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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 May, 2003, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Windies' finest ever victory?
Vasbert Drakes hit the winning runs off Stuart MacGill
Vasbert Drakes scored the winning runs for West Indies

West Indies set a new world record for the highest winning fourth innings total to clinch the fourth Test against Australia.

Vasbert Drakes smacked the winning runs off Stuart MacGill, and the West Indies reached their target of 418 with three wickets to spare.

Where does this victory rank among the greatest comebacks of all time?


This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appears below.

Whilst the Aussies have dominated the world for a decade now, they have often been vulnerable in the last Test once the series is over... but until a side beats them in a Test that really matters, who cares?
Billy Bob, London

This match had to be, without exception, the greatest comeback in the modern history of the game
Ketan Kumar Shah, Harrow

The West Indies are undoubtedly one of the best teams in the world because of their dedication and commitment to cricket! The Aussies' intimidation and anger tactics failed and the WI made history again! It is a great victory.
Siva, Canada

The second innings of the first Test was indeed a turning point for WI cricket. This advantage must be pressed forward but not without the over confidence of now thinking we are back to where we were before.

The facts are Australia won three consecutive Tests in the WI - something not done previously. They are a great team and the WI are a team in transition; this period will continue for at least three more years before WI cricket can really start to challenge the top teams home and abroad again.
Ric, London, England

Excellent performance by the Windies! I am the happiest man on earth now! The Australians got what they deserved. Hats off to Lara, Sarwan, Chanderpaul, Drakes and Banks. You are great Lara!
Umair Brohi, UAE

I think this victory will be remembered for a long time. Not just for the record it set, but also for the battle that the West Indian youngsters gave to the world champions.

Congratulations to Brian Lara and his army of soldiers.
Imad Brohi, Islamabad

This match had to be, without exception, the greatest comeback in the modern history of the game. Especially so bearing in mind how dominant Australia currently are. Who says Test cricket has had its day!
Ketan Kumar Shah, Harrow, England

I was amused to be informed by Mike Proctor that all that sledging was "gamesmanship," which is "what cricket all about". Hey, why not let the crowd in on the gamesmanship by wiring up the players with mikes so that they also understand what cricket is all about?
Sunilroy, Philly, PA

The ICC panel of match referees is the most unfair and partisan panel of judges in the history of sport. Why wasn't McGrath fined or suspended? Where are the Mike Dennesses and the Cammie Smiths now...or, is it that Glenn McGrath is too "fair" to be tainted?
Dhurandar Bhaatvadekar, Mumbai

This may not be our greatest ever victory, but it ranks pretty high on the list. A young team was able to withstand the Aussie onslaught (both cricketing and non-cricketing).

If only the Windies curators had had the gumption of Andy Roberts and the first three tracks had not been highways
Graeme, Brisbane

Hopefully this victory will give the team a much needed shot in the arm, so maybe we can return to our winning ways of old. Once again I have to lament the umpiring decisions, an awful lot of poor decisions were made during this series.

WI were on the receiving end of the majority. Maybe it's time for the ICC to increase the number of umpires on the elite panel, since I feel these eight are overworked which results in these poor decisions
David, Guyana

Stirring stuff: if only the Windies curators had had the gumption of Andy Roberts (to have faith in their batting), and the first three tracks had not been highways, the series might have been more interesting.
Graeme, Brisbane, Australia

Cricket is deeply woven into the fabric of West Indian society. When the West Indian cricket team lose we all feel down, when we win...when we won yesterday tears welled in my eyes, I LOVE THIS GAME!
Mark, Orlando

This was a great match and hats off to both the teams! That the Windies call their win 'heroic' is a tribute to the awesome Australians who have managed to consistently take their game to a higher level.
Ajay, USA

We cut de tail.
Accabre, Guyana

I had mixed feelings about Australia losing this game. Frankly, I'm getting sick of seeing the Australian team involved in so many altercations on the field and then dismissing them in the name of aggressive cricket.

Many commentators in this country are starting to feel this team will not receive the credit it deserves because of its persistent poor sportsmanship...and that is unfortunate.

They preserved the dignity of West Indian cricket by not being whitewashed
Mashkur, Toronto

Whatever else you might say about the Australian team, the captaincy of Steve Waugh, particularly his willingness to declare in order to get a result, has revitalised Test match cricket and he is owed a great debt for that. His record as a captain bears this out - games just don't play out to dull draws under him.

