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Top 5 Greatest run chases in a test cricket history

Test cricket, the only game of cricket which defines the ability, grit, and determination of a player. Here we have picked the Greatest run chases in a test cricket history to make this time more nostalgic.

Last updated: 14.06.2020
Top 5 Greatest run chases in a test cricket history | Sports Social Blog

Test cricket, the only game of cricket which defines the ability, grit, and determination of a player. Back in 1877, when the first test match was played, between Australia and England nobody would have thought that this test cricket would come to end at one point and played like other forms of cricket that are “day and night test matches”.


ODI, T-20, T-10, or Hong Sixes leagues are entertainment but to be very clear about my thoughts watching those top-notch test matches like “Ashes 2005 or “Kolkata Test match 2001” were the excitement regarded by serious cricket aficionados around the world. Test cricket is an epitome level of cricket and played between the international teams of a country after they are given the “test status” by ICC. Out of 105 cricket playing nations only 12 nations have the batch to play test cricket.


The most successful test team without a doubt is the predator “Australian team” and least is the “Bangladesh team” since his inception in 2000, creating a big doubt on their test status. With the current cricket, the situation comes to standstill and fans can't do anything about it by watching the great rivalry games from history. Here we have picked the “Greatest run chases in test cricket” to make this time more nostalgic.

Australia vs South Africa, Perth, 2008

2008, the first test match of 3 match series. If there is an equivalent of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in cricket then it would be Australia and South Africa. The intensity, drama, and emotions in every match between these two world-class sides are top-notch. There are a number of matches which have kept the audience on the edge of their seats and here is another epic match which have stunned the audience in the 4th inning of a match.


After winning the toss Aussies captain Ricky Ponting decided to bat first on the world fastest ground Perth. The decision went all wrong when Aussies were at 15/3. Simon Katich and Michael Clarke come to the crease to stop the further loss before lunch. The two Aussies put on 149 stand partnership for the 4th wicket but just before the tea both got out. After 166/5, Aussies go on to post 375 in the first innings on the board with the well-supported knocks of lower-order batsman Andrew Symonds, Brad Haddin and Brett Lee.


South Africa started poor in their first innings and lost their opener, Neil McKenzie, at 16/1 runs. But they have put on some great efforts to put back South Africa into the driver seat with the knocks of Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Kallis, and AB de Villiers. At one point 234/3, they were looking to lead off Aussies' first innings score but it was young aggressive “Mitchell Johnson” turned the tables and took 5 wickets in just 2 runs. With 243/8 it was all in vain the top order's efforts and they didn't move ahead of 281/10 in their first innings.


After having 94 runs lead in the first innings Aussies didn't capitalize that chance as they went from 88/4 to 162/7 looked like they will all out before 200 runs. But it was Brad Haddin (94) innings with Kreja first and then with Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle all contributing with runs. These 4 batsmen went on to put 162 runs before getting bowled out at 319/10 in the second innings.


With 414 to chase down in the 4th innings, the south Africa looked not very clear about the target. They have started very slowly but the opener Neil McKenzie once again departs just after scoring 10 runs off 52 balls and score was 19/1. It was somewhere impossible as fans started believing Aussies will take the 1-0 lead after the match. With 2 days to go in the test match and 9 more wickets in hand. South Africa looked to fight till last with 153 stand partnership for 2nd wicket and take South Africa back into the game.


By moving towards the end of the day they were to be in a tough position but as always Aussies look for moments to turn things and they have tow quick wickets while the score was at 179/3. The new batsman was at the crease Kallis and AB de Villiers while Aussie bowlers were looking to get some more wickets but these two didn't let that happened by the end of day 4 at 227/3.


With 187 runs to chase on the final day everyone were expecting the breakthrough but it wasn't possible as these two were determined to not give their wickets. Just 1 more wicket of kallis at the score of 303/4 the scenes were daunting for Aussies fans and it was looking at one point anything can happen in the match. The debutant JP Duminy grabbed this opportunity with AB de Villiers to set unbeaten 111* partnership for 5th wicket to take the vistors over the line. Even the fans were saying too if it was 500 also they would have been chased that total too.


Australia vs England, Leeds 2001


2001, the 4th test match of 5 match series. England has lost the series and trailing by 3-0 and looking to fight for his pride in last two matches. In the Absence of Steve Waugh, Aussies Captain Adam Gilchrist after winning the toss decided to bat on the Headingly pitch. The Aussies batsman were in top notch form throughout the series and same they continued the same form in the 4th test match too with back to back centuries from Ricky Ponting (144) and Damien Martyn (118) and well supported half century from Mark Waugh (72) to went on to posted 447 in the first innings against the good pace attack of England.


