Batting fourth in Test cricket is generally the most difficult time to bat in the longest format of the game. The pitch crumbles, making shot playing tricky; the body tires down as the game progress, and the pressure of saving a loss while also having an eye on the target makes it a highly demanding job.
Usually, the surface assists the bowlers in the last innings of a Test more than in any other. With this aid to the bowlers, teams batting in the fourth essay of a game hope for as low a target to chase as possible. But, there have been some historic chases made in Test cricket. We look at the top 5 successful run chases in Test history.
- West Indies – 395/7 v Bangladesh, 2021
Debutant Kyle Mayers announced himself in the Test arena in stunning fashion, scripting one of the greatest Test wins. His epic 210* knock helped West Indies gun down 395 against Bangladesh in Chattogram last February.
Mayers’ extraordinary knock was laced with 20 fours and 7 sixes and wherein broke several individual records.
- Australia – 404/3 v England, 1948
Dating back to 1948 is this Ashes Test match in Leeds where Australia chased down a mammoth target of 404 runs with the loss of just 3 wickets. Opener Arthur Morris scored 182 while captain Don Bradman remained unbeaten on 173 to set up what is now the fourth-highest run chase in Test cricket. It took Australia 114 overs to register this successful chase.
- India – 406/4 v West Indies, 1976
This is India’s highest successful run chase in Test cricket. The fact that it came away from home, in Port Of Spain, makes it even greater.
Opener Sunil Gavaskar and middle-order batsman Gundappa Viswanath were responsible for this historic achievement with their centuries as India, chasing 403, finished with 406/4 against the mighty West Indies, who had the likes of Michael Holding, Albert Padmore, and Raphick Jumadeen in that bowling attack.
- South Africa – 414/4 v Australia, 2008
Arguably, the greatest Test win in South Africa’s history since readmission came at the fiery WACA Stadium in Perth, against a strong Australian team. 414 was chased down for the loss of 4 wickets by the Proteas; captain Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers recorded terrific centuries while Hashim Amla, JP Duminy and Jacques Kallis notched up their fifties.
1.West Indies – 418/7 v Australia, 2003
Brian Lara’s West Indies hold the record of the highest successful chase in Test cricket, which they achieved in 2003 in Antigua against Steve Waugh’s Australia.
The hosts needed 128.5 overs while losing 7 wickets to chase the target of 418 runs. Middle-order batters Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul notched up hundreds while Lara scored 60 to complete a world record run chase.