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England bid to end Gabba curse and 35 years of misery in Brisbane Ashes Test

England have not tasted victory at Australia’s fortress since 1986 as Joe Root’s men bid to get off to the perfect start in this year’s series

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England skipper Root previews start of Ashes series

Records are there to be broken, as they say.

Which is just as well, because if England are to get off to the perfect start in this year’s Ashes series, they will need to snap a 35-year winless streak at the Gabba.

The tourists have not tasted victory in Brisbane since 1986 when a typically belligerent 138* from Ian Botham laid the platform for a seven-wicket win.

John Emburey and Graham Dilley each claimed a five-wicket haul and it set up a 2-1 series victory for Mike Gatting’s men – with England only winning the urn Down Under once since – in 2010-11.

As Joe Root and his troops prepare for battle at Australia’s fortress, we take a look at their last eight failed attempts to claim victory at the Gabba.

Ian Botham’s century laid the platform for England’s last win in Brisbane in 1986
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1990 – Australia win by 10 wickets

In a low-scoring affair, England made 194 batting first, David Gower the only man to register a half century, scoring 61.

But Angus Fraser took 6-33 to bowl the Aussies out for 152, giving the tourists a slender advantage on first innings.

England managed a meagre 114 in their second innings, and Australia knocked off their 157-run target without losing a wicket.

1994 – Australia win by 184 runs

Michael Slater on his way to a century
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Centuries for Michael Slater and Mark Waugh saw the Aussies rack up 426 in the first innings, with England only managing 167 in response.

Australia declined to enforce the follow-on and scored 248-4 declared, leaving England an unlikely victory target of 508.

Graeme Hick, Graham Thorpe and Graham Gooch each passed 50 as the tourists made 323, but a young leg spinner by the name of Shane Warne claimed 8-71 to seal victory for the hosts.

Whatever happened to him?

1998 – Match drawn

Hundreds for Steve Waugh and Ian Healy helped Australia recover from 178-5 to post 485 in the first innings of the 1998-99 tour.

Mark Butcher scored a century as England made 375 in reply, with Glenn McGrath claiming 6-85.

A brisk century by Slater saw the Aussies declare at 237-3, but England batted the remaining 68 overs scoring 179-6 to secure a draw.

2002 – Australia win by 384 runs

Matthew Hayden scored a superb 197 for Australia at the Gabba in 2002
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“We’re gonna have a bowl.”

Nasser Hussain’s words have gone down in English cricket infamy as he won the toss on the first morning of the 2002-03 Ashes series.

He inexplicably stuck the Aussies in and by the time Ricky Ponting lost his wicket for 123 in the 76th over, the hosts had already scored 339 runs.

Matthew Hayden clobbered 27 boundaries on his way to 197 as Australia registered 492 in the first innings, and England’s pain was exacerbated by the loss of Simon Jones to a serious knee injury.

England replied with 325 as Marcus Trescothick, Butcher, Hussain and John Crawley all passed 50, but another Hayden century saw the Aussies declare on 296-5 – a lead of 463 runs.

The tourists mustered a pitiful 79 in response, more than half of those runs coming from the bat of Butcher, as Australia won by a mammoth 384 runs.

2006 – Australia win by 277 runs

Glenn McGrath celebrates one of his six first-innings wickets in Brisbane in 2006
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Another battering in Brisbane set the tone for another miserable series as England were drubbed 5-0.

Ponting’s 196 steered the Aussies to 602-9 declared in the first innings, and McGrath’s 6-50 saw the tourists bowled out for 157 in response.

Again opting against the follow-on, Justin Langer scored an unbeaten century as Australia declared on 202-1 – a lead of 647 runs.

England showed some mettle in their second innings as Paul Collingwood and Kevin Pietersen both fell in the 90s, but they were bowled out for 370.

2010 – Match drawn

Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott made history at the Gabba in 2010
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An all-too-familiar collapse saw England go from 197-4 to 197-7 and subsequently 260 all out, with Alastair Cook and Ian Bell the only men to pass 50 as Peter Siddle took a hat-trick for the hosts.

Australia were in trouble at 143-5 but a partnership of 307 between Michael Hussey (195) and Brad Haddin (136) put the hosts firmly in the driving seat as they responded with 481, Steven Finn taking six wickets for England.

But records aplenty tumbled in England’s second innings as they posted a mammoth 517-1 declared, Andrew Strauss scoring 110 before Cook (235 not out) and Jonathan Trott (135 not out) put on an unbeaten partnership of 329.

Australia reached 107-1 after 26 overs of the fourth innings before hands were shaken over a draw.

2013 – Australia win by 381 runs

Stuart Broad celebrates his fifth wicket – but Australia would have the last laugh
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England returned to Australia buoyed by a first series win Down Under since 1986-87 and with a comfortable 3-0 home victory under their belts earlier in the year.

But what followed was another 5-0 drubbing Down Under, and the tone was once again set in Brisbane.

Pantomime villain Stuart Broad took 6-81 as Australia were bowled out for 295 in the first innings, Brad Haddin falling six runs short of a century.

But England were rolled for 136 in their first dig before the Aussies scored 417-7 declared thanks to quick-fire hundreds from David Warner and Michael Clarke.

Mitchell Johnson picked up a five-wicket haul as the tourists were bowled out for 179 in the fourth innings, a defeat by 381 runs.

2017 – Australia win by 10 wickets

Steve Smith celebrates his hundred at the Gabba in 2017
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James Vince looked on course for a maiden Test century before he was run out for 83 in the first innings of the 2017-18 tour, top scoring as Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan also passed 50 in the tourists’ score of 302.

An unbeaten 141 by Steve Smith proved the thorn in England’s side in Australia’s response, but honours were fairly even as they were bowled out for 328.

But Joe Root was the only man to pass 50 in England’s second innings as they were dismissed for 195, and Cameron Bancroft and David Warner knocked off the 173-run victory target to give the hosts a 10-wicket victory.

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