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Narrowly drawn Tests

So close to victory... and yet so far

George Binoy

August 16, 2005

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Brett Lee saw off the final ball to draw a thrilling Test © Getty Images

The third Ashes Test between England and Australia at Old Trafford ended in a draw. But the result remained uncertain until the very last ball was bowled. Few believed that cricket could reproduce the quality that had been on display at Edgbaston where Australia lost by two runs. Those few were rewarded for their faith at Old Trafford where only a single wicket stood between England and victory. It was perhaps the most thrilling draw ever. But it is not alone in the category of nail-biting drawn Tests. Here are some of the other Tests that went down to the wire with cricket emerging as the only winner from the contest.

List of matches when the team batting fourth was nine wickets down

Match Venue/Year Scorecard
Eng v Aus Old Trafford/2005 Scorecard
Eng v SL Galle/2003-04 Scorecard
WI v Zim Harare/2003-03 Scorecard
NZ v Aus Hobart/1997 Scorecard
Pak v WI Trinidad/1988 Scorecard
NZ v Aus Melbourne/1987 Scorecard
WI v Ind Kolkata/1978 Scorecard
WI v Aus Jamaica/1978 Scorecard
WI v Pak Barbados/1977 Scorecard
WI v Aus Adelaide/1969 Scorecard
Eng v WI Guyana/1968 Scorecard
Eng v WI Lord's/1963 Scorecard
Aus v WI Adelaide/1961 Scorecard
Ind v Eng Old Trafford/1946 Scorecard

Then there are instances when the team batting fourth was within touching distance of victory but did not manage to score those vital runs.

List of narrowly-drawn run chases

Match Venue/Date Team/runs to win
Eng v Zim Bulawayo/1996 Scores level
Ind v WI Mumbai/1949 India/5 runs
Eng v WI Lord's/1963 England/5 runs
Aus v Eng Melbourne/1974 Australia/7 runs
Ind v Eng The Oval/1979 India/8 runs

George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo. For the stats, he was assisted by Travis Basevi from the Cricinfo London office

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket
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