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Thrills and spills at Australian ground goes back to 1877

The Melbourne Cricket Ground is the most iconic Australian venue in the 123-year history of the Ashes.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground is the most iconic Australian venue in the 123-year history of the Ashes.

Home to the first-ever Test match between the game's oldest protagonists in 1887, the fabled turf on the banks of the Yarra River have seen some of the Ashes most memorable encounters.

With a record crowd of close to 100,000 projected to pack into 'The G' on Boxing Day, the stage would seemingly be set for another memorable occasion with the current series level at 1-1.

Here are some of the best Ashes Tests at the venue.

1982 - Fourth Test

Regarded as one of the greatest Ashes Tests of all time, Australia threatened to pull off the most unlikely of wins following a 70-run stand between last-pair Allan Border and Jeff Thomson.

Chasing 292 for victory the pair saw the hosts through the fourth evening to leave them needing 37 on the final day.

With an expectant crowd turning up Australia edged closer and closer to victory before Sir Ian Botham finally struck.

Thomson poked an edge to second slip where Chris Tavare spilt the chance only for Geoff Miller to somehow make enough ground to pull off a remarkable catch from the rebound.

England won by three runs.

1977 - Centenary Test

The Test was played to celebrate 100 years of Test cricket and not only did it produce the same result as the first-ever match, but also one of the most pulsating contests between Australia and England.

After Australia managed just 138 batting first, the hosts somehow earned a first-innings lead when Dennis Lillee's six for 26 helped skittle England for 95.

The bat dominated thereafter with Australia setting England a victory chase of 441 - a target they looked like overhauling as they reached 346 for four on the back of Derek Randall's 174.

But Randall's dismissal prompted a collapse, inspired again by Lillee, the fast bowler, before the fitting history of the final margin.

Australia won by 45 runs.

1986 - Fourth Test

England secured their most recent Ashes series win Down Under with a dominant performance.

Australia never recovered after Ian Botham and Gladstone Small took five wickets apiece to bowl them out for 141 in their first innings.

Chris Broad then hit a century in England's 349 before spinners John Embury and Phil Edmonds shared five wickets to bowl England to a series-clinching win.

England won by an innings and 14 runs.

1937 - Third Test

In his first series in charge, Sir Donald Bradman's produced a captaincy masterstroke when he reversed his batting order in the second innings to cope with a wet and uncovered wicket.

The Australia 'tail' stalled the match long enough to let the pitch dry out before Bradman hit 270, in a total of 564, after coming in at seven as Australia eventually won the timeless Test on the sixth day.

Australia won by 365 runs.

1998 - Fourth Test

England's most recent win at the MCG was earned thanks to Dean Headley's career-best figures of six for 60.

With the Ashes already lost England looked set for further humiliation as the Aussies coasted towards a victory target of 175.

But Headley ripped through the lower order as Australia lost seven for 32, with four of their last five batsman out for ducks, to fall just short.

England won by 12 runs.

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