Imagine playing a Test match for five days and it ends up being a tie. The possibility of such an occurrence is as rare as it sounds. This day, twenty years ago, it happened for the second time in the history of cricket when India was up against Australia.
The match, played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, saw Aussies batting first after winning the toss. Opener David Boon and captain Allan Border went on to score centuries for the team. The highest score of the innings came from Dean Jones who scored 210. Due to hot and humid conditions, Jones had to be hospitalised. Australia went on to score 574-7 and declared the innings.
In reply, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, Mohammad Azharuddin and Ravi Shastri all got starts but lost their wickets after scoring half-centuries. Skipper Kapil Dev top scored with 119 while Aussie off-spinner Greg Matthews took 5-103. India were all out for 397, trailing by 177 runs.
Boon top scored with 49 runs as Australia posted 170-5. Chasing a target of 348 runs in the last innings, Sunil Gavaskar started strong for India. Along with Gavaskar’s 90, the top order pitched in and India was cruising with 291-5 on board. With just 57 runs needed, it seemed Ravi Shastri and Chandrakant Pandit had got it all figured. Pandit was cleaned up by Matthews and the tailenders collapsed one after the other.
The last over of the game and India needed four runs to win from six balls. Shastri took a double on the second ball and India needed only two more runs to win. On the third delivery, Shastri played it safe and took a single. The score was tied. The onus was on Maninder Singh to take India home. After defending the fourth ball, Singh was struck on his back leg and was adjudged leg before wicket by umpire V Vikramraju.
Kapil Dev and Dean Jones were the joint Men of the Match. Interestingly, there have been few instances in Test cricket where the scores have been equal by the time the Test was over. However, in order for them to be classified as a tie and not a draw, the batting team needs to be bowled out.
- (Video Courtesy: Facebook/Indian Cricket Team)