Tests - bowling August 31, 2010

The baker's dozen again: Bowler performances in fourth innings

A look at top bowling performances in the fourth innings in Tests
103

Bob Willis: remarkable spell at Headingley © Getty Images

As a follow-up to the epochal fourth innings batting performances, this analysis covers the great bowling performances. Again let me emphasize that this is a predominantly objective selection, based loosely on the Wisden-100 tables, but also incorporating my own perceptions. Let me also emphasize that this covers only individual bowling performances, not team bowling performances. That is for a later article.

The fourth innings bowling performances are quite different to the batting performances. The alternatives in front of the batting teams in the fourth innings are two-fold. Whether the target is 100 runs or 500 runs, the objective is to win if one can or go for a draw. It allows batsmen to play pre-dominantly defensive innings, help their team to draw the matches and be recognized. The bowlers have very few choices. Whether they are defending 100 runs or 500 runs, they have to go for a win. It is not possible to bowl for a draw other than the rare instances of, say, 100 runs in 15 overs or so. Bowlers win matches and this dictum is all the more true in the fourth innings. Truly great teams have invariably had great bowling attacks. Whether the attack is dominated by one great bowler or 3/4 equally great bowlers, this is true.

This also makes the search for non-winning great performances in fourth innings quite difficult. After searching far and wide, I have been able to locate two such performances. Consequently 11 of these 13 performances have been winning ones. Only one has been in a dead rubber situation. There is a fair distribution over the years. One pre-WW1, two are bowling performances in between wars and the rest after WW2 including one during the current decade. The countries are well-represented.

Let us look at the 13 performances. These performances are presented more or less in the Wisden-100 list order. Not that the order matters. Readers should note that the complete bowling spell is indicated by the term "innspell" and a specific unbroken bowling stint is called "spell".

1. MtId: 0437 Year: 1957 Test# 4 of 5 (0-2) South Africa won by 17 runs

Saf 340 all out.
Eng 251 all out.
Saf 142 all out.
Eng 214 all out (Tayfield H.J: 37.0-11-113-9).

South Africa took a useful first innings lead of 89 runs but were then dismissed for 142 by a strong English bowling attack. England, with an excellent batting lineup led by May, Compton and Cowdrey looked poised to score the 230 runs needed. The fearsome pair of Adcock and Heine did very little. Then Tayfield took over and bowled 37 consecutive 8-ball overs and captured 9 English wickets for 113 runs taking South Africa to an unlikely narrow win. The low target, quality of English batting and the number of wickets captured meant that Tayfield's innspell was adjudged the best ever bowling bowling performance in the Wisden-100 analysis. There can be very few dissenters to this conclusion.

2. MtId: 1443 Year: 1999 Test# 2 of 2 (0-1) India won by 212 runs

Ind 252 all out.
Pak 172 all out.
Ind 339 all out.
Pak 207 all out (Kumble A: 26.3-9-74-10).

As matches go, this was a veritable rout by India. Pakistan's poor first innings, coupled with India's effective second innings meant that Pakistan had before them an impossible task of scoring 420 runs on a wicket turning square. I would not normally have placed Kumble's 10-wicket innspell in the top drawer amongst fourth innings bowling performances taking into account all these conditions. However the fact that this was a historic innspell, one of only two achieved by bowlers in 133 years has made me select this. It is also the second best innspell in the Wisden-100 tables. Kumble bowled beautifully taking full advantage of the turn and bounce offered. The miracle was not the 10-wicket haul but the fact that three other excellent bowlers bowled 34 overs and did not pick up a wicket. It was also very sporting of the Pakistan batsmen not to have gifted their 9th or 10th wicket to someone else.

3. MtId: 1804 Year: 2006 Test# 3 of 3 (1-0) Sri Lanka won by 134 runs

Slk 231 all out.
Eng 229 all out.
Slk 322 all out.
Eng 190 all out (Muralitharan M: 30.0-11-70-8).

Two average first innings, followed by a very good Sri Lankan second innings, meant that England had a tough task of 325 runs, albeit on their own home ground. Then Muralitharan bowled his heart out and captured first 7 wickets, before Hoggard was run out. Then he captured Lewis' wicket and there was a swinging last wicket stand which was ended by Jayasuriya. Muralitharan had the outstanding figures of 8 for 70 and Sri Lanka tied the series. This is the only performance of the current decade included in this selection. This was also at Nottingham, not at Kandy or Galle.

4. MtId: 0179 Year: 1929 Test# 4 of 5 (0-3) England won by 12 runs

Eng 334 all out.
Aus 369 all out.
Eng 383 all out.
Aus 336 all out (White J.C: 64.5-21-126-8).

This is the only dead-rubber performance included. England had an unbeatable 3-0 lead against Australia in Bradman's welcome series. Three healthy innings left Australia to score 349 runs to win. White, the slow left arm spinner, bowled 65 overs, almost continuously, against the strong Australian lineup and captured 8 wickets for 126 runs. A margin of 12 runs reinforces the magnificence of the innspell.

5. MtId: 0905 Year: 1981 Test# 3 of 6 (0-1) England won by 18 runs

Aus 401 for 9 wkts.
Eng 174 all out.
Eng 356 all out.
Aus 111 all out (Willis R.G.D: 15.1-3-43-8).

This is more known as Botham's test (and Ashes). However, there is no doubt that the win was set up by Botham but was achieved by Willis with his magnificent innspell, defending a very low total of 130. England, after following on and 82 in arrears at the fall of the seventh wicket, were rescued by Botham, with support from Dilley and Old. Then Willis took over and this was one of the most devastating fourth innings bowling performances ever. Incidentally the first 5 performances occupy the first 5 positions in the Wisden-100 table.

6. MtId: 1243 Year: 1994 Test# 2 of 3 (0-0) South Africa won by 5 runs

Saf 169 all out.
Aus 292 all out.
Saf 239 all out.
Aus 111 all out (de Villiers P.S: 23.3-8-43-6).

This match has some similarities to the Botham/Willis match. The target was even lower at 116. Australia, with its strong batting lineup was expected to waltz through. However SCG always offers help for the faster bowlers and de Villiers took over the defence of the meagre total.He captured the first 4 wickets. Then Donald moved in and claimed the next 3 wickets. Australia rallied through McDermott and reached 110 for 8 and looked like winning. Then Warne was run out and de Villiers dismissed Healy and McGrath to carve out a 5 run win. In some ways this must be the unlikeliest win, comparable to West Indies win by a single run, an year earlier. And let us not forget who was bowling at the other end, the white lightning, Donald.

7. MtId: 0849 Year: 1979 Test# 1 of 2 (0-0) Pakistan won by 71 runs

Pak 196 all out.
Aus 168 all out.
Pak 353 for 9 wkts.
Aus 310 all out (Sarfraz Nawaz: 35.4-7-86-9).

After two low innings, Pakistan posted a competitive total and set Australia an imposing 381 to win. Sarfraz Nawaz bowled, arguably the finest innspell by a Pakistani bowler and captured 9 wickets for 86 runs to win the match for Pakistan. The other batsman was run out. At 305 for 3, Sarfraz dismissed 5 batsmen for 0. The amazing thing was that 38 overs by Imran Khan and Mushtaq Mohd did not produce a wicket. This was an unlikely bowling performance by a pace bowler. Unlike Willis and de Villiers who ran through Australia in fewer overs, this was somewhat like the innspell of White in that Sarfraz bowled 35 8-ball overs.

8. MtId: 1143 Year: 1990 Test# 3 of 4 (0-1) West Indies won by 164 runs

Win 446 all out.
Eng 358 all out.
Win 267 for 8 wkts.
Eng 191 all out (Ambrose C.E.L: 22.4-10-45-8).

It doesn't often happen that a West Indian pace bowler runs through a team. There are other equally fearsome and intimidating bowlers who participate in the clean-up act. This was a rare instance. England were set over 350 runs to win and Ambrose bowled a Willis-type innspell, capturing 8 wickets for 45 and helped dismiss England for 191. Since the attack included Bishop, Marshall and Moseley, this effort is all the more praise-worthy.

9. MtId: 0390 Year: 1954 Test# 4 of 4 (1-0) Pakistan won by 24 runs

Pak 133 all out.
Eng 130 all out.
Pak 164 all out.
Eng 143 all out (Fazal Mahmood: 30.0-11-46-6).

Pakistan were babes-in-the-wood in this series. This was only their second series, both away. They were pitted against the mighty England, led by Hutton, May, Compton, Graveney, Tyson, Wardle and Statham. They trailed 1-0 and everybody expected England to walk away with a 2-0 series win. Three innings below 165 meant that England's mighty lineup had to score only 167 for a win. England reached 109 for 2, confirming all these predictions. Then Fazal Mahmood, the master of swing, took over and took the next 5 wickets for nothing, finishing with 6 for 46. England were dismissed for 143, leaving Pakistan winners by 24 runs. Pakistan drew the series and Pakistan's pace bowling pedigree, true even today, was appreciated. This must be one of the greatest upsets ever in the history of Test cricket.

10. MtId: 0009 Year: 1882 Test# 1 of 1 (0-0) Australia won by 7 runs

Aus  63 all out.
Eng 101 all out.
Aus 122 all out.
Eng  77 all out (Spofforth F.R: 28.0-15-44-7).

This was the famous "Ashes" test. Three very low innings meant that England had to only score 85 for a win. Spofforth took the central stage and bowled 28 4-ball overs continuously, capturing 7 for 44 and the "Ashes" legend was born. It is quite difficult to comprehend a wicket in which 40 wickets fell for 363 runs and a wicket was captured every 27 balls.However we have to admire Spofforth's effort since this represents the lowest total ever defended. This performance just about gets into the top-50 of Wisden-100 table in view of the very strong bowler-friendly conditions.

11. MtId: 0510 Year: 1961 Test# 4 of 5 (1-1) Australia won by 54 runs

Aus 190 all out.
Eng 367 all out.
Aus 432 all out.
Eng 201 all out (Benaud R: 32.0-11-70-6).