With nothing to lose from here England openers have started slowly their first innings but story was same no one was able to convert 40s to 100s expect Alec Stewart 76* off 83 balls but he didn't get the support from other batsmen and just managed to score 309/10 in the first innings and it was Glenn McGrath show 7/76 the England has no answer to his unplayable swing instincts.


With the lead of 100+ in the second innings and 2 days to go in the test match Aussies decided to bat long and go on post 350 or 400+ target in the 4th innings of match. But by the end of the day just around tea after playing the 40 overs made the bold declaration to declare the innings and to let England bat the remaining overs of the day in hope Aussies bowlers would take 2-3 wickets but rain spoiled their hopes of bowling 17.3 overs that evening.


311 to chase on the final day of the test match. It was the test of England star studded batsman one more time. But there openers disappointed again as England was 33/2 with no hopes of winning from here. Mark Butcher they were experts critizing his playing ability after the South Africa tour. The moment was there and Mark Butcher grabbed it like predator to play one of his career best innings. With 33/2 Nassier Hussain and Mark Butcher made the 181 stand partnership for the 3th wicket and look to not give up easily. With 92 runs to go in the final session the audience were going crazy with every ball but soon Nassier Hussain departed at 55 runs after being their on the crease for very long time. The Butcher was still there and it was somewhere cleared England can't lose the match from this point. Gilchrist changed the fielding roles with 7 fielders on the off side to stop Butcher to score any more runs but he was on the song and with that fine Square drive reached 150 runs mark. With last some overs remaining in the day the butcher took his team over the line with unbeaten 173* and responded the critics with their batting style against the pacers like Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.

Australia vs South Africa, Cape town 2002

After losing the 1st match of the series Aussies were determined to take 2-0 lead in the series. But it wasn't easy making his test debut “Graeme smith” the south Africa batting order looked more balanced over the 1st test match. After winning the toss south Africa decided to bat first but decision soon proved out all wrong as they didn't managed to scored more than 239/10 in the first innings. Expect the stand out effort of “Andrew Hall” who scores 70 runs off 141 balls. It were Aussies all around with their lethal bowling attack of all time Glenn McGrath, Jason Gilespie, Brett Lee and Shane Warne taking 3-3-2-2 wickets.


With well packed predator side Aussies started off their first innings and went on to posted the 382/10 in their first innings. The two left-handers Mathew Hayden (63) and Adam Gilchrist (138) were the leading scorer of the Australian innings with well consolidated knocks of Shane Warne (63) and Ricky Ponting (47).


But it was the second innings of south Africa saw the real classic test battle between two best sides in the world. South Africa looked to give tough fight to Aussies bowlers and didn't gave their wickets easily. Making his first half century on the debut game “Graeme smith” (68) the south African posted 473/10 in the second innings. Four Half centuries from the players like Gary Kristen (87), Kallis (73), Neil McKenzie (99) and some valuable partnership from star players put the south Africa back into the driver seat and setting the target of 331 runs to chase in the final innings for Australia.


With 331 on the board to chase and two more days to go in the test match. The result was not sure- draw, loss or win. Aussies have started very good in the second innings of the test match and went to score 102 without losing a wicket. But it was unbeaten knock of Ricky Ponting 100* and flamboyant innings of Mathew Hayden (96) ended the match in just 79.1 overs and take the famous Aussies team over the line with 4 wickets in hand.


England vs Australia, Trent bridge 2005

4th test match of the series that was widely regarded as the best series in the test cricket history 2005 Ashes. After 1-1 in the series both the teams looking to win this crucial game before the final test match. After winning the toss England team decided to bat first and decision goes in the favour England team with bundle of No balls from Australian pacers Brett Lee and Debutant “Shaun Tait”. England team have full advantage of Glenn McGrath absence and went onto posted 477/10 in the first innings with century of “Andrew Flintoff” (102) and well consolidated knocks of Micheal Vaughan (58), Kevin Piterson (45) and Geriant Jones (85).


It was the evening session of day 2 of the test match and Aussies came in to bat for the first time in the match and England pacers were on the top of it and taking full advantage of swing effect in the evening session which was not seen by Aussies pacers. From 99/5 Aussies went to 175/9 with top notch swing of “Simon Jones” but “Brett Lee” looking to fight back and those 3 “Huge Sixes” were indicating he was in sublime touch with bat but again it “Simon Jones” standing there to stop Aussies batting line up and their comes the end of Aggressive Inning of “Brett Lee” 44 runs of 47 balls couldn't helped much the Aussies managed to score only 218/10 in the first innings.


