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One wicket was all India needed!

Rajneesh Gupta flips the history books to find similar Test matches which hung by the skin of the teeth.

india Updated: Jul 22, 2006 15:34 IST

St John’s Test will always go down in the cricket history as one of the most memorable Test matches.

Chasing a fourth innings victory target of 392, all seemed lost for West Indies when they lost their ninth wicket with 19 balls still to be bowled in the match.

But the last wicket pair of Fidel Edwards and Corey Collymore somehow held fort and West Indies escaped with a draw.

This provided only the 15th instance in Test cricket when a match ended in draw with fielding side needing only one wicket to win.

The first such instance was seen in 1946, when Indian last-wicket pair of Sohoni and Hindlekar stayed together at Manchester for final 13 minutes to deny England a victory that would have given the hosts a 2-0 lead in the series.

India have since been involved in two more such instances including the one at St. John’s. Both times the opponents were West Indies and both times India were at the wrong end of the scale.
 
West Indies seem to be master in snatching a draw from the jaws of defeat. On no less than five occasions West Indies last pair has denied opposition a sure victory.

Fidel Edwards, by his effort at St. John’s, became the first player to survive such matches on two occasions.

He was also there at the crease with wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs at Harare in 2003-04 saving West Indies from a disgraceful defeat against hosts Zimbabwe.

The accompanying table lists all instances of a Test ending in a draw with fielding side needing just one wicket to win.

Score

Target

Batting

Fielding

Venue

Season

152-9

278

India

England

Manchester

1946

273-9

460

Australia

West Indies

Adelaide

1960-61

228-9

234

England

West Indies

Lord's

1963

206-9

308

England

West Indies

Georgetown

1967-68

339-9

360

Australia

West Indies

Adelaide

1968-69

251-9

306

West Indies

Pakistan

Bridgetown

1976-77

258-9

369

West Indies

Australia

Kingston

1977-78

197-9

335

West Indies

India

Kolkata

1978-79

230-9

247

Australia

New Zealand

Melbourne

1987-88

341-9

372

Pakistan

West Indies

Port of Spain

1987-88

223-9

288

New Zealand

Australia

Hobart

1997-98

207-9

373

West Indies

Zimbabwe

Harare

2003-04

210-9

323

England

Sri Lanka

Galle

2003-04

371-9

423

Australia

England

Manchester

2005

298-9

392

West Indies

India

St John's

2006

The following table lists the matches drawn as the batting side just failed to achieve the fourth innings winning target. The first entry in this table is an intriguing one.

It was for the first time in Test history that two teams tied on the scores, but the match ended as a draw not as a tie since England had not lost all their wickets.

Difference

Batting

Target

Score

Fielding

Venue

Season

1 run

England

205

204-6

Zimbabwe

Bulawayo

1996-97

6 runs

India

361

355-8

West Indies

Mumbai (BS)

1948-49

6 runs

England

234

228-9

West Indies

Lord's

1963

8 runs

Australia

246

238-8

England

Melbourne

1974-75

9 runs

India

438

429-8

England

The Oval

1979

10 runs

New Zealand

284

274-6

Australia

Brisbane

2001-02

11 runs

West Indies

253

242-5

Australia

Bridgetown

1964-65

11 runs

New Zealand

286

275-8

Zimbabwe

Bulawayo

1997-98

15 runs

England

124

109-7

Pakistan

Birmingham

1987

17 runs

Australia

247

230-9

New Zealand

Melbourne

1987-88