This match has come in purely for my nostalgic sake. This was the first series I was fortunate enough to hear on borrowed radio, in a hostel room as the junior-most student, trying to pull the wool over the warden's eyes and ears. And Benaud was my favourite cricketer. England had taken a lead of 177. Then Lawry pitched tent and with the help of some lusty late-order hitting by Davidson, Australia reached 432. England had to score 255 for a win. Everyone knew that it was a battle between Benaud and the English batsmen, led by the imperious Dexter. Dexter was batting at his commanding beat and England reached 150 for 1. Then Benaud essayed one of the finest spells of leg-spin bowling ever, pitching into the rough created by Davidson. He dismissed Dexter and picked up the next 6 wickets. Davidson and Simpson finished the job and Australia ran out winners by 54 runs. Benaud captured 6 for 70.

12. MtId: 0277 Year: 1946 Test# 2 of 3 (1-0) Match drawn

Eng 294 all out.
Ind 170 all out.
Eng 153 for 5 wkts.
Ind 152 for 9 wkts (Bedser A.V: 25.0-4-52-7).

This is the only drawn match in this list. Even though India were only playing their 9th match, they were quite strong with a lineup boasting of Merchant, Mushtaq, Mod, Hazare, Amarnath and Mankad. England took a first innings lead of 124 and set India a target of 278 to win, a tough ask at Manchester against a powerful English attack. The first two wickets were captured by Pollard. Then Modi and Hazare steadied the ship. However Alec Bedser bowled beautifully and captured the next 7 wickets. India were 138 for 9 and looked like losing. However Sohoni and Hindlekar stood firm and avoided defeat. Bedser's innspell of 7 for 52 represents one of the finest closing innspells in a drawn match.

13. MtId: 0149 Year: 1923 Test# 2 of 5 (1-0) England won by 1 wicket

Saf 113 all out.
Eng 183 all out.
Saf 242 all out.
Eng 173 for 9 wkts (Hall A.E: 37.3-12-63-7).

This is the only innspell included from a losing match. After three average innings, England were set 173 for a win. England had Sandham, Wooley, Mead and Fender in their lineup. Alf Hall, a left arm pace bowler, single-handedly almost denied England a win. He captured 7 for 63, dismissing all the top batsmen. He reduced England to 86 for 6 before Mann and Jupp added 68 runs. Then Hall dismissed both batsmen. He could not claim the last wicket and England ran out winners by 1 wicket. It is worth mentioning here that these were 3-day tests.

The other innspells which came under consideration are listed below.

Statham's 7 for 39 against South Africa during 1955 (a real contender).
R.Peel's 6 for 67 against Australia during 1894.
O'Reilly's 7 for 27 against England during 1934.
Hoggard's 7 for 61 against South Africa during 2005.
McGrath's 8 for 24 against Pakistan during 2004.
Snow's 7 for 40 against Australia during 1971.
Kluesener's 8 for 64 against India during 1996.
Cowans' 6 for 77 against Australia during 1982.
Fazal Mahmood's 6 for 66 against West Indies during 1959.
Underwood's 7 for 50 against Australia during 1968
Warne's 8 for 71 against England during 1994.
Ambrose's 6 for 24 against England during 1994.
Dean Headley's 6 for 60 against Australia during 1998.
Whitney's 7 for 27 against India during 1992.
Kumble's 7/63 against Pakistan at Kolkata in 2005
Gibbs' 6 for 60 against India during 1968 (Drawn match).

In the famous 1-run win by West Indies against Australia during 1993,
the wickets were shared by Ambrose, Bishop and Walsh. Ambrose's 4 for 46 is still
an excellent individual effort.

In a later article we will see team performances in fourth innings. That will do
justice to the multi-pronged bowling attacks.

Anantha Narayanan has written for ESPNcricinfo and CastrolCricket and worked with a number of companies on their cricket performance ratings-related systems

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anonymous on September 10, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    Hi Ananth, Appreciate your effort there. Great work! But I must claim tat my point on things outta bowler's control, will have as many takers as yours of de relative values of Sachin's and Ojha's wickets!

    How about Lance Klusener? 8/64 at Calcutta in 1996, in what was SA's only second test in India?

    P.S.: Pallab, thanks for your support:) [[ Next time I suggest give your name. Else however valuable your comment is I will not publish it. Important to realize that especially since you are a regular reader. Thanks. Ananth: ]]

  • anu on September 8, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    1986 tied test against Aus at Chepauk wicket- Greg Mathews took 10 wickets-5 in each innings against Indian team having GAvaskar,Azhar,Kapil, Shastri, Vengsarkar all of whom are good batters against spin and Bright taking 5 wickets in 2nd innings including Sunny's wicket. Mathews got Maninder out lbw to give the 2nd tied test. 1987 Bangalore test against Pak- Iqbal Qasim and Tausef Ahmed each got 9 Indian wickets (5 each in first and 4 each in second). Iqbal got opener Sunny out on his score of 96 and India lost that match by 16 runs. Tausef got Vengarsarkar out in both innings of the test and batting against spin was extremely tough on that pitch. How would u rate these performances of Mathews and Iqbal with respect to this blog? [[ Both already commented on. Ananth: ]]

  • wb on September 8, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    Test matches are won by the team whose bowlers are able to get 20 wickets of their opponent team in as less time and giving as less runs as possible. Add to it the pressure of batting in 4th innings on a day 4 or day 5 wicket-its advantage for bowlers. We have seen teams unable to chase even a target of less than 150 runs in 4th innings. The approach towards batting in 4th innings is also responsible for bowlers getting on top of batsman and bowlers are expected to be the obvious performers in 4th innings. In Melbourne test of 1981 against Aus, Kapil took the last five wickets including that of Allan Border and not the first five but 143 is such a target that the tail batsmen had a chance to go for it. There have been instances where a team has lost the test as its bowlers failed to get the last 5 wickets of team batting in 4th innings. India managed to chase 155 with only 2 wickets left against Aus in 2001 Chepauk test.

  • Ananth on September 7, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    An important announcement. In one of my comments I had mentioned that I would create an open mail id to which readers could send their suggestions. To start with I would appreciate if readers can send in their suggestions on which batting and bowling performances in the third innings can be considered. I will do my own work and depending on the reader responses will add a few popular amongst these. Please note that this is a one-to-one communication and the contents will not be published. Please continue to use the blog posting method for the comments you want to be published. This is not my mail id and has been created only for this purpose. To separate the spam, it will be a nice idea if all readers can follow a simple idea of making their title as "It Figures Blog: ...........". The mail id is ananth.itfigures@gmail.com Since the reader would have to use a mail route I give the readers my assurance that the mail id is safe and will never be used by me for anything. other than communicating with the reader specifically. This will not be part of any group mail nor will mails be cc'd. Ananth

  • Ravi Khurana on September 6, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    Hi really gr8 work,, can we also consider Harbhajan Singh's 5-29 agains Aus where Aus was chasing just 107 ans ended with 93 allout. Match no- 1720. [[ Ravi No bowler should get any credit for doing anything on this apology of a pitch. I think what BCCI did was terrible. They produced a pitch reminiscent of pre-WW1 dustbowls. "Prepare" is an over-statement. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on September 6, 2010, 21:21 GMT

    Ananth - asking the readers for suggestions a priori is a good idea. I used a filter of 6+ wickets for all "great" bowlers.

    If you pl post articles on bowlers and batsmen innings-wise (Tests, Innings, Runs, Ave, RPI, 100's, 50's, 40+ scores ... likewise for bowlers), that would be a great help in this exercise. E.g., I observed that Lindwall & Garner were not that effective in the 4th. [[ Alex Yes, an innings-wise player analysis across their careers is very much needed. i am looking at how best to organize and present this huge collection of tables. Ananth: ]]

  • Gordon on September 6, 2010, 15:34 GMT

    I think when JN Gillespie took 17 5 40 6 2.35 it was impressive. Yes the total the WI had to chase was high at 462 but he took the first 6 wickets of the match to leave the windies at 6 for 23. A very impressive effort! [[ Gordon An excellent effort. Only two shadows over Gillespie's performance. the huge target and the fact that it was Lara + a few clowns batting for West Indies. However to capture the top 6 wickets is indeed great. With McGrath at the other end !!! Ananth: ]]

    Overall a great list. Well done. And the whole point of this list I assume is to start the debate that is raging :) Noone can get "the list" just what they think is right. Statistics dont take everything into account. Cant wait till you get around to all the lists. Great job!

  • Ravi on September 6, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Speaking of the heat, dust and the crowd involvement in addition to the bat and ball contest, Greg Matthews' bowling in the 4th innings of the 2nd Tied test comes to mind. He bowled 40 overs all on day 5 and took 146-5 (4 top order K Srikkanth, Amarnath, C S Pandit, Kapil, and Maninder Singh in the end). Worth a mention? [[ Ravi Yes, a very brave effort, comparable to Dean Jones' double hundred in the same match Ananth: ]]

  • Venkataraman Balaji on September 6, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    Dear Ananth,

    Franklyn Rose's 3 top order wickets in 1997 at Bridgetown Barbodos when India was bowled out for 81 chasing 120 against WI could also have been one of the best fourth innings performances that resulted in wins when both teams had near 300 scores in 1st innings. COuld it have been worth a mention.

    Venkataraman Balaji [[ Balaji There are probably over 100 instances in which a bowler has taken the three top order wickets and has helped his team win. Rose's was possibly special because of the low target, that is all. Ananth: ]]

  • Vishal on September 6, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    Excellent analysis. And I love the fact that you are taking time to respond to each comment!!

    Wondering if you should call this final innings performance so that you can include 3rd innings performances where there was no fourth innings. Maninder Singh's 7 wicket haul against SL might have found mention. [[ Vishal Let us stick to fourth innings as the last innings and third innings as third. Otherwise we will run into problems. If Maninder's 7-wkt haul against Sri Lanka deserves a mention or even selection, it will be done one way or other. Ananth: ]]

  • Anonymous on September 10, 2010, 6:06 GMT

    Hi Ananth, Appreciate your effort there. Great work! But I must claim tat my point on things outta bowler's control, will have as many takers as yours of de relative values of Sachin's and Ojha's wickets!

    How about Lance Klusener? 8/64 at Calcutta in 1996, in what was SA's only second test in India?