Nevertheless, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to enjoy the successes of his team.
Leo, Melbourne

I consider this the best victory that I have seen in my lifetime. When you consider all the facts - the best batting and bowling side in cricket, being 3-0 down and the youth and inexperience of the WI team, the players must get kudos for a wonderful performance.

I can't think of one thing that was going for them - they did it against all odds! No one would have dreamt that it could happen.
Denise, Jamaica

This was Mission Impossible revisited. I believe in miracles again. Well done Windies, they preserved the dignity of West Indian cricket by not being whitewashed on home soil. This shows that with a little consistency W.I. can challenge any team at any given day.
Mashkur, Toronto

With reference to Daryl's letter from Australia, surely it will not have escaped his notice that time and again when things don't go their way his team of fine players resort to mouthing abusive and personal remarks which they attribute to mental disintegration.

However, when the opposition has the nerve to dish it back woe betide them! Who can forget that picture of McGrath with vein popping out towering over Sarwan mouthing expletive after expletive.

Australia has been developing an unhealthy trend of losing "dead rubbers"
Matthew, Australia

That, however, is hardly the talking point of the match which should be reserved for match ref Mike Proctor's comments that there is nothing wrong with sledging as it's part of Test cricket!
Hetal Patel, UK

I wouldn't say that this was one of the West Indies' finest victories as they were once the masters of the game. It showed that the West Indies are becoming a more complete team that will continue to improve and impress. Well done West Indies.

Australia has been developing an unhealthy trend of losing "dead rubbers" they need to address.
Matthew, Australia

Can someone please tell me where all these bragging Aussies are supposed to be because I can't find any? All I've heard from Australians is congratulations to a great performance by the Windies.

As for the sledging, both sides have apologised to each other and admitted both were in the wrong and the matter should rest. But of course the anti-Australian bigots on this site can't do that can they?
Ashley, Edinburgh

The West Indian win was a superb effort and it shows what some discipline can achieve
Mansoor, Saudi Arabia

Great Test match with a great result. Finally a team that was not afraid to stand up to the Australians and hopefully this will give West Indies cricket the shot in the arm is deserves.

Congratulations to the ground staff for producing a fair and even pitch. Australia are still the best team but it was good to watch a team not afraid to have a go and use positive tactics to achieve a memorable win.

Perhaps now we will see a team challenge Australia's dominance and other Test nations adopting a similar approach, thus giving Australia decent games and making Test cricket more interesting.
Leigh , Australian in England

Is this the finest West Indies victory ever? No. The West Indies team of the 80s and earlier produced finer victories than this one.

However, these players are young and should be commended for beating the best team in the world today. Congratulations to Brian Lara and the team and we look forward to the Windies taking their rightful place in world cricket as these new players mature.
Paul Stephenson, Moscow, Russia

History does indeed repeat itself. A beaten Australian team accuses a young and fiery WI bowler of chucking. The allegations subsequently are disproved but taint the bowler's otherwise spectacular career. The West Indies subsequently go on to dominate Test cricket for years.

That young fast bowler was Charlie Griffith and the year was 1967. Deja Vu?

The fact that Australia did not bring their heat this time does not diminish this outstanding comeback win for the West Indies. Word of advice to the Aussies; don't look back, someone is gaining on you.
Tampa, Guyana

The West Indian win was a superb effort and it shows what some discipline can achieve. In the first three matches they had some chances but poor shots and some poor umpiring decisions led to their downfall.

What this series has highlighted once again is that umpiring decisions can really turn matches. It is high time we used technology on lbw decisions and catches to improve the game.
Mansoor, Saudi Arabia

I have been an avid West Indian supporter for 55 years and no other win has pleased me more than beating Australia to prevent a whitewash and record the highest fourth-inning score in a Test match.

West Indies may never become great again but we will be acknowledged for further achievements.
Leslie P. Herbert, Hertfordshire, England

It obviously means a hell of a lot to beat Australia. Just look at some of the venom being spat at the Australian team on this page. And most of it coming from our friends in the UK and the sub continent who are never afraid to jump on someone else's band wagon.

