Ashes 2015: Will this be the shortest Ashes series in history?

England took two days and 40 minutes to win the Fourth Test

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The Independent Online

In the end it took England a little over ten overs on Day Three at Trent Bridge to seal their Investec Ashes series victory, Mark Wood’s dismissal of Nathan Lyon sealing a win by an innings and 78 runs to give England an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series with only one Test to play.

While bad light on Friday dashed hopes of the first two-day Test finish in this country since 2000, and Australia’s first defeat of that sort for 125 years, the early finish to this match, following similarly shortened Tests at Cardiff, Lord’s and in particular Edgbaston, mean this series could potentially be the shortest ever in Ashes history.

Will this be the shortest ever Ashes series?

With four Tests played, the series has currently lasted for 2905 balls, making it the shortest series ever – in which four or more Tests have been played. However with one match to go, it cannot yet lay claim to be the shortest ever completed Ashes series (to have had at least five Tests).

The current record holder is the 1902 Ashes series in England, won 2-1 by Australia in just 3563 balls, so to top that the last Test at The Oval would have to finish inside 109.4 overs.


Even given Australia’s woeful batting in this series, that seems an unlikely result, however you never know with this bizarrely unpredictable series.

In any case it looks as if this series will end up being one of the shortest in history, a finish inside 141 overs would beat the 1909 Ashes, inside 217 overs would trump England’s humiliation in the 2001 Ashes and a finish in less than 239 overs at The Oval would see the fourth shortest series since 1884 – the shortest Ashes series that England have won.

The five shortest Ashes series in cricket history (of at least five Tests)

1902 Ashes in England - 3563 balls, Australia won 2-1

1909 Ashes in England - 3752 balls, Australia won 2-1

2001 Ashes in England - 4209 balls, Australia won 4-1

1884/5 Ashes in Australia - 4343 balls, England won 3-2

1889 Ashes in England - 4377 balls, Australia won 1-0