    P.S.: Pallab, thanks for your support:) [[ Next time I suggest give your name. Else however valuable your comment is I will not publish it. Important to realize that especially since you are a regular reader. Thanks. Ananth: ]]

  • anu on September 8, 2010, 4:02 GMT

    1986 tied test against Aus at Chepauk wicket- Greg Mathews took 10 wickets-5 in each innings against Indian team having GAvaskar,Azhar,Kapil, Shastri, Vengsarkar all of whom are good batters against spin and Bright taking 5 wickets in 2nd innings including Sunny's wicket. Mathews got Maninder out lbw to give the 2nd tied test. 1987 Bangalore test against Pak- Iqbal Qasim and Tausef Ahmed each got 9 Indian wickets (5 each in first and 4 each in second). Iqbal got opener Sunny out on his score of 96 and India lost that match by 16 runs. Tausef got Vengarsarkar out in both innings of the test and batting against spin was extremely tough on that pitch. How would u rate these performances of Mathews and Iqbal with respect to this blog? [[ Both already commented on. Ananth: ]]

  • wb on September 8, 2010, 3:45 GMT

    Test matches are won by the team whose bowlers are able to get 20 wickets of their opponent team in as less time and giving as less runs as possible. Add to it the pressure of batting in 4th innings on a day 4 or day 5 wicket-its advantage for bowlers. We have seen teams unable to chase even a target of less than 150 runs in 4th innings. The approach towards batting in 4th innings is also responsible for bowlers getting on top of batsman and bowlers are expected to be the obvious performers in 4th innings. In Melbourne test of 1981 against Aus, Kapil took the last five wickets including that of Allan Border and not the first five but 143 is such a target that the tail batsmen had a chance to go for it. There have been instances where a team has lost the test as its bowlers failed to get the last 5 wickets of team batting in 4th innings. India managed to chase 155 with only 2 wickets left against Aus in 2001 Chepauk test.

  • Ananth on September 7, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    An important announcement. In one of my comments I had mentioned that I would create an open mail id to which readers could send their suggestions. To start with I would appreciate if readers can send in their suggestions on which batting and bowling performances in the third innings can be considered. I will do my own work and depending on the reader responses will add a few popular amongst these. Please note that this is a one-to-one communication and the contents will not be published. Please continue to use the blog posting method for the comments you want to be published. This is not my mail id and has been created only for this purpose. To separate the spam, it will be a nice idea if all readers can follow a simple idea of making their title as "It Figures Blog: ...........". The mail id is ananth.itfigures@gmail.com Since the reader would have to use a mail route I give the readers my assurance that the mail id is safe and will never be used by me for anything. other than communicating with the reader specifically. This will not be part of any group mail nor will mails be cc'd. Ananth

  • Ravi Khurana on September 6, 2010, 22:14 GMT

    Hi really gr8 work,, can we also consider Harbhajan Singh's 5-29 agains Aus where Aus was chasing just 107 ans ended with 93 allout. Match no- 1720. [[ Ravi No bowler should get any credit for doing anything on this apology of a pitch. I think what BCCI did was terrible. They produced a pitch reminiscent of pre-WW1 dustbowls. "Prepare" is an over-statement. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on September 6, 2010, 21:21 GMT

    Ananth - asking the readers for suggestions a priori is a good idea. I used a filter of 6+ wickets for all "great" bowlers.

    If you pl post articles on bowlers and batsmen innings-wise (Tests, Innings, Runs, Ave, RPI, 100's, 50's, 40+ scores ... likewise for bowlers), that would be a great help in this exercise. E.g., I observed that Lindwall & Garner were not that effective in the 4th. [[ Alex Yes, an innings-wise player analysis across their careers is very much needed. i am looking at how best to organize and present this huge collection of tables. Ananth: ]]

  • Gordon on September 6, 2010, 15:34 GMT

    I think when JN Gillespie took 17 5 40 6 2.35 it was impressive. Yes the total the WI had to chase was high at 462 but he took the first 6 wickets of the match to leave the windies at 6 for 23. A very impressive effort! [[ Gordon An excellent effort. Only two shadows over Gillespie's performance. the huge target and the fact that it was Lara + a few clowns batting for West Indies. However to capture the top 6 wickets is indeed great. With McGrath at the other end !!! Ananth: ]]

    Overall a great list. Well done. And the whole point of this list I assume is to start the debate that is raging :) Noone can get "the list" just what they think is right. Statistics dont take everything into account. Cant wait till you get around to all the lists. Great job!

  • Ravi on September 6, 2010, 15:28 GMT

    Speaking of the heat, dust and the crowd involvement in addition to the bat and ball contest, Greg Matthews' bowling in the 4th innings of the 2nd Tied test comes to mind. He bowled 40 overs all on day 5 and took 146-5 (4 top order K Srikkanth, Amarnath, C S Pandit, Kapil, and Maninder Singh in the end). Worth a mention? [[ Ravi Yes, a very brave effort, comparable to Dean Jones' double hundred in the same match Ananth: ]]

  • Venkataraman Balaji on September 6, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    Dear Ananth,

    Franklyn Rose's 3 top order wickets in 1997 at Bridgetown Barbodos when India was bowled out for 81 chasing 120 against WI could also have been one of the best fourth innings performances that resulted in wins when both teams had near 300 scores in 1st innings. COuld it have been worth a mention.

    Venkataraman Balaji [[ Balaji There are probably over 100 instances in which a bowler has taken the three top order wickets and has helped his team win. Rose's was possibly special because of the low target, that is all. Ananth: ]]

  • Vishal on September 6, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    Excellent analysis. And I love the fact that you are taking time to respond to each comment!!

    Wondering if you should call this final innings performance so that you can include 3rd innings performances where there was no fourth innings. Maninder Singh's 7 wicket haul against SL might have found mention. [[ Vishal Let us stick to fourth innings as the last innings and third innings as third. Otherwise we will run into problems. If Maninder's 7-wkt haul against Sri Lanka deserves a mention or even selection, it will be done one way or other. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on September 6, 2010, 12:08 GMT

    Ananth - 4th innings is by far the easiest, IMO. The other 3 have so many possibilities and so many contenders. You will have your hands full with those. Anyway, 2 more unbelievable stat sheets ... this time from Underwood! 1. Eng vs Aus, 5th Test, Oval, 1968. Eng: 494 Aus: 324 Eng: 181 Aus: needing 352 to win, all out 125 with Underwood exploiting a drying pitch to turn in (31.3,19,50,7). Eng square the series 1-1 with just 6 minutes left in the match but the Ashes stay with Aus. The pitch worsened late in the match courtesy rain ... Underwood thrived in such conditions. 2. Eng vs NZ, 1st Test, Lord's, 1969. Eng: 190 NZ: 169 Eng: 340 NZ: needing 362, are blown out 131 courtesy Underwood's (31,18,32,7). NZ skipper Dowling criticized the pitch for being too hard and rough ... again, an ideal setting for Underwood. [[ Alex The huge quantum of runs defended lowers the intrinsic value of these performances. No denying the numbers though. The 7 for 50 is in fact in the top-50 of the complete and 19th in 4th innings in the W100 tables. The 7 for 32 is nowhere near these exalted positions because of the poorer quality of the New Zealand batting. Yes, third innings will be tough. I might very well ask for suggestions to be mailed to a safe id, which I will create for this purpose, BEFORE the article publication. Thanks for the trigger. Ananth: ]]

  • Deepak Chandran on September 6, 2010, 9:30 GMT

    Hi Ananth

    Wonderful analysis. As a fellow stats enthusiast I just wanted to check something with you. Is there a way we can factor impact of crowd when looking at fourth innings performances.Usually in close matches, the crowd is like the 12th player and a overflowing cauldron like Eden Gardens in Kolkata can just provide that additional edge as compared to usally empty grounds like a Snedden Park in NZ.

    Regards

    Deepak [[ Deepak These are the non-quantiable factors. Also extremely subjectiuve. It has been said and will be, that playing in India is very difficult for visitors or the difficulty because of the so called "expectations of a xillion" on the home players. Let us sat out of these. Ananth: ]]

  • OldCodger on September 6, 2010, 7:37 GMT

    Anath . . . I think you are missing the point regarding the Leed's test of 1955. I am not saying they the best, but in context of the game and its position that last day when it started England 115/2. Do kindly check the scorecard. It is not just Goddard's excellent bowling but that of Tayfield's, too. Reading Arlott, Jackie McGlew and Louis Duffus on that test, they were the only two bowlers used during protracted spells, Goddard left-arm seam and swing unchanged and leg-spinner Percy Mansell "alternately to Tayfield's off-spin for a few overs before and after lunch to add variation and change of angles on a wicket taking turn and switching ends" as McGlew comments on the last day's play when he was captain for the injured Jack Cheetham. [[ OC I have no idea what you want me to do. I can only go by the scorecard. It is a wonderful economical spell. The length of the spell increases the value. Now what is to be done. If you have read the 100 odd comments so far, no less that 50 spells have been suggested. Most of them, including Goddard's, are great. But can I stuff 60 spells into 10 places. Alex pointed out to a spell of Marshall who bowled with one hand. A wonderful brave effort but that is not in the scorecard. The best spell ever is incidentally Tayfield's 9 for 113. So there is no discrinination shown at all. Thanks for bringing out the interesting footnote to a remarkable spell indeed. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on September 6, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    Ananth - looks like Statham's (29,12,39,7) got overlooked completely; he was a great bowler: Test #409, Eng vs SA, Lord's, June 1955. Eng: 133 SA: 304 Eng: 353 SA: needing 183 to win, are 111 all out.

    Wisden says Statham bowled unchanged for the entire duration of the SA innings (approx. 4 hours). On the 5th day, bad light held up the play for 2 hours and heightened the suspense over the match outcome and, at the same, provided some rest to Statham. [[ Alex This is bound to happen when I limit myself to 11 winning performances. Statham's effort surely deserves a place in the also-consided list and possible consideration into the main list. So much so I have added it to the under-consideration list. Incidentally this performance is in the top-25 of Wisden-100 list. To top it all, the top 7 wickets. Many thanks for pointing out. Ananth: ]]

  • Robin Gordon-Walker on September 5, 2010, 21:16 GMT

    Another great effort in a losing fourth innings was Tom Richardson's 6-76 in Australia's 125-7 at Manchester in 1896. He bowled no less than 42.3 overs in that innings after 68 in the first (I think overs were five balls then but still titanic) and Australia were mightily relieved to win having been 100-7. Neville Cardus at his evocative best paints a wonderful picture of Tom standing bemused and exhausted like a noble animal at the end of the match unable to believe that his mighty efforts had finally been in vain. The reality according to Tom is that he sprinted off the ground and had downed two and half pints before any of the other players had got back to the pavilion!