Well done West Indies on a great victory. Let's hope it leads to bigger and better things for WI cricket. Sanjeev (below), sledging didn't help Ganguly when he claimed that 'catch' in the World Cup final or when his team was whitewashed in Australia!
Daryl, Australia

After the Barbados match in 1999 this must rank as the Windies' best win in recent memory. Two things emerge from this match:

This is the most important win for West Indies cricket in 20 years
Jeffrey, USA

1) This was as good a cricket pitch as has been seen in years and a certain Mr. Andy Roberts needs to be praised.

2) Dav Whatmore was right when he said after the World Cup that to win against Australia, you need to play with the same degree of confidence. He might have also said: "And play the sledging game".

Since this collective group of thugs from Australia are indulging in sledging, it is right to up the stakes and sledge them back as Ganguly did so successfully two years ago and Sarwan did yesterday.

The results are there to see. This is the only language they understand anyway, since I doubt that they (Aussie cricketers) have been through any type of formal education in their lives.
Sanjeev Sinha, Belmont, MA

Congratulations to captain Brian Lara and his team. Their performance today was remarkable and showed great guts and determination in the face of adversity. I wish them all the best.
Florence De Silva, Trinidad

This is the most important win for West Indies cricket in 20 years. Winning when you are on top is one thing, but our boys were down as low as you can go, and they pulled themselves up through sheer force of will.

I think we learned a lot from Australia on this tour about the level of fierceness and concentration necessary to compete at the highest level. In years to come, we will look back and say that this is the game that turned West Indies cricket around! I have never been more proud of our team, and it was a fantastic game by both sides.
Jeffrey, USA

The large number of umpiring errors are in direct proportion to the aggressive appealing and sledging. Very tough on umpires.
Golden Duck, Trinidad

There is nothing more pleasing than seeing Australia get beat
Brian, Stockholm

What a great victory! It is a fitting platform for the future of West Indian cricket. Lara, Sarwan and Chanderpaul have exposed the arrogance of the Australians, whose attitude goes against the long-standing saying that cricket is a gentleman's game. They have reduced it to hooliganism.
Heera Rampaul, Trinidad

Australia have got some of the best batsmen and some of the best bowlers but they have some of the worst players - they lack true sporting spirit and resort to sledging to disturb the concentration of opposition batsmen. This is the reason it is not the greatest team. Well done Windies.
Sanjay Pareek, UK

Omari Banks (only 20-years-old) and Vasbert Drakes - what heroes! Lara showed great sportsmanship to shake Steve Waugh's hand like that and hug many of the Aussies, especially after their verbal abuse.

There is nothing more pleasing than seeing Australia get beat. Maybe 3-1, but let's not forget that in the first innings in Guyana Windies had four batsmen incorrectly given out. Hopefully Sri Lanka will get some real licks too soon.
Brian, Stockholm

How can you seriously even contemplate that this is the Windies' best win ever, have you forgotten about the great Windies teams of the 80s and early 90s? This current team is an embarrassment.

Just because they beat the Aussies in the final match of a series that was already decided long ago people are calling it the greatest win ever. I don't think so.
Craig, London

Today they were like the old Viv and Clive era
Anser Azim, USA

I am one of those people who thinks there is a general decline in world cricket. For all you Aussies bragging about your team, let's be honest, there isn't that much competition around.
Richard M Philip, New York, NY

While Kensington 1999 was superb, this world record win against Oz is our best victory because it preserves our 73-year-old record of never being whitewashed at home.

Additionally, the fact that Chanderpaul, Sarwan, Banks and Drakes continued to fight after Lara's dismissal gives us hope for the future. It sure was a great Test match and it will only get better from here. Congrats my beloved Windies.
Christine, Jamaica

Congratulations! This is historic. Today they were like the old Viv and Clive era when they just dominated this sport. But despite this loss, the Australians are still the best.
Anser Azim, USA

As great a performance as this was by the West Indian batsmen, it's still basically the same old story. Australia completely dominate a series, and then take their foot off the pedal once it's won.

Still, I hope this magnificent win does help revive cricket in the Caribbean. Test Cricket needs a decent West Indian side.
Maz, U.K

Full credit to Omari Banks and Vasbert Drakes for keeping their cool under enormous pressure. Mr. Banks played with a maturity way beyond his 20 years.
Mohan, USA

Congrats to Lara for taking the fight to the Australian bowlers
Dinesh Kumar Selvaraj, Starkville, USA

This was a great win, but not the greatest win ever because nothing was on the line - the series was already decided. What the series does illustrate, however, is that cricket in the West Indies is in terminal decline - primarily because of the attraction (money) to young sportsmen of other (primarily) US-based sports such as basketball, track and field, baseball, American football, and, even, soccer.

