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England’s best away performances ahead of 500th overseas Test

England have won 149 of their 499 overseas Tests.

Michael Atherton and Jack Russell famously saved a Test at the Wanderers (Rebecca Naden/PA)
Michael Atherton and Jack Russell famously saved a Test at the Wanderers (Rebecca Naden/PA)

By Rory Dollard, PA Cricket Correspondent, Port Elizabeth

England play their 500th overseas Test when they take on South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.

Here the PA news agency looks at five modern-day classic performances on the road.

England beat the West Indies by nine wickets – Jamaica, 1990

Allan Lamb scored a century to help England to victory (Eric Shaw/PA)

England had not beaten a dominant West Indies in 30 Tests spanning 16 years when Graham Gooch led out a team of rank outsiders in the series opener at Kingston. What unfolded was a brilliant victory, built around an over-performing four-man attack of Gladstone Small, Devon Malcolm, Angus Fraser and David Capel. Allan Lamb’s 132 in the first innings left the tourists chasing just 41 on the final day and earned him the man-of-the-match award. England lost the series 2-1 but regained their pride and purpose with this result.

England drew with South Africa – Johannesburg, 1995

Allan Donald was frustrated by England at the Wanderers (Owen Humphreys/PA)

There are famous wins that do not make this list, and even a memorable Stuart Broad-inspired triumph at this very ground, The Wanderers. But Michael Atherton’s stoic knock 25 years ago proved the same joy could be had by saving a game. His duel with Allan Donald goes down as one of the most memorable ever and his final stand – 185 not out, 492 balls and 643 minutes – is revisited whenever England need to do dig deep on a fifth day.

England beat Pakistan by six wickets – Karachi, 2000

Nasser Hussain (right) and Graham Thorpe (left) led England to victory over Pakistan (Matthew Fearn/PA)

Pakistan had never before been defeated in their Karachi stronghold, surrendering a proud 34-match streak as Graham Thorpe stole the match, and the series, in failing light. A third consecutive draw was on the cards when quick wickets from Darren Gough and Ashley Giles moved the game along at pace. A chase of 176 seemed impossible given the gloomy conditions but Thorpe’s unbeaten 64 was arguably better than any of his 16 Test centuries.

England beat Australia by an innings and 157 runs – Melbourne, 2010

England’s players celebrate by doing the sprinkler dance after victory at the MCG (Gareth Copley/PA)

The Boxing Day Test at the MCG is a celebrated sporting occasion in Australia, but here the Christmas party turned into a nightmare. With the tour finely balanced at 1-1 England grabbed the initiative in dramatic style, blowing the Baggy Greens away for 98 on the first afternoon and sitting pretty on 157/0 at the close of play. Jonathan Trott ground the Australians down with an unbeaten 168 and the urn was retained when a thumping victory arrived on day four. Andrew Strauss’ side finished the job in Sydney, to get their only series win Down Under since 1986/87.

England beat India by 10 wickets – Mumbai, 2012

Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar spun England to an unlikely win (Anthony Devlin/PA)

After a sound thrashing in Ahmedabad, England turned up at the Wankhede Stadium to find a sharp-turning pitch and the odds stacked firmly against them. In the end it was Alastair Cook’s side who mastered the alien conditions, with Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar sharing 19 wickets as they comprehensively outperformed the home spinners. Kevin Pietersen’s 186 set up a big first-innings of 413, and goes down as one of his career-best attacking masterclasses, while Cook led from the front with 122. It set up a 2-1 series win that remains their only success in India since 1985.



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