Cricket has been changed so much in the last decade. The cricket before 2010 and after it there is a very clear difference. The modern rules like smaller boundaries or small stadiums are quite a batsman cup of the team rather than giving any benefit to the bowlers and when it comes to Test cricket there is a huge transformation.
We all know change is a law of nature but I am a little curious to know who is that genius that has invented the rule of extinction of test cricket. Recently, We have seen the new format in test cricket that is a day and night test match. T-20 cricket is excitement but has very fair thoughts watching those classic test matches was the real entertainment. The player can make thousands of runs in other formats but performing in the Test matches when a player has to bat for 2 days to show his determination that how great he is not like hitting centuries back to back in other formats.
Either it was Nail bitting draws or greatest chase in the 4th innings of the match to some destructive bowling spells. Test cricket has given so many epic games to the fans to keep them on the edge of their seats from time to time. In the memory of greatest chase, we have picked the top 5 run chase in the history of test cricket.
Top 5 greatest run chase in Test cricket history
1) West Indies vs Australia, Antigua 2003
This run chase remains as one of the greatest chases ever in the history of test cricket. It was the 4th test match and west indies had no other option to just fight for the pride. Australia was at the top of cricket in those golden years of Australian cricket and it was impossible to even believed to beat that “Invincible” side of Steve Waugh.
After winning the first 3 matches of the series it was very clear Aussies will whitewash Brian Lara team and take away the series with 4-0. While in the first innings Australian team was bowled out at 240 with some best bowling figures of Jerome Taylor 7/78 on the bouncy surface. The west indies couldn’t manage to score more than 240 runs expect half-century of Brian Lara.
At this stage, it was all balance. But then comes the show Mathew Hayden (177) and Justin Langer (117) with 242 runs 1st wicket partnership taking the Aussies back to the driver seat with both batsmen hitting the centuries. The second innings of Australia team added 417 runs on the scoreboard with 418 to chase in the 4th innings.
The host was 74/3 with Brian Lara another half-century before departing but it was Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul the game changers who have added 123 runs partnership for the 5th wicket to take West Indies back into the game. They were heading close towards the target when the scoreboard was collapsed one more time from 288/4 to 288/6. But Shivnarine Chanderpaul was there at the other end and setting another crucial 84 runs partnership for the 7th wicket.
But Brett Lee stuck again and sent Chanderpaul back to the pavilion. With 46 runs more required to make the history the host didn’t lost another wicket and chase down the 418/7 and make them through the history books which is still an unbeaten record in the fourth innings by any team.
2) South Africa vs Australia, Perth 2008
Chase in the 4th innings is very difficult and when it is against Australia it is somewhere impossible. Beating the invincible Aussies of Ricky Ponting in their own backyard, was the real triumph. It was Perth the fastest ground in the world. After winning the toss Australian captain Ricky Ponting decided to bat first and put some good score on 375/10.
When bowled out South Africa for 281/10 in their first innings. South Africa was dominating the Aussies in their second Innings too when they were 162/7 and looked very confident to take remaining wickets but Brad Haddin (94) at the one end take the Aussies back into the game while scored 319/10 in second Innings.
It was still two days to go in the test match and South Africa has to chase the mammoth total of 414 in the 4th innings against the pacers like Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson. They have started very poorly when they have lost their 1st wicket at the score of just 19/1.
After that the flamboyant cricketer Graeme Smith leading from the front and setting the example that how the captain leads the team when there is no chance for victory smashes a century. Smashing the century in the 4th innings and take back South Africa into the driver seat with momentum was in South Africa favor the other players Kallis and Hashim Amla very well supported the captain innings and scored the half-century respectively.
From here it was cleared South Africa can draw this game also but AB de Villiers (106) and JP Duminy (50) set the unbeaten 111* partnership for the 5th wicket and seal the victory and it is still the greatest run chase in test cricket history.
3) England vs Australia, Trent bridge 2005
This match does not come in the category of greatest games. But the way it was ended it is surely the “epic” and nail bitting games in the test cricket history. 2005, Ashes series is widely regarded as one of the greatest series ever happened in cricket.
After the 3rd Test match was drawn both the captain’s looking to Win to this game to take lead in 5 matches series. England won the toss and decided to bat first as the Aussies made some changes in their bowling unit. Glenn McGrath was not playing the game due to injury and out of form, Jason Gillespie was not in the playing eleven.
Making his test debut “Shaun Tait” in the 4th test match was looking to stop the England batting order with his quick pace. But there wasn’t seen anything as England posted 477 in the first innings and stopped the tourist with 218 and 387 in their respective innings. With 129 on the board to chase, it was just a half-day match but things went too weird when England went from 57/3 to 116/7 as the bowlers like Brett Lee and Shane Warne befuddled the batsman with their top bowling.
For a while it looked England will lose this nerve-wracking game but tailenders played the best minutes of their lives and take England, team, over the line, and took 2-1 lead in the series.
4) India vs West Indies, Trinidad 1976
It was not epic but it was one of the greatest games ever in the cricket. In the 1970s, every team was sacred to face the invincible team of Viv Richards and those bowlers like Holding, Ambrose, Garner. It was just a nightmare for any batsman to play against them.
Team India back then wasn’t very good sides but after this match they have been into light after beating that team of legends. Batting first host posted 359 in their first innings and India team responded by 228 runs in the first innings but host was struggling a bit in the second Innings as they managed to score only 271 runs.
With 403 runs to chase the host was confident after there first innings bowling but history has something else in his bag as Indian top-order batsman Sunil Gavaskar and middle-order batsman Gundappa Viswanath (112) smashed the century and scored 271 runs while Mohinder Amarnath and Gundappa Vishwanath added 159 runs for the 3rd wicket to secure the India victory.
Eventually, the India team did lose the series by 1-2 but winning against that side was really incredible and booked a great run chase in the history of test cricket.
5) Australia vs South Africa, cape town 2002
This was the debut game of Graeme Smith and after the winning the toss things have went wrong South Africa as they managed to scored only 239 in their first innings and in response to Australia have posted 382 in their first innings.
It was looked Aussies will bowl them out again in a quick times but South Africa fought back in the second Innings with some great knocks from the middle-order batsman and went on to score 473 in the second Innings.
It is so vivid more than two days to chase the total but the Australian team have chased it down in just 79.1 overs with the unbeaten century of Ricky Ponting (100) and half centuries of Mathew Hayden (96) and Justin Langer (58) and win by 4 wickets and take the 2-0 lead in the series.