  • MartinAmber on September 5, 2010, 21:10 GMT

    Thanks again for a great list.

    Re no.8: Curtly Ambrose is one of the greatest cricketers of my lifetime, but that particular performance leaves a very bad taste when considering the dismissal of Rob Bailey on the fourth evening. Caught off his hip and basically given out by Viv Richards and the crowd, I'm afraid. I have no doubt that WI deserved to win overall, but this match was the one after their despicable time-wasting in Trinidad, and when you also recall that England were half an hour from saving this Barbados Test, I find it difficult to be as generous as I normally am to victorious opponents.

    On a lighter note, thank you from the bottom of my heart for not even considering the most over-rated, over-praised bowling performance I've ever seen, i.e. Flintoff at Lord's in 2009. Bearing in mind the position at the start of the fourth innings, it would have taken a heroically bad bowling performance NOT to win!

  • Sachin on September 5, 2010, 17:40 GMT

    Any noteworthy performance by Andrew Caddick and Chris Cairns that could have been considered? I have read several claims about their 3rd/4th innings bowling prowess.

  • Saravanan on September 5, 2010, 16:15 GMT

    Huv abt Ambrose running thru India defending a meagre 120 in sachin'd captaincy?? [[ This match has already been explained. Anyhow Ambros ecaptured 3 wickets only. Ananth: ]]

  • Andy on September 5, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    England v Sri Lanka 2006(no 3)- yes it was at Nottingham but on a pitch which was actually more akin to Kandy or Galle. The comments in Andrew Miller's post match article bear this out. [[ Andy Andrew Miller's comments, fortunately or not, are not part of the scorecard. I have only gone on what the scorecard says and history, again picked from the scorecards. Ananth: ]]

  • Shankar on September 5, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    what about Pras 4 wickets in Chennai against WI or Chandra 3 wickets against them in Cal in 74-75 series? Arguably both tests were GRV's standout perfromance, but you need to take 20 wickets. Also India was down 0-2 in the serries and C Lloyd's was pumelling the team. [[ Shankar It is difficult for a sub-5 wicket performance to be recognized in this list. Not because of any artificial 5-wkt requirement but the genuine sharing of credit. If one bowler takes the first 5 wickets and the other the low ordre 5 wickets, that could be okay. Ananth: ]]

  • Habeebi on September 5, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    Hi Ananth, Good work. What about Iqbal Qasim & Tauseef Ahmed performance in Bangalore test which they won eventually. [[ Habeebi It is difficult for a sub-5 wicket performance to be recognized in this list. Not because of any artificial 5-wkt requirement but the genuine sharing of credit. If one bowler takes the first 5 wickets and the other the low ordre 5 wickets, that could be okay. Ananth: ]]

  • Ahmad Saleem on September 5, 2010, 8:47 GMT

    Ananth, thank you very much.

  • alex on September 5, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    Caddick's 7-94 at Sydney in 2003 worth an honourable mention? [[ Yes, certainly. Compares with a similar performance of Hoggard. Ananth: ]]

  • Pallab on September 4, 2010, 22:46 GMT

    CONTD...However, the converse also holds true. In the sense that non-threatening attacks but comprising 1 or 2 all-time great bowlers having stupendous spells and bagging most of the top-order or quality wickets -cue Muralitharan or Hadlee. These bowlers would usually have things in their control (like planning dismissals, deciding which ends to bowl from) as captains would always have to turn to them at all times for wickets. Pallab [[ Pallab After all things are considered and analyzed, the final relevant fator is that when we do individual bowlers' analysis the wicket of Tendulkar must give the bowler higher credit than the wicket of Ojha. The bowler who dismisses Tendulkar at 0 should get higher credit than the one who dismissed Tendulkar at 157. The bowler who conceded 2 rpo should get higher credit than the one who conceded 3 rpo. and so on. The bottlm line is the value to the team. These are one-off analysis and one should not split hairs unnecessarily. Ananth: ]]

  • Pallab on September 4, 2010, 22:45 GMT

    CONTD..and leaving only the tail for the other feared bowlers . That would account for the average quality of wickets as you have mentioned in some posts of teams with 2 or 3 high-quality and incisive bowlers. Even a bowler like Marshall or Garner invariably coming on first or second change after Roberts and Holding could not have had the captain’s plans, “thirsting to bowling first up” , “into the wind” under their control and therefore the quality of their wickets at the end of an innings. (In that era, senior bowlers always bowled first up irrespective of potency or penetration as against bowling spells being increasingly decided off the pitch by coaches irrespective of the reputation of the lead bowlers now). Of course, all these anomalies of “momentous performances but average quality of wickets” will now be accounted for in your subsequent bowlers- performance- as -a -team analysis.

    Pallab

  • Pallab on September 4, 2010, 22:43 GMT

    Ananth, been following your stats analysis on TV thru DD days and now the Web. However, your following statement in response to Ram Narayan is open to debate: “Also who said that is not under the bowlers’ control. Can't the bowler plan for the dismissal. We are analyzing to see which bowler has bowled better. One of the parameters is the quality of wickets. Ananth:” Bowlers part of highly potent attacks with (3-4 bowlers all capable of picking wickets regularly and running thru sides) as enjoyed by West Indies for much of the 80s or a bowling attack comprising McGrath, a more penetrative Gillespie and Warne or even Bishop, Walsh and Ambrose in the early 90s or even Imran, Wasim and Qadir in the mid-80s (with the emergence of Waqar in the late 80s, Imran almost stopped bowling and was playing imperiously as a captain and batsman till 1992) would certainly not have had things in their control like bowling first up on helpful pitches and picking top-order wickeets ..Pallab CONTD.

  • Vineet on September 4, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    Hey Ananth a nice effort from u.....Looking forward to your article on 2nd and 3rd innings analysis...Well i would be very happy if Harbhajan.s Kolakata magic spell would have listed here....

  • DINESH on September 4, 2010, 14:30 GMT

    Why there is no mention about Suraj Randiv's 2/222 during the 2nd test at Galle in July 2010 [[ NOT EVEN REMOTELY FUNNY. Ananth: ]]

  • oldcodger on September 4, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    I take this being about fourth innings performances is why Sir Richard Hadlee's second innings of 6/71 against Australia at Brisbane 85/66 in his 15 wickets haul fails to make the list. It still gets a few grimaces from those Aussies when this is effort is whispered within ear-reach. Yet there is a remarkable fourth innings effort no where near mentioned, and which I first read about in a book on the 1955 South Africa tour of England, and related in a chapter on Trevor Goddard - this is a fourth innings against England where Adcock was out injured and Heine couldn't bowl and on the last day - according to Wisden and the book by Arlott on that tour, Goddard bwoled non-stop the last dat from 11.30 until the innings closed at 256 (62-32-69-5) and Tayfield who took the last wicket 47.1-15-94-5) - shared spoils indeed as South Africa won by 224 runs. You may dismiss the Goddard effort as he dismissed lesser batsmen. In circumstances as this, that would be pretentious. [[ On Hadlee pl see previous responses. The accuracy of Goddard is wonderful. But it is nowhere the top performances of all time in the fourth innings. Ananth: ]]

  • Abrar Janjua on September 4, 2010, 12:01 GMT

    Great work Ananth.My only wish was to see Fazal Mehmood in that list and i am really happy and satisfied to find him there.He was a great bowler who used to bowl Fantastic leg cutter with magnificent control. [[ Abrar One thing these two articles have done is to get ourselves to focus away from only the top 10 or so batsmen and bowlers. Ananth: ]]

  • kapkatz on September 4, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    Kumble is a match winner, not only he is a match winner he is the greatest Indian bowler. He is one of only 2 bowlers to take 10 wickets in an innings which is next to impossible task in modern cricket. That's why his achievement is listed as # 2. Harbhajan is a mediocre blower and not a match winner consistently. [[ Kapkatz I would not say Harbhajan is a mediocre bowler. However he has some distance to go before being considered as an all-time great bowler, which Kumble is. After seeing some of the recent spells of Swann, i am not even sure whether Harbhajan is the best off-spinner playing today. Ananth: ]]

  • kapkatz on September 4, 2010, 9:12 GMT

    How many bowlers have taken 10 wickets in an innings, only two. That's all I have to say, it speaks for it self.

  • Ananth on September 4, 2010, 9:11 GMT

    This is in response to Ahmad Saleem's statement that Fazal Mahmood is the only fast bowler who has captured 12 or more wickets in a test 4 times. I had promised that I could check the same. It is true that Fazal Mahmood has captured 12+ wickets 4 times. He shares this unqiue achievement with another fast bowling great, S.F.Barnes. However the leader is Muralitharan who has done this 6 times. Ananth.

  • Dr. Talha Naeem on September 4, 2010, 6:31 GMT

    Pakistan has produced the highest number of bowlers with more than 350 test match wickets and a bowling average of less than 25. Imran, Wasim and Waqar. All other test playing nations have produced one or maximum two. No performances from the three pakistani greats, are listed here. Quite Amazing! [[ Talha There is no denying the quality of Pakistani fast bowlers. However that does not mean that these fast bowlers should produce comparable fourth innings performances. The trend in Pakistan to have these wonderful bowlers set up the match in the early innings and then great spinners like Mushtaq, Qadir, Saqlain et al to do the work in the fourth innings, I also suggest you try and appreciate the fact that I have accorded the respect which Fazal Mahmood and Sarfraz Nawaz's wonderful performances deserved. It is also true that almost throughout their career Wasim and Waqar bowled together, often in the company of Imran. So there is a clear sharing of the spoils. Pl see my response to Ali Shah's comment. Ananth: ]]

  • Dipak Basu on September 4, 2010, 0:03 GMT

    Wes Hall's incredible 109/6 v Aus in the tied Brisbane test in 1960/61 and his hyper last over definitely merit a mention.

