India played out a thrilling draw against New Zealand in the Kanpur Test. India had looked set for a win but the New Zealand’s last-wicket pair of Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel defied the Indian bowling attack for almost 10 overs to earn a draw. India was left disappointed as they could not finish off the match. 

However, it earned Test cricket added fondness with its thrilling draw. Here are a few more Tests that ended up in thrilling draws with 9 wickets down in the fourth innings.

India draw with WI at Kolkata in 1978

India was held to a draw by just a wicket in the first such instance in Indian cricket. Sunil Gavaskar was the star of the match. He first scored 107 in the team’s total of 300 in the first innings. West Indies replied with 327. Gavaskar then cracked 182 not out as India declared second innings at 361/1. After setting a target of 335 runs, West Indies were never in the game and were reduced to 197/9. But the last-wicket pair of Sew Shivnarine (36 not out) and Sylvester Clarke (0 not out) held on for the remaining few overs to earn a draw.

West Indies draw with India at Antigua in 2006

India was denied again by West Indies in 2006 by just a wicket. After India conceded a lead of 130, they bounced back in the second innings with Wasim Jaffer scoring 212 in the team’s total of 521/6 declared, setting a target of 392 runs in just over a day, West Indies had shut shop and were playing out for a draw after captain Brian Lara was dismissed for a duck. But India kept taking wickets and reduced West Indies to 297/9 with just 3 overs to go. The last-wicket pair of Fidel Edwards (1 not out off 36 balls) and Corey Collymore (1 not out off 8 balls) played out the remaining overs to earn a draw.

India draw with WI with the scores level at Mumbai in 2011

It was a dead rubber as India had already won the series 2-0 going into the third Test at Mumbai. After West Indies piled up 590, India responded with 482 to concede a lead of 108 runs. However, India then bowled out West Indies for just 134 in the second innings to set themselves a target of 243 runs in just over two sessions on the last day. 

India looked to be cruising at one stage at 106/2 before West Indies bounced back by taking regular wickets. Eventually, it boiled down to 18 runs in 5 overs with 4 wickets in hand. However, Virat Kohli departed for 63 to leave it to R Ashwin to finish the job. 

Ishant Sharma was soon dismissed to leave the equation to 4 runs in 7 balls. However, the last over saw Varun Aaron taking the strike. Fidel Edwards kept Aaron on strike for the first three balls before Ashwin got to the striker’s end on the fifth ball. 

With 2 needed off 2 balls and 2 wickets in hand, Ashwin survived an LBW appeal on the second last ball. With 2 runs needed off 1 ball, it could be either a draw or India's win. Ashwin hit the last ball straight to long-on, and drew the scores, but reacted late for the winning run, and was eventually run-out, for the match to end on a draw with the scores level, with the fourth innings 9 wickets down.

New Zealand draw with Australia at Hobart in 1997

Shayne O’Connor Test
Shayne O’Connor (Image Credits: CricNation)

In a rain-affected match, New Zealand and Australia made a few sporting declarations of their innings to revive the match rather than it ending in a dull draw. On the last day, Australia declared their second innings at 138/2 to set the Kiwis a target of 288 runs in 61 overs. 

The Kiwis began well, scoring 72 for the opening wicket, but were then reduced to 95/4. Kiwis then shut shop, but the Aussies kept pegging at New Zealand wickets, reducing them to 222/9. The last-wicket pair of Simon Doull (1 not out off 35 balls) and Shayne O’Connor (0 not out off 31 balls) remained undefeated to help New Zealand earn a fighting draw.

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Cover Credits: BCCIofficial