It was the much-hyped Ashes series in the 1990-91 season alongside the unofficial-best-in-Test-cricket series: Pakistan vs West Indies.

 

Graham Gooch took over the captaincy of England and enjoyed a magnificent summer where his boys relished a great time against the touring Kiwis and Indians. The hopes were high when England landed on Australian soil – many critics thought, the Poms would bring the Ashes back home and take revenge for the drubbing in 1989.

But it was not to be.

The English were handed a 10-wicket thrashing in Brisbane in the first Test, but in the second Test, they tested the Australians until Reid showed up.

England take the upper-hand

A century from David Gower helped England amass 352 in the first innings with Reid delivering 39 overs to pick up 6 for 97.

Australia’s top order all got starts but no one could post a big score as Allan Border (62) and Mark Taylor (61) top-scored.

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English paceman Angus Fraser ripped through the tail with 6 for 82 as England went into their second innings with a 46-run lead.

That lead would stretch to 193 when the tourists were 4 for 147 at the tea break on the fourth day before the 50 minutes of madness.

Madness at the MCG

Border tried with the Reid and Tim May combination that precipitated a collapse – 6 wickets fell for 3 runs in 12 overs as England folded for 150 from 103 for 2.

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Reid’s 6-feet-and-8-inch lanky figure looked like a demon on a sun-kissed day at Melbourne. The demon ran modestly at the popping-crease, rolled his arm, and pitched the ball consistently on a back-of-a-length with an amalgamation of accuracy and sharp pace – The English batsmen were taken aback by the length and deceptiveness as the gentle demon devoured each of his scalps to satisfy his appetite.

Two early wickets gave England hope before Geoff Marsh and David Boon shared in a 187-run unbroken stand to lead Australia to a win in the final session of the match.

Reid would repeat the same against India in 1991-92 at the same venue.

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