That said, cricket is probably in worldwide gradual decline anyway and having an arrogant, spoilt team of Australians (as displayed here by brother McGrath) will only accelerate the decline.
Paul Harman, USA

What a magnificient victory, all credit to Chanderpaul and Sarwan and I guess most of all to Lara for surely inspiring his team to fight.

Dispelling the notion that this is a rather untalented WI team, they have in my mind levelled the series despite losing it 3-1.
Sridhar Kolinjavadi, USA

Great victory, Windies! Splendid batting display by Chanderpaul, Sarwan, Banks and Drakes. Let's not forget that it was Lara who cemented the West Indian innings for the youngsters to follow suit.

Congrats to Lara for taking the fight to the Australian bowlers, singlehandedly in this series (until the final Test!). All hail the return of King Lara, who has reclaimed his spot on the top of the cricketing world with Sachin.

Ten or twenty years down the line, people will not remember the exploits of the Aussies in this tour. Instead, people will recall how this 'supposed-to-be-whitewashed' Windies team pulled off a stunning world record victory against the cocky, over-confident Aussies.
Dinesh Kumar Selvaraj, Starkville, USA

Credit to WI for a fine second innings, but we were cleaned up in the first innings by a chucker
John, Aussie in London

Congratulations to WI for their well deserved win. Sarwan, Chanderpaul and Omari Banks: you all did a great job. Keep it up.
Ravi, USA

How fitting the winning runs should come off MacGill. England beat the Aussies when they had a weakened attack and now the West Indies have. It shows just how important Warne is when the going gets tough in the fourth innings. Either way, a great effort
Rob, Warwickshire

This has to be the most daring run-chase in the history of Test cricket. There were so many setbacks in the WI second innings. But they survived and won in style! Many congratulations! If this type of cricket does not bring spectators back to Test cricket, I don't know what else will.
Narendra Pisal, London

Credit to WI for a fine second innings, BUT...We were cleaned up in the first innings by a chucker...

And Stuart MacGill comes out of that second innings looking pretty stupid. Way too expensive. And Steve Waugh looks even more stupid for persisting with MacGill when his other bowlers were so economical and taking wickets.
John, Aussie in London

When the going gets tough the Aussies resort to sledging. They are a disgrace to the game and one wonders when the ICC will step in.

The Windies showed terrific fortitude today and I hope they wrap things up. Congrats to Jacobs for leaving with no sign of dissent when he received his wrongfull dismissal today. Please Australia - learn from the man.
Michael, Cayman Islands

Why is it automatically assumed that the Australians were the instigators of the nastiness in the fourth Test and entirely to blame?
Johnno, Newcastle

My mind goes back to October last year when Pakistan were on the verge of a stunning victory against the Aussies at Colombo.

Chanders was making a conscious effort to reduce the target to the bare minimum going into the final day because the psychology of batting for a win is much different from batting to try to make a game of it!

Let's hope for world cricket that Windies clinch this...or could it be a tie?
Ammar Khan, USA

CD, Canada should take a look at the picture of Lawson's action on the BBC website before attempting to defend him. Hopefully Jermaine won't be teaching anyone "a thing or two" about the correct way to bowl.
Andy, Washington, DC

Why is it automatically assumed that the Australians were the instigators of the nastiness in the fourth Test and entirely to blame? No-one here, as far as I am aware, was on the field and has any inside knowledge into any of the exchanges that took place.

The exchanges that I saw seemed to me to be very much a two way thing. And if Glenn McGrath had comments made against his wife who is suffering cancer (as some media reports have suggested) then quite frankly I can understand his angry reaction.

As for Lara, it seemed that he wanted to pick a fight with every player on the field from the moment he strode to the crease. You might as well also blame the Australians for the missile throwing hooliganism of the Antiguan spectators.

Let the umpires and the match referee cast judgment on who is at fault.
Johnno, Newcastle

Australia have peaked and are on the way down
Peter, Barbados

I find it pathetic to watch McGrath getting so abusive to the West Indies batsmen when the series is alrady won! I've seen him do this before to England as well.

