Ricky Ponting has declared Andrew Flintoff’s searing over in the second innings of the Edgbaston Test in the 2005 Ashes as the best he’s ever faced.
In a spell of lethal reverse swing, Flintoff removed Justin Langer and Ponting off the second and final deliveries of the 13th over, denting Australia early in their 282-run chase, a target they eventually fell short of by two runs.
Responding to a video posted by England Cricket from the 2005 series that documents Ponting’s four-ball struggle in the over, Ponting commented: “Best over I ever faced. Class reverse swing at 90-odd mph!”
Best over I ever faced. Class reverse swing at 90odd mph! https://t.co/EUdN9P64Cr
— Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) April 10, 2020
The video begins with Ponting taking guard after Langer’s dismissal, for the third of the over, which pings him on the thigh pad after sharply jagging in. The fourth ball finds an outside edge off a tentative Ponting’s bat to gully, while the fifth one swings back in again, rapping him high on the front pad. The next delivery turns out to be a no-ball, but Flintoff makes up for it right away, getting Ponting to waft at the final ball of the over, the thick edge nestling into the hands of wicket-keeper Geraint Jones.
Flintoff took two more wickets in the innings, as Australia’s famed line-up crumbled in the face of sustained pressure, falling short of the target despite a heroic lower-order resistance.
In what is deemed as one of the greatest Test series ever, Flintoff ended with 24 wickets in five Tests, the most by a fast bowler in the series.