Memorable Ashes Moments: Unlikely saviour Agar falls agonisingly short

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As Australia and England prepare to battle it out once again for possession of the Ashes urn, we look back at the top moments from the last 10 series.

England and Australia both underwhelmed with the bat early in the opening Test of the 2013 series, before a teenaged newcomer came agonisingly close to a century for the tourists - at the wrong end of the order.

 

Thursday, July 11 2013: First Test, Nottingham

England made an inauspicious start to their bid for a third successive Ashes triumph, Jonathan Trott top scoring with just 48 as the hosts fell to 215 all out batting first at Trent Bridge.

Fortunately for the home team, Australia's specialists fared worse still, with openers Shane Watson and Chris Rogers failing and Ed Cowan and captain Michael Clarke both out for ducks.

Steve Smith contributed 53 and the late Phil Hughes anchored their survival bid with a stand of 81 not out.

But it was Hughes' unheralded partner who stole the show and made headlines around the cricketing world.

Ashton Agar, a 19-year-old surprisingly included in the touring squad due to his promise as a spinner, proved an improbably immovable object at the crease.

The Victorian defied an attack featuring England stalwarts James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann for much of the day to save Australia's innings. 

There was no fairytale ton for Agar, though, as the youngster mistimed an attempt to reach the midwicket boundary off the bowling of Broad and was caught by Swann in the deep for 98. 

He did, though, become the first player to score a half-century batting at 11 on Test debut and indeed notched what remains the highest score in the five-day game for the last man in.

His partnership of 163 with Hughes was the highest for the 10th wicket in Tests until Joe Root and James Anderson surpassed them against India at the same venue a year later.

But his memorable efforts ultimately proved in vain, England hitting back with 375 in their second innings before dismissing Australia for 296 to win by 15 runs and make a victorious start to a series they won 3-0.

The final insult was to come, as Agar struggled with the ball in hand and made just one further Test appearance at Lord's in that series. 

He had to wait until this year's contests in Bangladesh to return to the longest format of the game.