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England's 319-run win sets new record

Teams that won by the largest run and wicket margins after conceding a first-innings lead

Travis Basevi and George Binoy

August 3, 2011

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Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan lead the victorious England side off the field, England v India, 2nd Test, Trent Bridge, 4th day, August 1, 2011
England's 319-run victory was the largest for a team that conceded a first-innings lead © Getty Images

A team winning a Test after trailing in the first innings, like Andrew Strauss's side did at Trent Bridge, is not an uncommon occurrence. It's happened 194 times. England's 319-run annihilation of India in Nottingham, however, was the largest such victory in terms of runs. In their honour, this week's column is on teams that won Tests by the biggest run and wicket margins after conceding a first-innings lead.

The mark Strauss's team bettered had been set in 1926, by Percy Chapman's England. Chapman was leading England for the first time, in a timeless Test at The Oval, the fifth and final one of the Ashes level at 0-0. England were dismissed for 280 in the first innings, after which Australia took a lead of 22. Australia had been 122 for 6 at one stage but the lower order rallied. When England resumed their second innings on 49 for 0 on the third day, overnight rain had made for hard batting conditions. Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe, however, scored centuries that set Australia a target of 415. Harold Larwood and the 49-year old Wilfred Rhodes then took seven wickets between then to shoot out Australia for 125.

Five of India's largest victories after conceding a first-innings lead appear in our table and four of them were against Australia, the other against West Indies. The first win was at Kanpur's Green Park in 1959, when India wiped out a deficit of 67, set Richie Benaud's team a target of 225 and then bowled them out for 105. It was India's maiden Test victory against Australia. Twenty years later, India beat Australia again in Kanpur, by 153 runs, after conceding a first-innings lead of 33.

The next took nearly another 20 years, occurring in Chennai in 1998. Trailing by 71 in the first innings, Sachin Tendulkar's unbeaten 155 led India to 418 for 4 and they declared on the fourth evening, setting Australia a target of 348 in a little more than a day. India's spin trio - Anil Kumble, Venkatapathy Raju and Rajesh Chauhan - took nine wickets among them to bowl Australia out for 168. Three years later, at Eden Gardens in 2001, India famously wiped out a deficit of 274 during the follow-on, set Australia 384 and bowled them out for 212.

Before the Trent Bridge thrashing, India's two largest defeats after taking a first-innings lead were also against Australia. In Chennai in 1964, India were beaten by 139 runs by Bob Simpson's team after they had led by 65 in the first innings. The second instance - a 122-run defeat after India were 69 ahead - occurred in the controversy-ridden SCG Test in 2008.

Largest wins by runs after conceding a first-innings lead
Team Margin Opposition 1st inns lead 3rd inns 4th inns Ground Start date Scorecard
England 319 runs v India -67 544 158 Nottingham Jul 29, 2011 Test 2001
England 289 runs v Australia -22 436 125 The Oval Aug 14, 1926 Test 167
Australia 245 runs v England -78 506 183 Adelaide Jan 10, 1908 Test 98
South Africa 233 runs v Australia -126 620 261 Johannesburg Dec 23, 1966 Test 611
England 225 runs v Australia -1 452/9d 226 Sydney Jan 2, 2003 Test 1636
South Africa 224 runs v England -20 500 256 Leeds Jul 21, 1955 Test 411
England 213 runs v Australia -25 426/5d 188 Nottingham May 29, 1905 Test 83
England 210 runs v South Africa -85 330 35 Cape Town Apr 1, 1899 Test 59
West Indies 204 runs v Pakistan -13 382 165 Port of Spain Apr 16, 1993 Test 1220
Sri Lanka 201 runs v Pakistan -21 438 216 Faisalabad Oct 20, 2004 Test 1716
Australia 197 runs v Sri Lanka -161 512/8d 154 Galle Mar 8, 2004 Test 1685
Pakistan 186 runs v West Indies -89 328 53 Faisalabad Oct 24, 1986 Test 1055
India 179 runs v Australia -71 418/4d 168 Chennai Mar 6, 1998 Test 1405
Australia 176 runs v New Zealand -33 511/8d 302 Hamilton Mar 27, 2010 Test 1957
India 171 runs v Australia -274 657/7d 212 Kolkata Mar 11, 2001 Test 1535
Australia 169 runs v South Africa -160 554 225 Melbourne Dec 31, 1931 Test 214
South Africa 168 runs v England -34 420 218 Johannesburg Dec 23, 1922 Test 148
England 167 runs v West Indies -46 425/8d 212 Port of Spain Feb 1, 1930 Test 189
England 167 runs v Pakistan -23 345 155 Leeds Aug 4, 2006 Test 1813
Pakistan 161 runs v New Zealand -78 434 195 Christchurch Dec 8, 1995 Test 1316

