West Indies posted a thrilling one-wicket win over Pakistan at Kingston Test recently. West Indies were down and out, but thanks to their resolute lower-order batting, the Caribbean players managed to eke out a wicket win to send their fans into a frenzy.
15 Tests – Test cricket has seen 15 matches being decided by just a wicket. Australia has featured in 7 of them – the most by any team.
6 losses - Australia has suffered the most Test losses by just a wicket. Three of those losses came against England, and one each against West Indies, India, and Pakistan. They have won one match by a wicket against West Indies at Melbourne in 1951.
4 wins - England has posted the most Test victories (4) by just a wicket. Three of those wins have come against Australia and the fourth against South Africa. The most recent win by England over Australia by just a wicket was in 2019 at Leeds when Ben Stokes made 135 not out to seal the win.
3 wins - West Indies is second with most Test wins by just a wicket. Two of them came against Pakistan, and one against Australia.
** Only Bangladesh, among the 9 Test-playing nations, has not won a Test match by a wicket. But they have been part of it when they lost to Pakistan by a wicket at Multan in 2003.
Melbourne- has seen two Tests won by just a wicket – the most by any ground. It saw England defeat Australia by a wicket in 1908. Later in 1951, Australia defeated West Indies by a wicket at Melbourne.
Since the first Test was won by a wicket in 1902 till the end of the 20th century, there were a total of 8 Tests won by 1 wicket in about 100 years. But since the turn of the century, there have been already 7 Tests won by a wicket in just 21 years. It shows how Test cricket has evolved into more result-oriented games thanks to attacking cricket brought in by the advent of T20 cricket.
7 centurions - There were 7 centurions in the fourth innings of the 15 Tests won by 1 wicket. It includes 2 Englishmen, 2 Sri Lankans, one West Indian, 1 Pakistan player, and 1 Australian.
Kusal Perera's 153 not out against SA in 2019
4 cricketers – 4 batsmen remained not out on tons when they took the team across the finish line in the fourth innings of 15 Tests won by just a wicket. It includes one Englishman, 1 Sri Lankan, 1 Pakistan player, and 1 West Indian.
3 left-handed batsmen - Of these four batsmen to have guided their team to a 1-wicket win with an unbeaten ton, 3 of them are left-handed batsmen. They are Brian Lara of WI, Kusal Perera of Sri Lanka, and Ben Stokes of England. The only right-handed batsman to remain not out on a ton and guided his team to a one-wicket win is Inzamam-ul-Haq of Pakistan.
List of centurions in the fourth innings of Tests won by a wicket
|Gilbert Jessop||England||Australia||104||The Oval||1902|
|Lindsay Hassett||Australia||West Indies||102||Melbourne||1952|
|Brian Lara||West Indies||Australia||153*||Bridgetown||1999|
|Mahela Jayawardene||Sri Lanka||South Africa||123||Colombo||2006|
|Kusal Perera||Sri Lanka||South Africa||153*||Durban||2019|
Brian Lara's 153 not out against Australia in 1999
The innings by West Indies legend Brian Lara still stands to be one of the best innings while chasing in the longest format. The same match that witnessed the Aussie skipper Steve Waugh being dismissed for 199. With 8 wickets down for 248, the Windies tailenders Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh showed great determination to face 44 balls between them, while the batting maestro Lara ensured he did the scoring and helped Windies register a win that is still cherished by cricket enthusiasts.
Cover image courtesy: ICC Facebook page