  • vipin on September 3, 2010, 19:15 GMT

    good article ananth.....although, u have mentioned, why u have included kumble's performance,i would still not agree as nothing was at stakes, India could have won anyway...... i think bhajji;s performace against aussies in 2001 kolkata test was much better. anyway, i would like to request you to make a list of bowlers who have biggest differnce between their 1st innings(bowling team's 1st innings) n 4th innings bowling performances and similar analysis 4 batsmen as 4 instance Sehwag has huge difference in 1st nd 4th innings batting avg.....

  • Sandeep on September 3, 2010, 12:52 GMT

    Ananth, Not sure which innings it was, but Srinath also took 8 wickets just few matchs after Kumble's 10 wicket haul. And that denied the opposition the victory. Please put some light on that. I am great fan of Sri.

    And also it feels great to see our own Jumbo at no.2 in such a great list.

    Hats off to your work Sandy [[ Sandeep This was in the third innings of the Calcutta test. Pakistan recovered from 26 for 6 to score 185 and then Saeed Anwar scripted one of the modern classics, remaining unbeaten on 188. Srinath took 8 wkts but India lost the match by 46 runs. Ananth: ]]

  • Tifosiguy on September 3, 2010, 9:39 GMT

    Ananth

    With regards to the De Villier's spell - you've written

    "The target was even lower at 116. Australia, with its strong bowling lineup was expected to waltz through " - you surely mean with it's strong " batting" line up !! [[ Yes. Ananth: ]]

  • Shane on September 3, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    Anand. Very good list. Would like to know why Tysons's 7/27 did not make even the secondary list as it is one of the more famous bowling performances. The only thing I can think of is the controversy re MCG wicket. And didn't Tyson take 6/85 in previous test when England narrowly won defending a moderate total? It was a decent Aus lineup too with Harvey, Morris and Miller [[ Certainly dserves a mention. One of the best away fast bowler series this was. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on September 3, 2010, 4:48 GMT

    Ananth, just browsing through some of the comments. I suggest a format for the readers- Fill in the blanks:

    " Where is ......in the .....Test ??????!!!!!!****%%%$$4###!! "

  • Aayjay on September 2, 2010, 19:53 GMT

    Anand Sarfraz at Melbourne in fact took all 7 wickets in that famous collapse from 305/3 to 310 all out. He gave away just one run, do you not think 7 wickets for 1 looks more dramatic than 5 for none? [[ Why split hair over this. You can take your pick. Ananth: ]]

  • John David on September 2, 2010, 18:45 GMT

    I think Lance Gibbs took 8-38 against India in 1962 please confirm [[ John It was in the third innings of the Bridgetown test. Ananth: ]]

  • Ram Narayan on September 2, 2010, 17:53 GMT

    Is it not a trifle unfair to omit performances based on quality of batsmen dismissed?? That is not under the bowler's control. [[ Ram I am quite surprised at this comment. You cannot very well say that taking Tendulkar's wicket should not get higher credit than taking Ojha's wicket. Also who said that is not under the biwlers's control. Can't the bowler plan for the dismissal. We are analyzing to see which bowler has bowled better One of the parameters is the quality of wickets. . Ananth: ]]

  • muzammil on September 2, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    two Ws against NZ in NZ??? [[ Already covered in earlier response. Ananth: ]]

  • Anand on September 2, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    Ananth: Excellent analysis and thanks for the list. At first I was surprised not to see Srinath's 6-21 but you have provided a good justification for excluding that. I have a request for another list. This is a difficult one to make but a very interesting one to view if available. Is it possible to grt a list of top 10 ``career changing performances" in batting and bowling? By career changing, I mean something like a batsman averaging say around 30 before a particular landmark innings or tournament and lets say in a year or two from that the average changes to say closer to 40. A couple of instances coming to my mind are Jayasurya and the 1996 world cup. Similarly, Sehwag was a completely different batdman after he got his first ODI 100 against NZL. I understand it is difficult to define a criterion for this and may be more so for the bowlers, but surely will make a great list viewing if you can do that.

    Just a thought!!!

    [[ Anand This must be the fastest response I have done. Your idea is very good. the problem will be to relate the change in numbers to a single performance. If you trake thye 1996 WC that is a series of matches. Anyhow let me see. Ananth: ]]

  • Navin Agarwal on September 2, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    LOL, You are apologising for your mistake and I myself have mentioned it as 4th innings performance, whereas it was in 3rd innings. [[ Navin This is a real comedy of errors. I did a special run of the third innings bowling analyses, in preparation of the third innings article which I will come out next month. I referred to that and found Agarkar in the 20th place. Not just LOL but LaLOL. Ananth: ]]

  • Navin Agarwal on September 2, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    This is deviating from the main article but as you said Agarkar is in 20th place in Wisden 100. I reckon that list includes performance in all the innings. So if we distribute equally among 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th innings. Then that innings should lie at 5th in 4th innings performances. [[ Navin My mistake. I had done a special report of the last innings bowling performances and Agarkar is in 20th place in this list. I was in a huury and I apologize for it. In the complete list Agarkar is 51st. Ananth: ]]

  • Pankaj Joshi on September 2, 2010, 12:42 GMT

    Great job as usual. Just the inevitable nitpicking since very little other scope. Considering the bias against bowlers in pitches by and large this decade, and the improved incidence of results in Tests, shouldn't some more representation been done for 2000-2010? Agreed Bhajji at Kolkata had runs going for him against Aus and SA, but time was a constraint. I can rant a bit more reg other instances but I'm sure you get the point. Hopefully its worth a thought. [[ Paknaj The 2000-2010 decade has not been ignored at all. As I have already mentioned in the article I do not have the time/overs information. That will make Harbhajan's (and a few other) performance(s) higher. Ananth: ]]

  • Navin Agarwal on September 2, 2010, 11:42 GMT

    Dear Ananth, The wisden 100 list was published in 2001 or 2002.(If my memory serves me right). Here you have mentioned in above comments section about Kumble's performance in 2005 against Pakistan and Agarkar's heroics at Adeilade. Can we have the current list based on the same simulation. No fine tuning required, I was happy with that old list. The way you are talking about making a new list based on new parameters for last two years, I doubt that we would be able to see that list in our lifetime or your lifetime. :)

    PS: You are too great and no offense is intended it is just for fun the lifetime part. [[ Navin No offence taken. Incidentally I create my own list after every match. It is just that I am unwilling to release it for various reasons, many of which are not for public consumption. I am ready to post the list in the Thirdslip.com website which can be downloaded by people. I am not comfortable with using this blog for that purpose. Let me see what can be done. Ananth: ]]

  • Harsh Thakor on September 2, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    Sorry,I forgot 2 of Curtly Ambrose's deadly spells.One was his 6-52 against South Africa at Bridgetown in 1992,when he wrecked through the South African batting line up who were chasing a mere 201 runs and collapsed to a total of 148 runs.The second was his 6 wicket haul in 1994 at Trinidad which demolished England for a mere 46 runs.On both occassions he brilliantly exploited the uneven bounce in the wickets and his steep bounce and accuracy were his trump card. [[ Harsh I get the feeling that Ambrose might very well be the leader in great fourth innings spells. Maybe I should do an analysis like that. Alex has already asked for one. Ananth: ]]

    Shaun Pollock's match-winning 6 wickets in 1997 in the third test in Pakistan who collapsed to a mere 94 was also noteworthy ,which snatched victory from the jaws of certain defeat .

  • Don on September 2, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    Max Walker's 6/15 3rd test vs Pakistan at Sydney in January 1973, in only his second test was amazing. Pakistan out for 106, chasing only 158. True a lion-hearted Dennis Lillee at the other end,(also an astonishing performance) but a Lillee with a major back injury which reduced Australia to very long odds [[ Don Walker's wickets included only one top batsman. the otehrs were Asif Iqbal and 4 late order batsmen. Lillee's was the more effective contribution. Ananth: ]]

  • Ganesh on September 2, 2010, 3:59 GMT

    Anath,

    You surpass yourself in this article. The winners(if I may say so) and the 2nd list cover over 90% of the really great 4th innings spells. There may be a few missed out but it will only be a handful.

    Just as a digression for 3rd inning spells, I think that the all time greatest 3rd inning spel is that by ajit agarkar in adelaide. This is because

    1. Both First innings were over 500 runs.

    2. This was so above his normal test stats that it was clear that he outdid himself.

    3. Against aus at their peak in australia.

    4. 3 Top wickets incl Ricky Ponting.

    5. Match led to an Indian win in australia after 23 years

    Just a thought that I wanted to share [[ Ganesh You would have quite a few problems convincing people that Agarkar's 6 for 41 is better than Laker's 10 for 53 or Malcolm's 9 for 57 or Verity's 8 for 43 et al. Not that Agarkar's was not an outstanding spell. in fact it is 20th in the Wisden-100 list, a great honour indeed. Ananth: ]]

  • Jayanta on September 2, 2010, 0:46 GMT

    Two more entries from the redoubtable warne. 7-52 v west indies in Melbourne. Chasing 350, wi was 150-1, when warne started getting them out. Lara and co folded for 220. [[ Jayanta This one is somewhat similar to Bebnaud's 1961 Manchester effort. Ananth: ]] 6-86 v south Africa in Durban. Purely since in the match there was no single turn from anywhere else, and the effort was Herculean. 8-71 v England in Brisbane. Will put that at third, since the target was already 500+

  • Alex on September 1, 2010, 21:41 GMT

    Ananth - Clarke at Mumbai (6.2,0,9,6) was 3rd innings and featured the batting order bottom half, bar Dravid. His 4th innings at SCG (1.5,0,5,3) on a batting pitch against time is more miraculous - Mumbai pitch was terrible and made to order, much on the lines of what Aussies did at SCG in '84 to avoid a 4-0 drubbing by WI. [[ Alex My response was not serious. I knew that Clarke's Mumbai spell was in the third innings, The SCG one was a truly match-winning one. Ananth: ]]

  • Kartikeya on September 1, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    With reference to Abhishek Mukherjee's excellent observation about Bobby Peel, it's just as i suspected. I thought the extraordinary collapse may have been on account of rain (wicket were not covered in those days) and so it has proved. I found an Almanack Report from Wisden on Cricinfo for the Sydney Test of 1894:

    "At the close of the fifth day 113 had been scored for two wickets, and the match looked all over. Drenching rain in the night, however, followed by bright sunshine, completely altered the condition of the ground, and Peel - well backed up by Briggs - proved so irresistible that the Englishmen gained an astonishing victory by 10 runs."