Only twice has a team, after conceding a first-innings lead, chased a target and won by ten wickets. Australia did it at Bourda, Guyana, in 1973. After skittling West Indies for 109 in their second innings, Australia were chasing only 135. The openers Keith Stackpole and Ian Redpath finished the job in 43 overs. Australia did it again, during the Ashes Test at the Gabba in 1990. No team had made more than 200 in the first three innings. England were dismissed for 194 and 114, Australia for 152. While chasing a target of 157, however, Australia did not lose a wicket, with openers Mark Taylor and Geoff Marsh securing the victory on the third day.

Two teams have lost Tests after declaring both their innings in the match, and they both appear in the following table. Gary Sobers was the first captain to do so. West Indies had ended their first innings on 526 for 7 against England at Port of Spain in 1968, and after taking a lead of 122, they declared their second on 92 for 2. England were left with a target of 215 and they achieved it in 52.4 overs with seven wickets in hand. Graeme Smith was the second captain. He declared both of South Africa's innings in Ricky Ponting's 100th Test, setting Australia a target of 287 in 76 overs. Ponting's unbeaten 143 off 159 balls, his second century of the match, ensured Australia needed only 60.3 overs.

Largest wins by wickets after conceding a first-innings lead
Team Margin Opposition 1st inns lead 3rd inns 4th inns Ground Start date Scorecard
Australia 10 wickets v West Indies -25 109 135/0 Georgetown Apr 6, 1973 Test 720
Australia 10 wickets v England -42 114 157/0 Brisbane Nov 23, 1990 Test 1155
England 9 wickets v India -13 93 108/1 Lord's Jun 27, 1936 Test 252
West Indies 9 wickets v England -41 300/9d 344/1 Lord's Jun 28, 1984 Test 990
Pakistan 9 wickets v Bangladesh -66 96 165/1 Peshawar Aug 27, 2003 Test 1657
Australia 9 wickets v New Zealand -1 131 135/1 Christchurch Mar 10, 2005 Test 1739
West Indies 8 wickets v England -29 223 255/2 The Oval Aug 22, 1963 Test 547
New Zealand 8 wickets v Australia -56 103 160/2 Auckland Mar 13, 1986 Test 1040
West Indies 8 wickets v England -22 202 226/2 The Oval Aug 4, 1988 Test 1102
Australia 8 wickets v England -46 150 197/2 Melbourne Dec 26, 1990 Test 1159
England 8 wickets v South Africa -28 175 205/2 The Oval Aug 18, 1994 Test 1266
Australia 8 wickets v India -24 169 195/2 Bangalore Mar 25, 1998 Test 1413
England 8 wickets v South Africa -38 208 247/2 Nottingham Jul 23, 1998 Test 1421
Australia 8 wickets v South Africa -92 194/6d 288/2 Sydney Jan 2, 2006 Test 1780
Pakistan 8 wickets v Sri Lanka -109 73 183/2 Kandy Apr 3, 2006 Test 1796

Travis Basevi is a cricket statistician and UK Senior Programmer for Cricinfo and other ESPN sports websites. George Binoy is an Assistant Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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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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