Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help
Last Updated: Monday, 8 August 2005, 07:49 GMT 08:49 UK
Thrilling Test match finishes
By Paresh Soni

England's thrilling two-run win over Australia at Edgbaston will go down as one of the greatest Test matches ever.

It was also the second smallest margin of victory for a side in terms of runs.

BBC Sport takes a look at six other nail-biting finishes to Test matches.


Australia v West Indies, Brisbane, December 1960:

The first match of one of the greatest series of all time - eventually won 2-1 by Australia - ended with the first tie in Test cricket.

A superb century from Gary Sobers helped Frank Worrell's Windies rack up 453 after winning the toss at the Gabba, but Australia - thanks to Norm O'Neill's highest Test score of 181 - replied with 505.

Chasing 233 on the last day, they were reduced to 92-6 after the fiery Wes Hall took four wickets, before Alan Davidson and skipper Richie Benaud put on 134 to take them to the brink of victory.

But they collapsed from 226-6 to 232 all out with one ball of the final eight-ball over left. Davidson (82) was one of three batsmen run out in the panic at the end, while Hall dismissed Benaud (52).

India v Australia, Madras, September 1986:

Australia piled up 574, thanks mainly to a double-century spanning more than eight hours from Dean Jones, who was told to change his shoes after being accused of running on the wicket with his spikes, and needed hospital treatment for dehydration when he was finally out.

A rapid century from skipper Kapil Dev lifted India from 245-7 to 397, before Australia declared at 170-5 to set India 348 on the final day.

Sunil Gavaskar (90) and Ravi Shastri, with an aggressive unbeaten 48, took India to the brink of a famous victory at 331-6.

But a dramatic collapse saw Chetan Sharma caught on the boundary off slow left-armer Ray Bright, who trapped Kiran More lbw first ball and bowled Shivlal Yadav.

Four were needed off the last over and Shastri got three off the first three balls, but Maninder Singh was adjudged leg before off the fifth to Greg Matthews.

A bad-tempered final day featured several heated exchanges and dissent over umpiring decisions, and the fall-out continued in the media over the next few days.


Australia v West Indies, Adelaide, January 1993:

The Windies, 1-0 down in the series, looked set to lose the fourth Test when a spell of 5-9 from off-spinner Tim May skittled them for 146 to leave Australia needing 186 for victory.

Courtney Walsh celebrates the dismissal of Craig McDermott in Adelaide
Walsh was at his best to dash Australia's hopes once again

But the fearsome Curtly Ambrose, Ian Bishop and Courtney Walsh tore into them to leave them on 102-8, before Justin Langer, on his Test debut, bravely put on 42 with May.

After Bishop had Langer caught behind May and last man Craig McDermott eked out 40 more runs: Australia were now favourites to clinch the series.

But McDermott gloved a short delivery from Walsh to wicket-keeper Junior Murray and the Windies won by one run, before routing the Aussies at Perth to seal a 2-1 triumph.

Australia v England, Melbourne, December 1982:

England were 2-0 down with two matches left but battled away to set Australia 292 with two days left.

England celebrate their victory over Australia at Melbourne
England celebrated a rare high during a series they ended up losing

Despite some early setbacks, the home side were well on course when they reached 171-3 but after Geoff Miller had Kim Hughes caught behind, Norman Cowans ripped through the lower order to reduce them to 218-9.

Somehow, Allan Border and number 11 Jeff Thomson saw them through to stumps on the fourth day on 255-9, but England were still odds-on to triumph.

On the last day, their frustration continued, as the partnership extended to 70 runs - four away from an unlikely victory - when Ian Botham, predictably, had a role in the climax.

Thomson edged him high to second slip where Chris Tavare parried the ball into the air. Geoff Miller moved across from first slip and pouched the ball to England's relief as they won by three runs.


West Indies v Australia, Bridgetown, March 1999:

Steve Waugh's epic 199 and 104 from a young Ricky Ponting set Australia on the way to 490 before the Windies crumbled to 98-6.

Brian Lara celebrates after guiding West Indies to victory in Bridgetown
Lara played one of the greatest innings of all time to stun the Aussies

Lower order resistance helped them recover to 329 but the tourists were still in control.

And even though Courtney Walsh took 5-39 to skittle the Aussies for 146 second time around, a target of 308 was still expected to be too much for the home side's brittle batting - especially when they again collapsed to 105-5.

The wickets continued to fall but Brian Lara was producing one of his finest innings under pressure to give them a chance.

Even so, when Glenn McGrath ran through the lower order to leave the Windies on 248-8 all seemed lost.

But Curtley Ambrose provided valuable support to the master batsman who took them to within six runs of victory when the number 10 edged Gillespie to Matthew Elliott at slip.

The last few overs were incredibly tense with Walsh - the world record holder for ducks - being protected until Lara, who ended on 153, produced a superb cover drive off Gillespie to secure a magnificent one-wicket victory against the odds.

Pakistan v Australia, Karachi, October 1994:

Debutant Michael Bevan's 82 and valuable contributions from Steve Waugh and Ian Healy saw the Aussies make 337 before the hosts were bowled out for 256.

Shane Warne and Ian Healy are distraught after Australia's defeat in Karachi
Healy and Warne are distraught as victory eludes them

An inspired spell of bowling from Wasim Akram then sent the tourists collapsing from 171-2 to 232 all out despite David Boon's unbeaten 114, but Pakistan's target was still stiff: 315.

It looked like they would fall short when Shane Warne took five wickets to help reduce them to 258-9.

But a young Inzamam-ul-Haq (58), who came in at number eight, and last man Mushtaq Ahmed (20) somehow put on 57 - which is still the highest last-wicket stand to win a game.

The decisive moment came when Inzamam lunged out of his crease but Healy missed a stumping chance and the ball ran away for four leg-byes.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport