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The Definitive: Michael Vaughan

by Wisden Staff

England’s 2005 Ashes-winning captain Michael Vaughan looks back on his career and lists his greatest-ever performances.

THE KNOCK THAT KICKED THINGS OFF
99 | Yorkshire under 15s v Northamptonshire under 15s, Ampleforth School, 1990

“I was in the Yorkshire under 15 side and batting regularly at number seven and bowling off-spinners. We were playing at a school ground in Yorkshire – might have been Ampleforth – and our number three didn’t turn up. I was promoted to bat in the spot he’d left open and I ended up batting in that position for the rest of the summer. I scored 99 on that day. I remember it being a really flat wicket. I went on to do well enough that season to win The Daily Telegraph Young Cricketer of the Year award.”

THE INNINGS THAT SAW ME PICKED FOR YORKSHIRE
119 | England under 19s v West Indies under 19s, First Test, Trent Bridge, Nottingham, 1993

“It took a series of good performances for England under 19s to see me stake a claim for the Yorkshire 1st XI. I’d already made a couple of hundreds in the second XI, but I scored heavily against a West Indies side led by Shivnarine Chanderpaul and that saw me picked for my debut in the Roses match, the next game. Chanderpaul scored a double hundred in the match. We were rained out on the last day.”

THE YORKSHIRE BEST
177 | Durham v Yorkshire, County Championship, Riverside, Chester-le-Street, 1998

“I spent the whole of the match on the field. I made 170-odd – might have been not out, [was last out, bowled Foster, next highest score was 31] against a Durham side that included a young Steve Harmison, tear-arsing in. I then made 36 not out in the second innings to knock off the winning runs.”

THE BEST LITTLE INNINGS
41 | England v West Indies, Second Test, Lord’s, 2000

“This was a classic Test. We were 130-odd [133] behind on first innings and then Andy Caddick, Dominic Cork and Goughie [Darren Gough] combined to bowl West Indies out for 59. It meant we needed 189 to win, which was by no means a foregone conclusion. They had an attack that included Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh which had already seen us off, no bother, in the first Test at Edgbaston. To lose this would have meant going two down with two to play. I added 70 for the first wicket with Michael Atherton [was actually 92 for the second wicket], which was vital in the context of the game. I ended up making 41 of the hardest-earned runs of my career. The game ended with Dominic Cork scoring the winning runs and then giving that famous three-fingered wave to the press box.”

THE FIRST ENGLAND HUNDRED
120 | England v Pakistan, Second Test, Old Trafford, Manchester, 2001

“It was the scoring of this hundred – my first – against a good Pakistan attack that made me feel I belonged in international cricket. It was made against Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Azhar Mahmood, Abdur Razzaq and Saqlain Mushtaq. Reaching three figures felt fantastic.”

THE TOUGHEST CONDITIONS
105 | Sri Lanka v England, Second Test, Asgiriya Stadium, Kandy, 2003

“I batted for seven hours in hot, steamy conditions, on a turning pitch, against Muttiah Muralitharan. It was properly boiling and proper hard work. We were trying to bat out for a draw and I used up something like 300 balls [333 balls, 448 minutes, 11 fours, Murali’s figures were 56- 28-64-4] in making a hundred. We finished up seven down in the end.”

THE MOST FLUENT
183 | Australia v England, Fifth Test, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney, 2003

“I was in great form on that tour – arguably the best of my life – and I just went out there and teed off ! Nothing more scientific than that. It was just one of those days when it didn’t matter who was bowling at me, they were going. I just smashed it, and kept smashing it to finish with 183.”

THE ONE-DAY BEST
86 | England v Australia, ICC Champions Trophy Semi-final, Edgbaston, Birmingham, 2004

“We are picking from a pretty small list here! But having said that, I did hit the ball well that day. We’d made a good start to our run chase and it was a case of keeping it going. We ended up giving Australia a right thumping that day.”

THE ONE PLAYED UNDER MOST PRESSURE
103 | England v West Indies, Second Test, Headingley, Leeds, 2007

“This was my first game back after a host of long-term injuries. I had last played for England in December 2005. My knee wasn’t great, I’d had a hamstring problem and then three weeks before the game I broke my finger in a county game against Hampshire. I missed the first Test at Lord’s and people said that I shouldn’t be playing in this one. They said it was too soon. It was at Headingley, in front of my home crowd. It was a packed house. Every time you go out to bat in a Test you’re under pressure, but this felt like even more pressure than usual. It was very pleasing to make a hundred, let’s just leave it at that.

THE HUNDRED TO COMPLETE THE SET
106 | England v New Zealand, First Test, Lord’s, 2008

“I batted like a dog until I got to fifty. But from there I was able to pick things up. Scoring a hundred meant that I managed to tick all of the boxes by reaching a hundred against every Test-playing nation [barring Zimbabwe, who didn’t have Test status between 2005 and 2011].”

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