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banner Thursday, 15 March, 2001, 13:10 GMT
India achieve rare feat

BBC Sport Online's Anna Thompson takes a look back at some of cricket's other spectacular against-the-odds victories.

India's Test win against Australia in Calcutta was remarkable for many reasons.

It brought an end to Australia's world-record 16 consecutive Test wins, an incredible feat in itself.

But the home side also made history of their own when Vangipurappu Laxman hit 281, the highest ever Test score by an Indian batsman, and Harbhajan Singh claimed the side's first hat-trick.

Incredibly, their performances set up an 171-run victory after India were forced to follow-on - a rarity in the high pressure world of Test cricket.

Vangipurappu Laxman hits 281
Laxman hit 281 - an Indian record
Indeed, it is so unusual that before the game, the feat of winning a match after being asked to bat again had only been achieved twice before, by England in 1981 and 1894.

The 1981 Headingley Test is legendary.

England were playing Australia in the third Test and needed a victory to level the series.

But it all seemed to go wrong.

Australia had declared on 401/9 near the end of the second day and managed to skittle England out for just 174.

No faith

England were forced to bat again and all-rounder Ian Botham stepped up for one of his finest innings when he hit Lillee, Lawson et al around the pitch for his unbeaten 149.

England were all out for 356 - leaving Australia needing just 130 for victory.

The bookmakers didn't have any faith in England - pricing the home side at 500-1 to win the match at one stage.

But in a brilliant bowling spell, fast bowler Bob Willis claimed eight wickets for just 43 runs in 15.1 overs.

Australia were all out for 111, England clinching victory by 18 runs.

Botham on his way to 149no in 1981
Botham on his way to 149no in 1981
The only other time victory has been achieved from a follow-on was in 1894, again between England and Australia.

The match in question was the first of a five-Test series in Sydney.

Australia batted first and made an impressive 586 - thanks to 201 from Sydney Gregory and 161 from George Giffen.

England could only muster 325 in response and were forced to bat again.

Albert Ward, who had hit 75 in the first innings, again top-scored for England with 117 in the second.

But England were all out for 437 meaning Australia needed only 177 runs for first blood in the Test series.

Their batting collapsed after clever bowling from Robert Peel, who finished with figures of 6 for 67 off 30 overs, and Australia were all out for 166.

England won the first Test by a nail-biting 10 runs in an amazing turnaround.

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See also:

15 Mar 01 |  India v Australia
Incredible India defeat Aussies
15 Mar 01 |  Cricket
Aussies record-breaking run ends
02 Feb 01 |  SOL
Thanks for the memories
15 Mar 01 |  India v Australia
Engineer hails 'miracle'
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