Top 6 Cricket Matches for The Ages

Top 6 Cricket Matches for The Ages

Cricket matches for the ages

In almost 150 years of international cricket, many memorable games created tons of on-field and off-field moments for the fans. Here at CricFan, we are talking about a few of them that can be cherished by the fans time and again.

1960 Tied Test  

West Indies travelled to Australia as one of the most popular and strongest cricket teams thanks to their attacking brand of cricket and stars like Garry Sobers, Wes Hall, and their captain Frank Worrell. It was top quality cricket and competitiveness with the first Test of the series at Brisbane ending as the first-ever Tied Test match in history.

Sobers scored an attractive century on Day one and Wes Hall contributed well with a fifty to take West Indies to a score of 453. Alan Davidson picked up five wickets for Australia with his left-arm swing bowling. Australia posted a strong reply of 505 runs with a century from Normal O’Neill and contributions from Bob Simpson and Collin McDonald. Davidson also scored 44. Hall picked up four wickets.

West Indies scored 284 in their second innings and gave Australia a target of 233. Worrell (65) and Rohan Kanhai (54) were their top contributors with the bat. Davidson again claimed six wickets and finished the match with 11-222. Australia lost regular wickets till Davidson joined the captain Richie Benaud and added 134 runs in partnership. At 226/6 Australia were almost home, but once Davidson was dismissed, West Indies made a strong comeback. In the last over of the match, Hall dismissed Benaud for 52 and both Wally Grout and Ian Meckiff were run out thanks to some brilliant fielding. With Meckiff’s dismissal, trying to steal the winning run, the Test match turned into a special one as both teams ended with the same score over the two innings, and the match ended in a Tie.

1983 World Cup Final

The final of the 1983 World Cup was a thrilling encounter that also eventually changed the landscape of cricket forever. The triumph in the 1983 World Cup helped increase the popularity of cricket in India and gradually established them as the power centre of the modern game.

It was also one of the biggest upsets ever in any sporting event of such importance. India were among one of the most unfancied teams in the tournament. Still, thanks to some memorable performances they set up a final encounter against West Indies, looking to record a hat-trick of World Cup wins.

On the day India’s batting performance was not good. The great Sunil Gavaskar could score only 2. Opener Krish Srikkanth top scored with 38 with small contributions from most of the batters including 27 from Sandeep Patil, 26 from Mohinder Amarnath, and even 14 and 11 runs from Syed Kirmani and Balwinder Sandhu respectively at number 10 and 11. Eventually, they were bowled out for a paltry 183 as Andy Roberts claimed 3-32.

Most thought it would be a cakewalk for the West Indies, but Sandhu provided the dream start by dismissing Gordon Greenidge for just 1. Indians bowled tightly and despite an attacking 33 from the great Viv Richards, the Indians chipped in with regular wickets to eventually bowled them out for just 140 runs. Madan Lal picked up three wickets conceding 31 and Amarnath was the Man-of-the-Match for his 3-12 along with 26 runs during batting.

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1999 World Cup Semi-final at Edgbaston

The 1999 World Cup Semi-final between Australia and South Africa is considered the greatest One Day International encounters ever played.

South Africa grabbed the early advantage as Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock, and Jack Kallis took early wickets to put Australia in a spot of bother at 68/4. But fifties from Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan stabilized the innings before Pollock came back to break the partnership and eventually finished with 5-36 and the Australians were all out for 213.

The South Africans started the chase confidently. But the magic of Shane Warne brought a mini collapse as South Africa crumbled from 48 for no loss to 61 for the loss of four wickets in no time. Recovery from Kallis and Jonty Rhodes took them to 145. The last 10 overs were full of drama as the wickets kept falling. Lance Klusener tried his best to take them home. The last over started with two boundaries from Klusener but, there were a terrible mix-up between him and the last man Donald, resulting in Donald being run out with scores tied and Australia progressing to the final.

2001 Eden Gardens Test Match

This was just another rare instance when a relatively unfancied team beat a group of world-beaters. Australia were the 1999 Cricket World Cup champions and came to India after winning 16 Test matches at the trot. Their winning streak remained untouched after they beat India in the Mumbai Test by 10 wickets.

The Australians started their innings confidently and despite a Harbhajan Singh hat-trick, the first by an Indian in Test cricket, posted a score of 445. Steve Waugh top scored with 110 and there were contributions from Matthew Hayden (97) and Justin Langer (58). For India, Harbhajan finished with 7-123. The Indian first innings in response was a mess. The collapse started from the second over and the hosts ended Day 2 with the score on 128/8. Some resistance from VVS Laxman saw him scoring 59 runs before the Indians were bowled out for 171.

Waugh asked the Indians to follow on and slowly the tide of the match started to turn. Eventually, the most memorable partnership was stitched between VVS Laxman (281) and Rahul Dravid (180) as the duo batted the entire third day adding 335 runs together without losing a wicket.

India declared on fifth day morning after scoring 657/7. This put pressure on the mighty Australians who eventually collapsed post Tea to lose their last seven wickets for just 46 runs. Harbhajan picked up 6-73 and Sachin Tendulkar showed his magic with the ball to claim 3-31. The fairytale climax motivated India to go and win the third Test at Chennai to seal the series 2-1.

2006 South Africa vs Australia ODI

This is one of the highest-scoring ODI matches ever at a high-scoring venue. In the final match of a 5-match series, Australia batted first at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg and started quickly. Both openers scored fifties and Australia reached 216/2 in the 31st over when Michael Hussey joined Ricky Ponting. The duo added 158 runs in less than 16 overs and propelled Australia to a total of 434.

Ponting scored 164 off 105 and Hussey contributed with 81 off 51 deliveries. South Africa responded aggressively as the captain Graeme Smith and number three batter Herschelle Gibbs took them to 190 before Smith was dismissed for 90 in the 23rd over. Gibbes kept hitting and his 175 off 111 deliveries ensured South Africa was always in the hunt. South Africa lost a few quick wickets but a boundary by Mark Boucher in the final ball took them to 438 and record an unbelievable 1-wicket victory.

2019 ODI World Cup Final

The fifth entry in the list is the ODI World Cup final between hosts England and New Zealand which ended in a Tie. Like any final, it was a cozy affair with New Zealand batting first and posting 241/8. Most of the runs came from opener Henry Nicholls (55), wicket-keeper Tom Latham (47, and captain Kane Williamson (30). For England, Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett picked up three wickets each.

The England chase was led by Ben Stokes who remained unbeaten on 84 with Jos Buttler scoring a 60-ball 59. A host of late wickets derailed the chase but thanks to a controversial overthrow when the ball hit the batter Stokes, England were very close to victory. However, two run-outs in the last two balls resulted in England getting all out for 241 and the match was tied.

The one-over eliminator was played and again a run out of Martin Guptill by Buttler in the last ball resulted in the Super Overs also ending in a Tie. Eventually, England were announced as the World Champions for hitting more boundaries than the Kiwis and lifted their first ODI World Cup.

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