Cricket From 90: Top 5 Best Test Matches




Flintoff consolidating Brett Lee after the sensational win for England

Flintoff consolidating Brett Lee after the sensational win for England

Post 1990, teams produced some of the great test matches and with television coming to increase its popularity, fans witnessed nail baiting test matches especially against Aussies.

Australia Vs West Indies, Adelaide 1993 (WI won by 1 run)

Australia needed 186 runs to win the match and series against West Indies. They began the chase poorly as Ambrose and co ripped through the Australian line-up leaving them for 144-9 after fine fifty from debutant Langer. Tim May joined hands with last man McDermott to slowly sneak under the smiling WI but a refused single followed by quick bouncer from Walsh saw WI dancing in joy.  

Australia might have walked out on Day 4 thinking they are going to end the West Indies era but it was not to be on that day.

India Vs Pakistan, Chennai 1999 (Pak won by 12 runs)

After 9 long years, surrounded with lot of political tension, India and Pakistan finally played their first test match at Chennai amid massive security. After spinners from both teams took the honours in 1st innings, Afridi exploded to set India a target of 271 runs to win. India’s ship sinked to 82/5 before Sachin produced a master class. With 17 runs needed to win, Saqlain conquered Sachin for 136 and rest surrendered for mere 5 more runs.

Chennai crowd stood up and applauded the Pakistan team, a rare sight to witness in the match between India and Pakistan.

Australia Vs West Indies, Barbados 1999 (WI won by 1 run)

With 308 to win, Lara rose to occasion but wickets kept tumbling at other end leaving WI 248-8 with still 60 runs required for win. Unlike Ambrose displayed superb defensive skills which allowed Lara to score but twist never seemed to be shorter in this match. At the end, it required world most duck-out batsmen to fight out 5 balls which allowed Lara to finish the match in style.

What one genius failed to do in just 2 months ago, the other one did it in this match.

India Vs Australia, Kolkata 2001 (Ind won by 171 runs)

After being asked follow on, Very very special Laxman wrists worked along with Rahul Dravid as they piled runs in ease against mighty Aussie attack. After India declared, Australia needed 378 runs from 75 overs on a wearing last day pitch. Hayden dream run continued even though Harbhajan had his ball dancing but once Sachin dismissed Gilly, Hayden and Warne within 3 overs, India smelled an improbable victory. After 19 overs of resistance from last 2 wickets, Harbhajan took the last wicket with 6 overs to go and million Indians roared at Eden.

Richie Benaud often said the match that produces the result at 3rd session of day5 must be the greatest and this match certainly one of the greatest ever.

England Vs Australia, Birmingham 2005 (Eng won by 2 runs)

Exactly after 4 years from Eden, Australia managed to produce another classic at Edgebaston. Needing 284 runs to win with plenty of time left in the match but the pressure and steamy English bowlers made life so difficult for Aussie, reduced to 175-8 at the end of day three. Once Warne got dismissed for hit-wicket by Flintoff on 4th day, it’s Barmy Army all over the stadium. But Lee and Kasprowicz drilled them inside and squeezed along under the relaxed England team and noisy crowd as they put on 59 runs. Lee kneels down in tears after Harmison dismissed Kasprowicz.

Flintoff consolidating Brett Lee after the sensational win for England must be the image of the decade.

Other great matches that worth mentions are,

Pakistan Vs Australia, Karachi 1994 (Pak won by 1 wkt)

England Vs Sri Lanka, Oval 1998 (Sri won by 10 wkts)

West Indies Vs Australia, Antigua 2003 (WI won by 3 wkts)

Australia Vs South Africa, Perth 2008 (SA won by 6 wkts)

India Vs Australia, Mohali 2010 (Ind won by 1 wkt)

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