    This is another problem with making comparisons about bowling efforts. [[ Thank you, Kartikeya. Excellent inputs. The change in fourth innings was so dramatic that it needed something like this. Ananth: ]]

  • amit on September 1, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    was not kumble's 10 wickets in 4th innings. [[ You make a comment without talking the trouble to read the article. Ananth: ]]

  • coolguy on September 1, 2010, 16:39 GMT

    how abt LO Fleetwood-Smith of aus vs england in 1938 87 overs 298 runs 1 wicket.

    doesnt he deserve a mention here.

    hahahahahahaha [[ Even the attempt at humour is not relevant since this was poor Fleetwood-Smith's effort in the first innings in 1938. Ananth: ]]

  • Subram on September 1, 2010, 16:13 GMT

    Great job Ananth!

  • karthik paulsamy on September 1, 2010, 14:33 GMT

    Dear ananth,

    What about flintoff's fiery spell at lords 2009 ashes 2nt test. 5th day morning he came out and bowled 12 to 15 overs continuously ..that was one of the fastest spell at lords.....we hardly saw any ball clocking below 90 mph...the result aussies were bundled out to hand over a precious 1-0 lead to england [[ Karthik 5 for 92 with three of the wickets being late order wickets hardly qualifies for a great spell. Swann's 4 for 87 was equally important. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on September 1, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    Cricinfo_lurker: great observation on Richardson. In 1952, Cardus famously included him in "Wisden's 6 Giants" alongside Grace, Hobbs, Trumper, Barnes, and Bradman. If he is to be considered, Spofforth's celebrated Ashes feats should not be neglected either: Test 9 in 1882: (28,15,44,7) leaves Eng 77 all out (7 run win). This innings featured Grace's famous 32. Test 19 in 1884: (48.1,22,90,6) leaves Eng 207 all out (7 run win). This innings featured the famous Read-Flower 7th wkt partnership that almost won Eng the match - Spofforth cleaned them up. Note - 2 batsmen were run out in this innings.

  • Alex on September 1, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    Ananth - I avoided pre-1900 scores since Turner, Peel, and Lohmann are bound to look out of the world but, still, Lohmann in Test No. 47 (vs SA, 1896, Port Elizabth) beggars comparison: Set 319 to win, SA manage just 30 in 18.2 overs with Lohmann bagging 9.4,5,7,8.

    Also, I suggest Michael Clarke's 1.5,0,5,3 that improbably won the test against time vs Ind at SCG, 2008. [[ I have talked about Lohmann's spell in response to the comment on tom Richardson. What about Clarke's impossible spell at that dust bowl in Mumbai. Ananth: ]]

  • wasif ahmad on September 1, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    what about waqas younis spell in 1992 Hamilton test?????????????? [[ Wasif That was a win for the pair, almost your namesakes, Wasim and Waqar (!!!). Wasim took 5 for 45 and his haul included 4 of the top-5 wickets. Waqar finished off the job on hand with 5 for 22. Wasim's spell was the more incisive one. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on September 1, 2010, 12:33 GMT

    Amit - Marshall's incredible one-handed performance (23,9,53,7) came in the 3rd innings.

    Even more impressive was the superb one-handed boundary he hit after arriving as the 11th batsman in order to help Gomes complete his superb 100. Greenidge's match-winning 214* in the earlier test (at Lord's) had shocked England to the core. Bizzare sights such as Holding hitting 5 sixes after arriving when WI were pitifully positioned at 206 for 7, one-handed Marshall hitting impeccable boundary, no wonder England, succumbed immediately 159 all out! [[ Alex That is a treasure-trove. I must remember this performance when I do my third innings analysis. Marshall's performance, on its own, shorn of the one-handed heroics, stands within the top-40 of third innings performances. Ananth: ]]

  • CricketPissek on September 1, 2010, 11:01 GMT

    As a fellow maths and cricket-stats geek, i applaud your effort! I was wondering whether it would be possible for you to compile a list of 3rd innings' bowling when that was the last innings of the game (i.e. when your team won by an innings) It may not be as heroic when you have a cushion of runs and an innings to defend against, but it's still worthy of a pat on the back surely? Ruthless cricket is good cricket sometimes! [[ CP When I do the third innings bowling performance analysis this will automatically come through. Whether it was Fazal's 7 for 80 (in the third innings) or Laker's 10 for 53 (in the concluding third innings), both are great performances, executed within months of each other. Ananth: ]]

  • Jayanta on September 1, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    Personally the list looks great, only one thing. I will perhaps put Ambrose's 6-24 to bundle England out for 46 above his 8-45 mentioned in the list. And Srinath's 6-21 also deserves a mention. [[ Jayanta Yes to first one. Have already talked of Srinath's 6-21. Ananth: ]]

  • Kartikeya on September 1, 2010, 8:32 GMT

    Fred Trueman's 7/44 at Birmingham. For sheer quality of batsmen dismissed, I think this deserves consideration - Conrad Hunte, Rohan Kanhai, Joe Solomon and Frank Worrell were four of Trueman's 7 wickets. West Indies were bowled out for 91. [[ Excellent performance. It is within the top-50 of the Wisden-100 list. Ananth: ]]

    I would also mention Gary Sobers 6/73 at Brisbane on the 68-69 tour. West Indies won by 125 runs, and Abdul Qadir's miraculous 6/16 at Faisalabad against Viv Richards's Pakistan, a Test Pakistan won defending 240 in the 4th innings. Anil Kumble took 7/63 against Pakistan at Kolkata in 2005, including Afridi, Younis Khan, Inzamam Ul Haq, Yousuf Youhana and Asim Kamal (numbers 2 - 6 in the Pakistan batting order) [[ Kumble's 7 for 63 is in 12th position in the Wisden-100 list. He has two in the top-12. I did not look at it since I already had his 10-wkt haul. Second list, yes certainly possible and has been added. I have already talked of Qadir's 6 for 16. 3 of the six were low order wkts. Sobers - same. Jarman/Gleeson/Connolly in the six. But all are noteworthy performances. You have an eye for locating these. Thank you. Ananth: ]]

    I'm surprised by Mike Whitney featuring in your list. [[ Pl remember taht Whitney is only in the additional list, not the main one. Also the Indian side was a pretty good one with Prabhakar coming in at no.8. Ananth: ]]

  • Kartikeya on September 1, 2010, 8:11 GMT

    This will probably suffer on account of the quality of the England batting, but Richard Hadlee took 6/26 in the 4th innings at Wellington in 1978. Richard Collinge took the first three wickets. This was John Wright's debut Test, and Brian Rose carried his bat in the England 4th innings of 64 all out, scoring 5 not out. This is I think the lowest score by a batsman carrying his bat in a Test innings. [[ Kartikeya I have already responded quite extensively on the Hadlee effort to other queries. Ananth: ]]

    I always enjoy your posts Mr. Narayanan. I wonder why the time/overs factor doesn't get into this. Isn't it the major issue when it comes to declarations in the 3rd innings? Also, wouldn't the fact the declaration suggest that the wicket was generally good for batting? Some of the low scoring games were probably played on difficult wickets. As such it seems to me that winning a Test after a captain declares 75 overs from the end is an astonishing achievement, especially in a high scoring test. [[ Your point is very valid. However there is insufficient information available. I am sure you must be referrring to the Calcutta 2001 win. Gangluly gave his bowlers only 70 overs but they won (I myself felt he should have declared at the start of the fifth day). This can be compared to many other situations (like Delhi-Pakistan-Kumble) where lot more time was available. How do I get this info. You cannot go by overs bowled since rain/bad light could get in. For earlier matches even this information would be difficult to analyze since 110+ overs were bowled in a day. It is a great suggestion, though. Ananth: ]]

  • cricinfo_lurker on September 1, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    Ananth,

    You are forgetting Tom Richardson's last innings effort against the aussies in the 2nd Test at Manchester way back in 1896. By all accounts a truly heroic effort. [[ cricinfo_lurker/finpalaw (that is a mouthful. select an easier non-de-plume!!!) Tom Richardson's was an outstanding one-man effort. Australia needed only 125 to win on an easy paced wicket. He captured 6 for 76 out of a total of 125 for 7. Bowled unchanged. Probably deserves a second list place. the problem is that pre-1914, it is impossible to judge bowling performances. There is an analysis of Lohmann, 9.4-5-7-8, dismissing an awful South African team for 30. How does one ever evaluate this. The highest career average in this SA team was Sinclair's 1000+ at 23. No one else even reached 200 career runs. However Tom Richardson's effort was truly great. Not to forget that he took 7 for 168 in the first innings. thanks Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on September 1, 2010, 3:31 GMT

    Ananth, With the possible exception of the post 2000s, during which pitches seem to have become more homogenous the world over, “away” performances were generally substantially tougher since a player had to deal with alien conditions. Even if a factor for “away” performances has been included a look at the Wisden Top 10 performances in bowling and batting indicate 8 and 9 respectively out of 10 were at “home”. This only reinforces the theory of the home town tiger syndrome. Perhaps the wise men at Wisden underplayed the “away” bit. [[ Abhi Possibly. However we also had to consider the fact that "home" for Vettori would have been like "away" and vice versa. One has to always strike a balance. When there are 11 parameters incorporated, each will have its weight. Finally I can take ANY ANALYSIS and find fault with that. There will always be single exceptions to anything. The only analysis which cannot be faulted are the longevity-based aggregate ones. No one can question these. Although events of the past few days will make even these doubtful. You would have seen my comments on Halilton pitch earlier. One year it was a batsman's paradise and the next year it was a batsman's graveyard. How do you value batting and bowlin g performances of batsmen/bowlers. Similar problems exist in away considerations. Ananth: ]]

  • Andrew on September 1, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    Hi Ananth;

    Just wanna say great work, really appreciate the incredible time and effort that's gone into this. I have no desire to 'correct' your list; those are all outstanding performances. What I would like to know, however, is what the best Kiwi 4th innings effort is! Granted, we've usually lost by then, but is there any that are of note?

