Who was the last batsman to be dismissed in the third Ashes Test at Headingley in 1981?

The fabled third Test of the Australia tour of England at Headingley, Leeds in July, 1981, represented the turning point in an extraordinary series that will be forever remembered as ‘Botham’s Ashes’. Trailing 1-0 in the six-match series and with Mike Brearley reinstated as captain, following the resignation of Ian Botham, England followed on after scoring just 174 all out in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 401-9 declared.

In the second innings, England were 105-5, and still 122 runs behind, when Botham came to the crease. However, in a remarkable display of clean, powerful hitting, the all-rounder went on to score 149 not out, including partnerships of 90, 67 and 37 with fast bowlers Graham Dilley, Chris Old and Bob Willis for the eighth, ninth and tenth wickets, respectively. Even so, a second innings total of 356 still only gave England a lead of 129 runs, so an Australian victory looked little more than a formality.

Indeed, at 56-1, Australia appeared to be cruising to victory, but the situation changed, dramatically, when Bob Willis switched to running downhill from the Kirkstall Lane End. Encouraged by Brearley to bowl as fast and straight as possible, regardless of his tendency to no-ball, Willis took three quick wickets, either side of lunch, to reduce Australia to 58-4 and give his teammates a glimmer of hope.

Chris Old clean bowled Alan Border for a duck, but thereafter the match was all about Willis, who, bowling like a man possessed, took the remaining five wickets to finish with phenomenal figures of 8-43 from his 15.1 overs. Left-arm spinner Ray Bright was the last batsman to be dismissed and, when Willis knocked over his middle stump to bring the innings to end, Australia had scored just 111, still 19 runs short of the 130 required to win.

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