The independent voice of cricket

England v West Indies

The nine Test wins after conceding first innings deficits of over 100 since 2010

Yas Rana by Yas Rana
@Yas_Wisden 4 minute read

With England seeking to overturn a first-innings deficit of 116 against West Indies at the Ageas Bowl, Yas Rana looks at the nine times a team has managed to turn 100-plus first innings deficits into victories since 2010.

Australia v Pakistan, Sydney, 2010

The largest deficit overturned on this list. After a Mohammad Asif six-for helped Pakistan run through Australia for just 127 on the first day, Pakistan battled hard to record a healthy first innings lead of 202. Then it all went horribly wrong for Pakistan. Michael Hussey was dropped three times by Kamran Akmal on his way to a match-changing hundred that gave Australia an outside shot of victory, leaving Pakistan 176 to win the Test in the fourth innings – a target they fell 36 runs short of.

South Africa v Australia, Cape Town, 2011

A turnaround that featured one of the all time great Test debuts. Bundled out for 96 in their first innings in reply to Australia’s 284, South Africa skittled the tourists out for just 47 second time round with Vernon Philander, on debut, taking 5-15. South Africa chased down 236 with ease, losing just two wickets as quick centuries from Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla settled the contest.

England v Sri Lanka, Leeds, 2014

A Test that ended with James Anderson in tears started well enough for England. Sam Robson’s only Test hundred had given England a 135-run first innings lead and even after second innings half-centuries from Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, the hosts looked well placed to force home a series-sealing victory. It wasn’t to be though as Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath put on 149 for the eighth wicket to leave England needing an unlikely 350 to win or, more realistically, just over a day to bat out for a draw. They came agonisingly close – within two balls – of escaping with a stalemate before Anderson fended a short ball to Herath at backward square-leg.

New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Wellington, 2015

A then-world record sixth-wicket stand between Kane Williamson and BJ Watling in New Zealand’s second innings trumped an extraordinary Sangakkara’s first innings double-century – he scored 203 in a total of 356 – as the Blackcaps successfully overturned a 135-run deficit at Christchurch. A Mark Craig four-for on the final day helped New Zealand complete an impressive turnaround.

England v New Zealand, Lord’s, 2015

Ben Stokes’ first contribution on this list. After a torrid 2014 with the bat in international cricket, Stokes was yet to establish himself as a top-six batsman of international quality at the start of the 2015 home summer. The Durham man put in a world class all-round performance, scoring 92 after coming to the crease with England 30-4 on the first morning, blitzing a hundred second time round and taking the key wickets of Kane Williamson and Brendon McCullum in consecutive balls in the New Zealand run chase.

Sri Lanka v India, Galle, 2015

A rare India defeat in Asia. Centuries from Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli looked to have put India on course towards a straightforward win before a Dinesh Chandimal masterclass catapulted Sri Lanka back into the contest. Still though, India, needing just 176 to win, would have been confident ahead of their run chase. Herath proceeded to take 7-48 as Sri Lanka registered a famous victory.

England v Pakistan, Birmingham, 2016

A first innings deficit of 103 was immediately eradicated by a century opening stand between Alastair Cook and Alex Hales, which is still England’s most recent opening partnership worth over 100 at home. That stand and lower-order contributions from Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali set-up an England victory that was ultimately relatively comfortable.

England v Ireland, Lord’s, 2019

Days after lifting the World Cup at the Home of Cricket, England were 85 all out at the very same ground against Ireland. England’s comeback was kickstarted by Jack Leach’s 92 as a nightwatchman but later stuttered after a customary England middle-order collapse. Ireland need 182 to secure their first victory in Test cricket but they were blown away in a new ball burst from Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes, who combined to bowl Ireland out for just 38.

England v Australia, Leeds, 2019

Archer’s first innings six-for, 67 all out, Stokes’ mammoth spell, Stokes’ heroics, Leach’s one – you know how it goes.

Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99