It smacks of an immaturity when he doesn' tget what he wants that he has to resort to such measures. He is undoubtedly a class bowler, so why bother?
Francis Torpie, UK

Wake-up Greg! "The best cricket team we will see for twenty years"? Australia have peaked and are on the way down. Now the world knows you are susceptible to fast short-pitched bowling.

You lost 10 wickets for 240 in the first innings and 10 wickets for 176 in the second; after a 242 opening stand. WI will not only win this Test but will destroy Australia in the one-dayers.
Peter, Barbados

With determination, skill and concentration the West Indies can make history and win this Test match.
Alec Dean, Sydney Australia

If this unsportsmanlike behaviour from the Aussies is the only way to get the rest of the world performing as it obviously has the Windies, then bring it on! Cricket followers and players need a good tough contest.
Cameron Rudolph, Sydney

I have this bad sneaking feeling that Chanderpaul will lose his wicket very early
Prem Rabindra, USA

The WI are very vulnerable at the start of the day. If they are going to win they need to get past the first hour with no wickets lost.

I am disappointed with Procter's remarks that the sledging is good for the game. If the authorities do not do something about it, it will become like football, where players think they can do whatever they like and face a minor penalty because the game needs them.

It might be my imagination but it seems that the Australians sledge more when put under pressure - or is it a coincidence? Another coincidence - Lawson has played about seven Test matches and his action has not changed during that time.

He takes 6-1 versus Bangladesh and no one pays any attention. He takes a hat-trick followed by 7-78 versus Australia and suddenly his action is under scrutiny.
Richard Foon, UK

Aussies are the best team in the world but most of the Aussie cricketers are the worst role models for a cricket fan. They don't have a sporting spirit.

Every time they are going to lose they start getting extra verbal. And they escape without any penalty each and every time. Some of these guys should be banned from cricket, especially McGrath.
Naresh Holla, Bangalore

Of course the WI have a huge opportunity tomorrow to win the dead Test match. I personally don't believe that will happen mainly due to the fact that the pressure that will be applied to the batters will be too much.

As anyone who has played at any sort of decent level will attest to, chasing runs will always put enormous pressure on the batting side. In relation to some of the immature comments being posted about the sledging, get over it!

There are two teams out there both giving as good as they get. It is not an afternoon tea party! May the best team win. I would have thought, however, that the series result is already decided and the general attitude in Australia is "who cares?", we've already won!
Allan, Queensland

I have this bad sneaking feeling that Chanderpaul will lose his wicket very early without much addition to his overnight score, as he so often has done.

However, I think that Banks and Vassey Drakes have the potential to pull this off. It's time that someone gives these bullies from Down Under something to think about!

Gosh, did anyone see that picture of McGrath glowering over Sarwan, with the vein in his neck popping out?! Unbelieveable! I thought that cricket was a gentleman's game!
Prem Rabindra, USA

Despite their evident skill the Australians behave poorly and indulge in unseemly sledging
David Sawh, Tallahassee, Florida

Shameful things are happening on the field of Cricket in Antigua. Why these great players of cricket from Australia so badly behave on the field?

McGrath and co are so intolerant when they face a little sign of defeat. Australians are really taking cricket to new levels... even to the level of disgrace. Add to this there is the poor umpiring. But you can find in Jacobs a perfect gentleman who walked back without uttering a word and showing no sign of disagreement, when wrongly adjudged out.
John, London

It is shocking to see how every series involving Australia reduces into a war of expletives when the other team offers some resistance. These Aussies have leveraged the benchmarks for good cricket in many aspects, but, unfortunately, they have done that for sledging too!

They are guilty of undermining the sanctity of our beloved sport, and this is one major reason why I don't feel comfortable accepting them as the best ever. To earn respect you have to give respect, and apparently they are not prepared for it!
Hrishi, USA

I would like to point out that despite their evident skill the Australians behave poorly and indulge in the unseemly sledging or mental disintegration as Waugh refers to it. I suspect they could not win if they did not behave as viciously as they do.
David Sawh, Tallahassee, Florida

I think half of McGrath's wickets have been got with his tongue skills. Aussies cry when things don't go their way. Poor sportsmanship. Now they've found fault against Lawson who tore them in the first innings. I hope West Indies teach them a thing or two in the this Test. In any case, a team has to lose at some point no matter how good they are. Go WI!
CD, Canada






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