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Bangladesh v West Indies

The five highest successful run chases in Test history

Yas Rana by Yas Rana
@Yas_Wisden 3 minute read

A masterclass from debutant Kyle Mayers helped West Indies secure the fifth-highest run chase in the history of Test cricket. Here is a look at the format’s five highest run chases.

418-7: West Indies v Australia, Antigua, 2003

Against Steve Waugh’s Australia, a West Indies side in flux pulled off a remarkable heist at Antigua in recording Test cricket’s highest ever successful run chase.

After falling to 74-3, a half-century from Brian Lara and a hundred from Ramnaresh Sarwan brought the hosts back into the game. Lara fell with over 250 still required and when Sarwan was dismissed for 105, Ridley Jacobs was snared for a golden duck the following delivery.
But a valiant, uncharacteristically fluent hundred from Shivnarine Chanderpaul ensured that the momentum stayed with West Indies. After Chanderpaul fell for 104, West Indies still required 38 with three wickets remaining. Eventually, they were taken home by the unlikely pair of Omari Banks (47*) and Vasbert Drakes (27*) as West Indies pulled off a famous victory.

414-4: South Africa v Australia, Perth, 2008

Another mammoth chase accomplished against the great Australia side of the 2000s, this time under the captaincy of Ricky Ponting.

Aside from the early loss of Neil McKenzie for 10, South Africa made a near world record chase look like a formality at Perth. Hundreds from Graeme Smith and Ab de Villiers and half-centuries from Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and JP Duminy ensured that the tourists secured a victory that, in the end, looked reasonably comfortable. The South African batsmen looked to attack inexperienced Australia off-spinner Jason Krejza, whose wicketless 24-over spell cost his side over four runs an over.

406-4: India v West Indies, Trinidad, 1976

A chase that held the world record for over 27 years, and like the South Africa’s effort in 2008, was one that was achieved with relative ease. Chasing 406, an India side captained by Bishan Bedi actually only lost two wickets to West Indian bowlers – both to Raphick Jumadeen – with the other two dismissals coming through run outs. A hundred from Sunil Gavaskar at the top of the order laid the platform for the chase before Mohinder Amarnath (85), Gundappa Viswanath (112) and Brijesh Patel (49*) took their side home.

404-3: Australia v England, Leeds, 1948

Bradman’s last great knock in his penultimate Test appearance. Another chase on this list, that remarkably, was achieved with a reasonable degree of comfort, though Australia did have to score the runs in just under six hours. The bulk of the work was undertaken by Arthur Morris (182) and Bradman (173*) as Australia secured an unassailable 3-0 series lead. Bradman scored his runs in a little over four hours in front of a record Headingley crowd. He would never score another run in Test cricket.

395-7: West Indies v Bangladesh, Chattogram, 2021

Possibly the most unlikely chase of the lot. A depleted West Indies side missing a host of senior players, looked dead and buried after falling to 59-3 late on the penultimate day. The third West Indies wicket brought debutants Kyle Mayers and Nkrumah Bonner to the crease together, two batsmen with first-class averages below 28.

Against the dangerous Bangladesh spin triumvirate of Mehedi Hasan, Taijul Islam and Nayeem Hasan, as well as the pace of Mustafizur Rahman, the pair put on a scarcely believable 216 for the fourth wicket. Still though, when Bonner departed for 86 not only did Bangladesh still have a sniff, but West Indies were facing a race against the clock to score their runs before the close. Step up Mayers, who upped the ante, and passed three figures and even reached a double century as he took his side home to win by three wickets. Mayers has a reasonable claim for the greatest performance on Test debut of all time.

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