The independent voice of cricket


Watch: Allan Lamb smashes 16 in four balls, seals famous England heist over Australia

Allan Lamb Bruce Reid 18 runs
by Abhishek Mukherjee 3 minute read

Watch: England needed 18 off the last over, bowled by Bruce Reid, in an ODI at the Sydney Cricket Ground in England’s Golden Australian Summer of 1986/87. Allan Lamb sealed the matter in five balls.

Australia had scored 233-8 in the Benson & Hedges World Series Cup league match, largely due to an opening partnership between Geoff Marsh (44) and Dirk Wellham (97) even as John Emburey claimed 3-42.

In response, Simon O’Donnell (3-39) restricted England to 216-7 after 49 overs despite Chris Broad’s 45 and David Gower’s 50. On strike was Lamb (59 in 97 balls) and Phil DeFreitas (6 in 6).


Allan Border entrusted Reid with the last over. It was a reasonable choice, for Reid had 9-3-26-1 until that point in the match and an ODI economy rate of 4.21 until the match. He would finish his career with 4.06 across 61 ODIs.

As Reid stepped in, Lamb, about a foot shorter than Reid, stepped out and played an inside-out stroke to deep extra-cover. The batters ran, hesitated, then sprinted for the logical second run – though they were helped by Wellham’s wayward throw. 16 from 5.

Lamb then hit the next ball past square-leg for only his second four of the innings. 12 from 4.

Reid pitched the next ball up. Lamb stepped out and hoicked it over mid-wicket for six. 6 from 3.

Lamb hit the next ball to deep extra-cover. Once again Wellham fielded it. This time Wellham restricted the batters to a single – at least he did his best to. Reid failed to gather the ball, and the batters sprinted for another run. 4 from 2, but more importantly, Lamb was back on strike.

Reid pitched up again, and Lamb flicked the ball through mid-wicket. He had placed it with geometric precision, beyond the scope of the fielder who ran to his left from deep mid-wicket. There was little doubt over who the Player of the Match would be, after that.

The win eventually helped England pip the West Indies, secure second place, and reach the best-of-three finals. They won that 2-0. That summer, they also retained the Ashes and won the four-nation Perth Challenge Cup.

Watch Allan Lamb’s heist off Bruce Reid here:

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