The England captain enforced the follow on to the predator Aussies which was witnessed after 18 years. The second innings of Aussies started very well and the hero of first innings “Simon Jones” just bowled 4 overs in the second innings and went back into the dressing room for the ankle Injury. The Aussies taken the advantage of “Simon Jones” absence on the field. The substitute “Gary Pratt” ran out the Ricky Ponting and his gesture towards the England dressing room while going back was into the spot light – “stop using the substitute every time must keep your star-players fit” and this reaction was widely critized by England Commentators and against this actions to the spirit of game. The magic was missing in England bowling due to the absence of “Simon Jones”.


But England other pacers have stopped the Aussies score at 387/10 in second innings. With just 129 to chase in the 4th innings every England fan was expecting the first win of ashes series. But Aussies have the rockets in his arsenal to turned the table and that's what they did from 57/3 to 116/7 England batting order were dismantle by Brett Lee and Shane Warne. It was all over for a while for England team but Ashley Giles and Mathew Hoggard played the best minutes of their lives and come on the top by winning the nail bitting game with just 3 wickets in hands and go on to win the ashes series by 2-1 after very long time.


Australia vs West Indies, Antigua 2003

It's 2020 and still this record is unbroken and no team even in the history has ever chased the total higher than west indies in the 4th innings of the test match. Last overseas tour of “Steve Waugh” and after winning the 2003 world cup it was the first Aussies tour to Caribbean side. Having lost the series already by 3-0 and nothing much left for West indies just to fight for his pride and performance in the final test.


But on the other sides Aussies looking to white wash the West indies by 4-0 to establish their dominance one more time. After winning the toss Steve Waugh decided to bat first looking to add flood of runs on the scoreboard but decisions goes wrong with best bowling figures of “Jermaine Lawson” 7/78a and stopping the mighty Aussies at the score of 240/10 in the first innings. But Aussies were packed with there all time best bowling attack of Brett Lee, Andy Bichel, Jason Gillespie and Glenn McGrath destroyed the west indies batting line up one more time in series and stopped them on 240/10. With score being remained the same match was balanced at the stage.


The second innings of Australian side was the flavour typical Australian side batting. The hero of first innings “Jermaine Lawson” just bowled 6 overs in the second innings due to injury and the two regular Aussies openers Justin Langer (111) and Mathew Hayden (177) went onto to have 242 runs partnership for the 1st wicket setting the momentum for epic chase which was well supported towards the end of innings by Skipper Steve Waugh valuable 45 runs of 70 balls and go posted 417/10 on the scoreboard.


With 418 to chase in the 4th innings and have already lost the series. The host have nothing to lose from here just to fight for his pride and performance. The host were struggling at 74/3 on the day 4 morning session and it looked clear the game would over before day 5. But then walked in Ram Naresh Sarwan and flamboyant west indies batsman “Brian Lara”. The duo were in mood to give tough fight back to the “Invincible Aussies”. There were question on sarwan playing ability and he shuts down the critics in the epic chase from the first ball and taking the Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie and giving him the taste of his own Batting style. This was just “top-notch” to witnessed across the globe. Without wasting any time Brian lara joined the party with sarwan and with those 3 perfect sixes looking to aerial route and go close the target. But partnership was broken down after 91 runs for 4th wicket in just 25 overs.


 After scoring the another half century of match Brian lara (60) got departed at the score 165/4. The hopes of fans shattered again and then walked in Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Nothing was clear at this point but these two kept scoring runs slowly and moving the run rate. In his 80s there was verbal clash between Glenn McGrath and Sarwan on the field which was liked by fans. Touching the nerves and teasing the Aussies this way was always loved but Sarwan was on the song and smashed his second test century in this epic chase making a statement of his instincts when team was under so much pressure and it was against the invincible Aussies. The half of the battle was conquered when host were 288/4 but soon the magic of Aussies take them back to 288/6. But on the other hand Shivnarine Chanderpaul was still there and the lower order batsman decided to not give up easily without losing any wicket on Day 4 they have scored 371/6 from 288/6 just needing 47 on the final day to make the history.


Day 5, started with more drama when Brett Lee removed Shivnarine Chanderpaul (104) with addition of 1 run on the board. For a while it looked all over those 46 runs against those Aussies pacers impossible but omar Banks and vasbert drakes played the innings of his lives and without losing any more wicket chased down the 418/7 total and written their names in history books.

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