Monday, November 20, 2006

Ashes Countdown 3

The Enduring Nineties

There is no exaggeration in saying that the decade of nineties in Ashes history belongs to the Waugh twins (Steve and Mark) as much as it does to Australia. Australia won every Ashes Series played during 90s by convincing margins. They won 1990-91 series with 3-0 margin, 1993 series with 4-1, 1994-95 with 3-1, 1997 with 3-2 and 1998-99 with 3-1. The elder of the brothers by minutes, Steve Waugh, made sure that the closely fought series of 1997 was theirs by hitting two tremendous tons on an unplayable wicket during the 3rd test at Old Trafford. During the 90s Waugh brothers scored most runs in Ashes than any other cricketer. They played in 22 tests of the 27 tests together. In the first series of the decade Steve Waugh played in the first three tests and was dropped in favor of his younger brother who played in the remaining two tests of that series.

In 24 Ashes Tests during the 90s decade Mark Waugh recorded most runs by any player from either side by scoring 1774 runs @ 45.48 including 4 hundreds and 10 fifties. He also took 13 wickets and 34 catches during that period. His aggregate was marginally higher than Steve Waugh's record during the same period. Steve Waugh in 25 tests scored 1731 runs @ 54.09 including 5 hundreds and 8 fifties. Steve Waugh also took 5 wickets and 13 catches.

Australia won almost every time when one of the twin brothers hit a hundred in an Ashes test except once when Steve Waugh would have taken them to a victory had it not been for inspired spells by Darren Gough and Dean Headley in the 4th test at Melbourne in 1998/99 series. Steve Waugh in that test was left high and dry on 30 while Australia fell short of victory target by just 12 runs. The other time they did not register a victory in spite of Waugh hundred in an Ashes test match was when Mark Waugh made his test debut in the fourth test of the 1990/91 series at Adelaide which ended in a tame draw as Graham Gooch and Michael Atherton added 203 runs for the 1st wicket and played out the major part of last day.

1990s also marked the beginning of the golden era for Australia and their dominance over every cricket team in the world. First it was Alan Border and then Mark Taylor along with their tireless coach John Buchanan built a team and a pool of talented cricketers whose exploits still continue to blow away their opponents.

Let us look at some other trivial facts and records of Nineties during which the England had to endure a decade full of Ashes defeats.

Ashes Countdown Quiz 3: The Enduring Nineties

Q71. Which Australian cricketer who took couple of catches as substitute during the 1990-91 Ashes went on to play for another country in One Day Internationals?

Q72. England’s victory in the 6th test at The Oval in 1993 Ashes was their first in 7 years. How many Ashes tests did they go winless during that period?

Q73. Which cricketer topped the bowling averages for his country in 1994/95 Ashes later went on to appear in a Television realty show? Also name the show.

Q74. One of the victims of this Australian bowler’s hat-trick went on to perform a hat-trick himself five years later against Australia. Name both of them.

Q75. Excluding Steve Waugh what is so unique about the Australian team that toured England in 1997?

Q76. Which Australian batsman hit three test hundreds on two separate occasions in an Ashes series but could not even hit a first class fifty during their 1997 Ashes tour?

Q77. What unwanted record does Steve Waugh hold that he achieved in the last Ashes test of the 90s decade?

Q78. This cricketer holds the record as the only player in the history of cricket to have played more than 100 tests in a single decade, which he achieved in 1990s. Name him.

Q79. Only one player has played in every Ashes test played during the decade of 90s. Name him.

Q80. During the 1990s decade Australia had just two captains in Ashes Tests. How many did England have and who are they?

This is the eigth of the 10 quizzes for the Ashes Countdown. Three winners will be selected at the end of the 10th quiz after tabulating all the results. The winners will be awarded exciting prizes courtesy of In the event of a tie, we will have a tie-breaker among the top three positions.

Please do not forget to mail your answers to before 27th November, 2006 having the subject line as "Answers to Ashes Countdown XX Quiz" . Replace XX with the Countdown number.

Happy Quizzing....

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