    Cheers,

    Andrew [[ Andrew Pl see my response to Craig. The best performance has been Bobd's 5 for 67 against West indies. One signifificant reason for this has been Bond's dismissal of sarwan for 4 and the first ball dismissal of Lara. A moderate target was defended, Ananth: ]]

  • Abhishek Mukherjee on September 1, 2010, 3:06 GMT

    Another possible inclusion could have been when Tyson took 7/27 to rout Australia for 111 at MCG in the 1954-55 Ashes. [[ Abhishek Certainly dserves a mention. One of the best away fast bowler series this was. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhishek Mukherjee on September 1, 2010, 2:59 GMT

    Bobby Peel definitely deserves a mention, in taking 6/67 as England bowled out Australia for 166 from 130/2. The second-highest innings of the match was 325 and it lasted till the 6th day, so the conditions weren't exactly bowler-friendly. [[ Abhishek The best comment I have had on this so far. This performance deserves a serious look at entry into the top 13 list itself. I have added this at the top of the also-considered list. Many thanks. This was the first test in which a followed-on team won the test (the other two being the Botham/Willis show in 1981 and the Laxman/Harbhajan show against Australia in 2001. The scores are Aus: 586 Eng: 325 Eng: 437 Aus: 166 With an average RpW of 38 and BpW of 84, this was nowhere a bowler's match. It is right up in the top-60 of Wisden-100 list. The point to note, however, is the average quality of Australian batting. Ananth: ]]

  • Amit on September 1, 2010, 1:30 GMT

    Hi Ananth, I was waiting for this list. I can think of a few more: 1. Lillee effort in the centenery test, when Randall seemed to be cruising to a target of about 460. The stats might say lillee got 5 for ~135 (alon with 6 for 29 in the first innings), but it was a incredible effort for a fast bowlers in hot/humid condition at a time when he bowled about 35 tireless over and won the match after Endland were 280 for 2. [[ Yes, as praiseworth as Randall's own effort. Ananth: ]]

    2. The 4th test of the Bothom series (The test after Bothom/Willis's heroics), when out of the dead situation came bothom to bowl and took 5 for 11 (and 5 for 1 in a spell) and won the game by 30 runs with Aus needing only about 150 to win. [[ Unfortunately the Willis 8/43 dwarfs this. Ananth: ]]

    3. I know you already responded to Kapils 5 for 28 at Melbourne. But, in the context of controversy in that match, Kapils injury and not on the 4th evening (when Ghavri and Doshi made the initial dent) and then taking painkiller was a superb effort. [[ As I have responded to Craig, A momentous one no doubt but lacking in quality of wkts. Ananth: ]]

    4. Did Marshall performance bowling with left hand in cast happen in 4th innings? [[ I am not sure of this. Let the readers come out with their comments. Ananth: ]]

  • Andrew on September 1, 2010, 0:45 GMT

    Ananth, another great list. I'm really enjoying these. Don't have much to add to it, apart from an observation from the Australian perspective that we seemed to be on the other end of these performances a fair bit! Sorry to introduce a parochial element into a resolutely non parochial article. [[ Andrew I myself was aware of this. My tuppenny-worth take on this is that the Australian batting has almost always been very good and this has increased the value of these performances. Also possibly that playing against Australia inspires such great performances (Willis/Sarfraz/White et al). Even in batting let us not forget Laxman/Lara. Ananth: ]]

  • Youvi on August 31, 2010, 23:37 GMT

    Ananth- While the batting baker's dozen was fascinating as well but personally I feel the bowling performances presented here are truly marvelous. As you stated bowlers have no choice but to go for a win. My own favorite is Willis' 8/43 in 1981. I see Bedser's 7/52 in a drawn match in your list. I would think it would be interesting to explore such drawn matches with "almost had them" 4th inning situations ! Of course excluding matches curtailed due to rain or other events. Lastly, (with some apprehension) I hope that the discussion thread somehow does not veer off toward Tendulkar ! [[ The only reference to the master was in jest. Ananth: ]]

  • Vikram Chandrasekar on August 31, 2010, 21:45 GMT

    Three other spells at least worth a mention,

    1) N Hirwani 8/75 vs West Indies at Chennai, 1987/88 (the famous 'Hirwani test', Target 416 WI 160 all out) 2)Abdul Qadir 6/16 vs West Indies at Faisalabad, 1986/87 (Target 240 WI 53 all out. Admittedly this might be counted as a team performance as Imran Khan took 4/30 as well) 3)W Rhodes 8/68 vs Australia at Melbourne, 1903/04 (Target 297, Aus 111 all out) [[ Vikram All worthwhile ones. Hirwani's was the debut test. Qadir's was a very good one against a full strength West indian side, .Rhodes' was against fullk strength Australian side. However there was onle one team innings exceeding 300. Other three were around 100. A true bowler's wicket. Ananth: ]]

  • craigmnz on August 31, 2010, 21:17 GMT

    One perhaps worthy of mention. R.J. Hadlee at the Basin Reserve 1978 6-26 as NZ beat England for the first time. I'll accept that R.O. Collinge made key early breakthroughs but even so this is arguably the most important 4th innings bowling performance in NZ's test history. [[ Craig As you yourself have onserved, Hadlee's collection of Roope, Botham, Old, edmonds, Hendrick and Willis is a very average one. This is somewhat similar to Kapil's performance. Momentous performances but average quality of wickets. Ananth: ]]

  • love goel on August 31, 2010, 19:23 GMT

    JM Anderson 15 8 17 6 , Ist test match Eng vs Pak 2010

    Yes Pakistan batting was in shambles, but Anderson could not have bowled better. Bowled 15 consecutive overs and gave away nothing. If not for other bowlers, would have certainly got more wickets

    May be not great but a good performance nevertheless

  • Jimothy on August 31, 2010, 18:52 GMT

    Great stuff, although you've probably (if previous comment sections are anything to go by) angered a few people by not including Tendulkar - he must have a handy two-fer somewhere. [[ Jimothy It must be conceded that Tendulkar's best fourth innings bowling performance was in the Kolkatta 2001 test where he took three key wickets. Ananth: ]]

    Just out of interest, does an up to date version of the Wisden 100s exist somewhere? I'd be intrigued to see which performances have made it in from the last few years. [[ Wisden has orphaned that quite some time back. I am going to re-vamp the same myself and it will take some time. Ananth: ]]

  • knight on August 31, 2010, 18:10 GMT

    i think Steven Harmission performance of 7-12 should have been considered. [[ Knight In the third innings. Ananth: ]]

  • Harsh Thakor on August 31, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    My choice for the greatest spell was Bob Willis's match-winning 8-43 in the 3rd test at Headingley in 1981 against Australia when all seemed lost.It was one of Cricket's most penetrating spells of all time .Willis tore through the batting with the intensity of a soldier turning a lost battle into a winning one,brilliantly exploiting the conditions on a pitch which was not true.I also remenber Ian Botham's 5-11 in the 4th test against Australia in 1981 at Edgbaston which similarly won the game for England.Srinath's 6 wicket match-winning haul against South Africa at Ahmedabad in 1996 was another memorable effortand so was Sarfaraz Nawaz's 9-86 at Melbourne against Australia in 1978-79.

  • Prakash Singh on August 31, 2010, 17:03 GMT

    How about Jasu Patel's 9 wickects australia in Kanpur.It was first time India beat Australia. [[ Patel took 9 for 69 in the first innings. Ananth: ]]

  • Ahmad Saleem on August 31, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    Have you checked that whether Fazal is the only fast bowler to achieve that feat which I mentioned earlier or not? [[ Ahmad Give me a couple of days. Ananth: ]]

  • Dip on August 31, 2010, 16:35 GMT

    i enjoy going thru ur articles and though a few times cant understand ur rigorous statistical analysis (am not tht gud in maths basically)just 1 thing came to my mind seein this article...jus like u wrote Baker's dozen of batsmen for 4th innings performance...won't it b a bit more justified 2 tk into consideration Baker's dozen for bowlers performance in 3rd innings (taking into consideration detoriated 4th innings pitch which makes da bowler's job wee bit easier + pressure on batters during 4th innings situations). on the other hand 3rd innings efforts (bowlers), maybe not regarded that crucial, i feel creates the do/die or mayb stoically defend for life situation (batsmen).... would like to hear ur point of view.... [[ Dip After a reasonable break I will do both batting and bowling for the third innings which, I personally feel, is the most interesting of all innings. This is the innings which calls for strategies to be decided. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on August 31, 2010, 16:20 GMT

    Well , the 2nd Test at Kandy was won mostly due to Warne's 5 in the 2nd innings. I also feel that the Wisden bowling lists,much like the Wisden batting lists have a very basic and critical flaw in that they do not give higher points to "away" performances. Home town tigers are a well known feature of sport in general and cricket in particular. [[ Abhi You are making statements without understandiung anything about the process. Away performances were given substantial weight the quantum of which was decided after lengthy consultations between me and Wisden people in UK. I suggest you stop putting down analysis just because these do not meet your expectations. Ananth: ]]

    Warne was playing "away" and effectively won the match and clinched the series with that performance.

  • Manish on August 31, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    How about Murali Kartik against Australia in Mumbai ? [[ 3 for 23 in a match in which 40 wickets were lost fot 605 runs. Surely you are joking. Also Harbhajan took 5 for 29. Ananth: ]]

  • riskrao on August 31, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    really an good one......... hats-off to ananth.....

