after England's second innings. An inspired spell of bowling by Norman Cowans (6 for 77) looked to have secured a fairly comfortable victory and Australia still needed 74 runs with one wicket remaining. However an incredible stand of 70 runs between Thompson and Border looked to have snatched victory until Thompson edged Botham (his 100th wicket against Australia) to Miller in the slips, giving England victory by 3 runs.
1985 v Australia, 5th Test, Edgbaston, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20 August.
A crucial game with the series poised at 1-1 with only 2 Tests remaining. Australia made 335 in the first innings then England ran riot with Tim Robinson (148), David Gower (218) and Mike Gatting (100*) taking England to a declaration at 595 fro 5. The draw was still likely until Richard Ellison took the top order apart, eventually returning figures of 10 for 104 as England won by an innings and 118 runs.
1986 v Australia, 1st Test, Brisbane, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19 November.
England came into the series having been written off, but the hacks were made to eat their words. A brilliant 138 from Botham in the first innings took England to 456 then Graham Dilley's 5 for 68 kept Australia to 248 and forced to follow-on. In spite of Geoff Marsh's 110 Australia could only add 282 leaving England with 75 runs to win, and an easy victory by 7 wickets.
1986 v Australia, 4th Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground, 26, 27, 28 December.
An incredible performance from Mike Gatting's men saw them clinch the 5 game series 2-0 against all odds and in emphatic fashion. Australia batted first and were torn apart by Gladstone Small and Ian Botham who took 5 wickets apiece as Australia were bowled out for 141. England then powered to 349, Chris Broad the star with 112, leaving Australia 208 behind. More inspired bowling by England and two run-outs meant Australia were always struggling. They eventually succumbed for 194 leaving England victorious by the incredible margin of an innings and 14 runs.
Footage courtesy of BBC, Channel 9 and ECB.
Michael Atherton looks back at England's six best games from the 1990's - inspirational performances from Gooch against India in 1990 to Gough and Headley destroying the Australians at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 1998.
1990 v India, 1st Test, Lords, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31 July.
A spectacular batting performance from England and in particular Graham Gooch. England's first innings total of 653 for 4 declared featured an amazing score of 333 from Gooch as well as centuries from Allan Lamb and Robin Smith. The Indians were restricted to 454 with Angus Fraser picking up 5 wickets before England added a further 272 for 4, Gooch scoring a pacey 123 off 113 balls, to set India a target of 472 to win. They could only manage 224 giving England victory by an impressive 247 runs.
1994 v South Africa, 3rd Test, Oval, 18, 19, 20, 21 August.
A classic game of cricket. South Africa led England by 28 runs after the first innings before Devon Malcolm, fresh from being hit on the head whilst batting at number 11, went on the rampage! His 9 for 57 destroyed the South Africans and left England needing 204 to win and square the series, a target they made losing just two wickets.
1995 v West Indies, 2nd Test, Lords, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 June.
A game that England had to win to square the series and a game that looked like drifting away with West Indies 98 for 1 in the final innings chasing 296 to win. Enter debutante Dominic Cork who came on to devastating effect with a breathtaking 7 for 43 to win England the match.
1995 v South Africa, 2nd Test, Johannesburg, 30 November, 1, 2, 3, 4 December.
An epic game of cricket. Coming into the 5th day England stood at 167 for 4, still 312 runs behind South Africa. Victory was never an option so survival was all England could hope for and this seemed a long way off. However an incredible performance by Michael Atherton who scored 185 not out in 643 minutes and Jack Russell, (having earlier beaten the Test record by taking 11 catches in a game) with 29 in 274 minutes, saved the match.
1998 v South Africa, 4th Test, Trent Bridge, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 July.
Coming into the match at 1-0 down and with only two Tests remaining this was a must win for England. Hanse Cronje did the damage for South Africa top-scoring with 126 in the first innings and 67 in the second, with Angus Fraser taking 5 for 60 and 5 for 62 respectively in response. England were left with 247 to win and Allan Donald was in no mood for them to make it. But Atherton won the gladiatorial battle with 98 not out and a short-fire 45 from 34 balls by Alec Stewart saw England home with half a day to spare.
1998 v Australia, 4th Test, Melbourne, 26, 27, 28, 29 December.
Having lost the last two Tests England badly needed a win. They opened with 270 with Alec Stewart scoring 107 having returned to his preferred opening slot before Darren Gough took 5 for 96, as Australia replied with 340. England added 244 in the second innings, with Stewart making 52, leaving Australia with an eminently reachable 175 to win the series. However Dean Headley roared in taking 6 for 60 and Australia collapsed from 130 for 3 to 162 all out giving England a sensational victory by 12 runs.
Footage courtesy of BBC, Channel 9, SABC and ECB.
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