No. 2

A Test is tied

Hall, Meckiff, Kline, Solomon. It all came down to one ball.

Mike Coward

December 21, 2008

Text size: A | A

The freeze frame that captures the climax of one of the greatest Tests ever © Cricinfo Ltd

Brisbane, 14 December, 1960

A famous conversation embodying the much-vaunted spirit of Australian cricket took place at the Gabba during the tea adjournment on the final day of the first Australia-West Indies Test match on December 14, 1960.

Seeking 233 runs at a rate of about 45 an hour for victory Australia had been poleaxed by the monolithic Wes Hall, and were stumbling at 109 for 6, with about 120 minutes to go.

As was his habit, Sir Donald Bradman, the chairman of selectors, made his way to the rooms for a cup of tea. Looking straight at Richie Benaud, Australia's captain, he said: "What's it going to be?"

"Well, we're going for a win," replied Benaud.

"I'm very pleased to hear it," replied Sir Donald.

After assisting the great allrounder Alan Davidson in putting on 134 for the seventh wicket, Benaud, having counselled his partner against taking any unnecessary risks running between wickets, promptly committed himself to an impossible single and was run out.

The final over by the indomitable, charismatic Hall has claims to being the most fantastic ever bowled in Test cricket. Australia, now in pursuit of six runs, lost three wickets in seven deliveries. While there was a succession of defining moments, it was the seventh delivery that has become such a part of the rich lore of the game.

With the scores tied, Ian Meckiff tremulously waited for Hall. Meckiff received a ball pitched in line with middle and leg, and played it towards square leg and ran. Joe Solomon moved swiftly to make a clean interception, and with just one stump to aim at threw down the wicket. After 83 years, a tied Test.

Mike Coward is a cricket writer with the Australian

RSS Feeds: Mike Coward

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Email Feedback Print
Mike CowardClose

'Smith's record in India is an aberration'

Modern Masters: Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Manjrekar discuss Graeme Smith's terrific record in different conditions

    A hole in England's bucket

Jarrod Kimber: Overworked bowlers, poor selection, and plenty of business jargon - England's cup of woe is full

    England don't need a visible coach

Martin Crowe: The team now consists of two halves: a burnt-out one and a fresh one

    'The guy you want to go to war with'

My XI: Martin Crowe on the gritty approach that turned Allan Border into a run-machine

Battling the fear of defeat

Samir Chopra: A fourth-innings chase can be brutally unforgiving; every wicket can lead to acute anxiety

News | Features Last 7 days

Ridiculed Ishant ridicules England

Ishant Sharma has often been the butt of jokes, and sometimes deservedly so. Today, however, the joke was on England

Vijay rediscovers the old Monk

The leave outside off stump has been critical to M Vijay's success since his India comeback last year. Contrary to popular opinion, such patience and self-denial comes naturally to him

England seem to have forgotten about personality

They have to see a glass that is half-full, and play the game as if it is just that, a game; and an opportunity

Ishant's fourth-innings heroics in rare company

In India's win at Lord's, Ishant Sharma took the best bowling figures by an Indian in the fourth innings of a Test outside Asia. Here are five other best bowling efforts by Indians in the fourth innings of Tests outside Asia

Another battle, another defeat on Planet Al

Alastair Cook has got used to feeling of the axe hanging over him. Only his team-mates can save England now

News | Features Last 7 days