  • Suresh on August 31, 2010, 15:11 GMT

    What about Jim laker - He took 19 wickets [[ All 19 wickets in the second and third innings. Ananth: ]]

  • Sudarshan P.N. on August 31, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    Ananth, I remember being entranced as a young boy, by the score card of the "Sarfraz test" in the news paper the next morning. I think Australia collapsed from 305 for 3 to 310 all out. I believe this was perhaps the 1st exhibition of reverse swing in test cricket and hence may explain the rash of wickets to one bowler. Sarfraz was perhaps the canniest bolwer (Akram included) that Pakistan had produced. [[ Sudarshan As an away bowling performance, I cannot think of a better performance than Sarfraz's. At 305 for 3, Sarfraz dismissed 5 batsmen for 0. Ananth: ]]

  • Abhi on August 31, 2010, 14:06 GMT

    Aus in SL in 2004.Basically a Warnie-Murali face off. It was the Warnie show all the way, especially in the 2nd match. Sure others too got wickets but Warne was the Man. [[ Abhi This comment is irrelevant to the article. You have just taken an opportunity to score one point for Warne. The key fact is that Warne/MacGill bowled in the fourth inngs in all the tests. Muralitharan did not get one opportunity to bowl last. Anyhow one cannot argue with a 0-3 scoreline. Ananth: ]]

  • Ali Shah on August 31, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    A nice analysis. I am surprised to know that the great Pakistani bowlers viz Imran Khan, Waqar and Wasim did not have truly great 4th innings spells. [[ Ali Your point is very valid. It is possible that I might have missed out something. Pl look into the scorecards. The best in the Wisden-100 list amongst the three greats is Waqar Younis' 6 for 44 against Zimbabwe in 1993. This is outside the top-100. Infact there are 9 Pakistani performances ahead of this one. These are shared by Fazal (2), Mushtaq (2), Sarfraz, Kaneria, Qadir, Saqlain and Qasim. Ananth: ]]

  • Ritesh Shah on August 31, 2010, 12:35 GMT

    Ananth,

    What about the magical spell from F.Rose to dismiss India for 80 odd runs when India were chasing target of 120odd [[ Ritesh Even the West Indians would be happy at your remembering this match. Ambrose took 3 wickets, Rose 3 wickets and Bishop 4 wickets. So this was a team win. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on August 31, 2010, 12:02 GMT

    Ananth - sorry, forgot 2 Ambrose classics:

    1. (26,5,46,4) vs Aus at Adelaide in '93, bowling 33% of WI overs. Needing 186 to win, Aus lose by 1 run.

    2. (24.4,7,34,6) vs SA at Bridgetown in '92. Needing 201 to win, SA manage only 148, a spectacular collapse for 123 for 2, with Ambrose & Walsh taking 4 wickets each in the crash. [[ Alex The first has been specifically mentioned at the end. Also these will find a place in the other analysis I have talked about. Ananth: ]]

  • Ahmad Saleem on August 31, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    Fazal Mahmood engineered all the early victories of Pakistan. What a player he was. He and Khan Mohammad inspired all the youngsters to become fast bowler and from that point Pakistan have not stopped producing great fast bowlers on such flat tracks. He took 4 12 wickets er against four different test playing nations then and I dont think any other fast bowler has achieved this feat in whole cricketing history [[ And, Saleem, probably earned Rs.100 per Test match played. I will check on your other point. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on August 31, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    Ananth - I suggest 2 honorable mentions:

    1. Holding at the Oval, 1976: (20.4, 6, 57, 6) denied Eng an almost certain draw on a flat wicket with the win target at 430+ in 110+ overs. [[ Alex The target was quite high but this deserves a mention certainly because in the other three innings 1300 runs were scored for 18 wickets. Ananth: ]]

    2. Kapil at the MCG, 1981: (16.4, 4, 28, 5) bundled Aus in 83 needing just 143 to win on a batsman-friendly wicket after Ghavri-Doshi took the first 4 wickets. [[ Pl see my comments to Shetty';s comments. Ananth: ]]

  • K. Shetty on August 31, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    It is surprising not to find the name of Kapil Dev and Dilip Doshi for their fourth innings performance against Austrial somewherein 1981 in Australia. That was the time when there were only radio commentaries. In fact if I recollect correctly Kapil had problem with his knee and had bowled after taking pain killers. [[ Shetty Painkillers do not maketh a performance. Please go through the scorecard before commenting. It was no doubt a memorable win for India. However Doshi and Ghavri shared the first 4 wickets. Kapil took 5 wickets including 3 tail-enders. There are probably hunbdreds and hundreds of fourth innings performances comparable to this. Let me add I am not putting down Kapil's performance at all. Ananth: ]]

  • Vinish Garg on August 31, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    As I admitted in my last comment for 4th innings standout batting performances; I will not 'focus' on find what is 'missing'.

    In your list, I would say that 8-45 by Ambrose was carnage and Willis' effort in 1981 test was indeed a lion-hearted effort.

  • P Satish on August 31, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    What about Saqlain's spell in the Chennai test? Granted that he took lower order wickets there but I still think that spell was just as great in turning the game around. [[ Satish 5 for 93 including the last two wickets. Nowhere near to be even short-listed. Wasim took the first three wickets also. Ananth: ]]

    Also, was Whitney's spell that great in the overall context for it to be considered? 3-0 up, a dead rubber, a demoralised opponent, and 400-odd runs to defend. [[ It was only in the spells considered list. Ananth: ]]

  • Pramod MJ on August 31, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    The first two wickets were captured by Pollard.??? pollard?? In indian team??? must be Mankad... [[ Pramod The day i confuse Pollard with Mankad I will close shop. This is the Indian innings we are talking about. Pollard took the first two indian wickets. Please read carefully. Ananth: ]]

  • Yasir Hasan on August 31, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    I remember a memorable performance by Pollock in Faisalabad... Worth a mention here.... [[ Yasir Pretty good match winning perfiormance of 5 for 37. Ananth: ]]

  • Rajesh S on August 31, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    How about Harbhaan's performance against Aus in Kolkota 2001? [[ Rajesh Harbhajan's excellent 6 for 73 is in fact his best performance and is in the top-40 of the Wisden-100. Only thing to remember is that India had a cushion of 380+ runs to defend. The time/overs factor does not get into this. Ananth: ]]

  • Navin Agarwal on August 31, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    Where is Srinath's 6-21 against South Africa in Ahemedabad 1996. South Africa needed 169 to win. South Africa were rocked in first over and were 0-2 after first over. This was fourth innings on so called "turner" and Srinath picked 6-21 to register memorable win for India. [[ Navin No doubt a very good innsspell. However pl remember that it competes with similar and greater innspells over 133 years. Also remember that three of Srinath's 6 wickets are low order wickets. Ananth: ]]

  • Qamar Nawaz on August 31, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    The summer of 1954, i will always remember. Fazal Mehmood, on Pakistan's debut tour was so splendid that it would always be inspirational for Pakistan's young. [[ Fazal was one of the all-time greats. Ananth: ]]

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  • Qamar Nawaz on August 31, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    The summer of 1954, i will always remember. Fazal Mehmood, on Pakistan's debut tour was so splendid that it would always be inspirational for Pakistan's young. [[ Fazal was one of the all-time greats. Ananth: ]]

  • Navin Agarwal on August 31, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    Where is Srinath's 6-21 against South Africa in Ahemedabad 1996. South Africa needed 169 to win. South Africa were rocked in first over and were 0-2 after first over. This was fourth innings on so called "turner" and Srinath picked 6-21 to register memorable win for India. [[ Navin No doubt a very good innsspell. However pl remember that it competes with similar and greater innspells over 133 years. Also remember that three of Srinath's 6 wickets are low order wickets. Ananth: ]]

  • Rajesh S on August 31, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    How about Harbhaan's performance against Aus in Kolkota 2001? [[ Rajesh Harbhajan's excellent 6 for 73 is in fact his best performance and is in the top-40 of the Wisden-100. Only thing to remember is that India had a cushion of 380+ runs to defend. The time/overs factor does not get into this. Ananth: ]]

  • Yasir Hasan on August 31, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    I remember a memorable performance by Pollock in Faisalabad... Worth a mention here.... [[ Yasir Pretty good match winning perfiormance of 5 for 37. Ananth: ]]

  • Pramod MJ on August 31, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    The first two wickets were captured by Pollard.??? pollard?? In indian team??? must be Mankad... [[ Pramod The day i confuse Pollard with Mankad I will close shop. This is the Indian innings we are talking about. Pollard took the first two indian wickets. Please read carefully. Ananth: ]]

  • P Satish on August 31, 2010, 10:37 GMT

    What about Saqlain's spell in the Chennai test? Granted that he took lower order wickets there but I still think that spell was just as great in turning the game around. [[ Satish 5 for 93 including the last two wickets. Nowhere near to be even short-listed. Wasim took the first three wickets also. Ananth: ]]

    Also, was Whitney's spell that great in the overall context for it to be considered? 3-0 up, a dead rubber, a demoralised opponent, and 400-odd runs to defend. [[ It was only in the spells considered list. Ananth: ]]

  • Vinish Garg on August 31, 2010, 11:29 GMT

    As I admitted in my last comment for 4th innings standout batting performances; I will not 'focus' on find what is 'missing'.

    In your list, I would say that 8-45 by Ambrose was carnage and Willis' effort in 1981 test was indeed a lion-hearted effort.

  • K. Shetty on August 31, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    It is surprising not to find the name of Kapil Dev and Dilip Doshi for their fourth innings performance against Austrial somewherein 1981 in Australia. That was the time when there were only radio commentaries. In fact if I recollect correctly Kapil had problem with his knee and had bowled after taking pain killers. [[ Shetty Painkillers do not maketh a performance. Please go through the scorecard before commenting. It was no doubt a memorable win for India. However Doshi and Ghavri shared the first 4 wickets. Kapil took 5 wickets including 3 tail-enders. There are probably hunbdreds and hundreds of fourth innings performances comparable to this. Let me add I am not putting down Kapil's performance at all. Ananth: ]]

  • Alex on August 31, 2010, 11:51 GMT

    Ananth - I suggest 2 honorable mentions:

    1. Holding at the Oval, 1976: (20.4, 6, 57, 6) denied Eng an almost certain draw on a flat wicket with the win target at 430+ in 110+ overs. [[ Alex The target was quite high but this deserves a mention certainly because in the other three innings 1300 runs were scored for 18 wickets. Ananth: ]]

    2. Kapil at the MCG, 1981: (16.4, 4, 28, 5) bundled Aus in 83 needing just 143 to win on a batsman-friendly wicket after Ghavri-Doshi took the first 4 wickets. [[ Pl see my comments to Shetty';s comments. Ananth: ]]

  • Ahmad Saleem on August 31, 2010, 12:00 GMT

    Fazal Mahmood engineered all the early victories of Pakistan. What a player he was. He and Khan Mohammad inspired all the youngsters to become fast bowler and from that point Pakistan have not stopped producing great fast bowlers on such flat tracks. He took 4 12 wickets er against four different test playing nations then and I dont think any other fast bowler has achieved this feat in whole cricketing history [[ And, Saleem, probably earned Rs.100 per Test match played. I will check on your other point. Ananth: ]]