62 not out v England, Melbourne, 1982-83
In one of the most memorable Tests
of all time, Border nearly delivers Australia victory. Needing 292 to win, Australia are 9 for 218 when Border and Thomson embark on a last-wicket partnership of epic proportions. They leave 37 runs to be found on the last morning. Although the match can be over within moments, 18,000 spectators go to the MCG to see that Thomson is rarely in trouble, and Border never. When Australia are within four runs of victory, Thomson edges Ian Botham. Of the 70-run stand, Thomson manages only 21, and in a display of grit we would soon grow familiar with, Botham finishes unbeaten.
98 not out and 100 not out v West Indies, Port-of-Spain, 1983-84
Border stands between Australia and defeat against an attack led by Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall at Queen's Park Oval
. He bats 5 hours 49 minutes in the first innings, and another four and three-quarter hours in the second, offering not a single chance. The last 160 minutes of those come in company of Nos 10 and 11, Rodney Hogg and Terry Alderman, to salvage the draw. Twice Border resurrects Australia from 50 for 4 and 41 for 3. The second-innings effort comes after they have fallen behind by 213 and have to bat out over an hour of the fourth day and all of the fifth. Off the last ball of the match, he completes what is left unfinished in the first innings, a century.
196 and 41 not out v England, Lord's, 1985
This is Border's match
. He scores 43% of his side's runs, and leads them superbly to maintain Australia's unbeaten run at Lord's. His 196 in the first innings, helping Australia recover from 24 for 2 and 101 for 4, is his highest Test score, and he displays a command and range of shot that few contemporaries can equal. The only time he seems at all disconcerted in the match is when, with 10 required for the win, a statement is read out asking spectators not to run on to the pitch at the finish. True to style, he sees Australia through, after they are 65 for 5 in a chase of 127.
8 and 146 v England, Old Trafford, 1985
England made all the running in this match
, but Border organises a prolonged defensive effort on a sluggish pitch to come out with a draw. After a first-innings batting failure, and having fallen behind by 225, Australia are in again by noon on the fourth day. England spinners prise out four batsmen by close, and Border concedes that a last day of rain would not go amiss. He is accommodated: only three overs can be bowled before lunch, and he makes the most of that reprieve, batting for 5 hours 43 minutes, giving England no further hope.
11 and 163 v India, Melbourne, 1985-86
Another of Border's heroic efforts to save a Test
. The pitch is turning enough for Australia to lodge a protest, having fallen behind by 183 on first innings, with almost two days to go. That they are not beaten on the fourth day is down to Border's skill in playing spin, and his fortitude. By close he has batted for 228 minutes, but Australia are 8 for 228. India are reluctant to attack him - despite forecast of rain, and he puts together a 115-minute partnership with No. 11 Dave Gilbert, scoring 65 out of 80 on the last morning. Still, with two sessions to go and only 126 to get, India are only 2 for 59 when whether intervenes at tea.
7 for 46 and 75; 4 for 50 and 16 not out, v West Indies, Sydney, 1988-89
On a bare and slow pitch expected to become a raging turner, West Indies are 1 for 144 and the game
is slipping out of Australia who will have to bat last. Border, who has never taken more than four wickets in a first-class innings, then embarks on an all-round performance seldom surpassed by any captain, destroying West Indies with 7 for 46, including the wickets of Richardson, Richards, Hooper, Logie and Harper. His fourth-wicket partnership of 170 with centurion Boon gives Australia a big lead, but his bowling is further called upon to keep Haynes down to 143 in the second innings, and the target to 80. Fittingly enough, Border hits the winning runs.
200 not out v England, Headingley, 1993
On a pitch not to England's liking, Australia lead in this match
all through. Border walks in at 216 for 3, and adds a cold-blooded 105 with Boon, already set by then. His first double-hundred in England is always intended to be psychologically brutal. He is not building an unassailable total so much as grinding down the will to resist. In the course of an innings lasting 569 minutes he equalls Sobers' total of 26 Test centuries - only Gavaskar and Bradman have more - and shares an unbroken stand of 332 with Steve Waugh. England simply shrink in awe from a total of 653 for four, conceding the Ashes with the innings defeat.