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4 narrowest wins in Test cricket history 

Sachin Arora
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 19:56 IST

Azhar Ali
Azhar Ali's valiant knock went in vain as Pakistan lost the match by just four runs

New Zealand‘s thrilling win against Pakistan in the first Test match in Abu Dhabi was a nerve-wracking and totally unpredictable affair. The star of the match came out to be the debutant left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel. The Kiwis won the match by just four runs, the lowest ever winning margin for them.

New Zealand's four-run victory is the fifth narrowest win margin in the history of Test cricket since 1877. In terms of runs, let us revisit the four narrower finishes in Test cricket.


#4 Australia beat England by three runs (Manchester, 1902)

Everything went wrong for Fred Tate in this match. The Sussex bowler was playing his first Test and unfortunately dropped a straightforward catch off Aussie batsman Joe Darling when he was only 17. Darling went on to make 51 later in that match.

England needed 124 to win but last man Tate came out to join Wilfred Rhodes with eight still needed to win the match. Tate edged a four but then got bowled by Jack Saunders which was enough for Australia to win the Ashes. It was the one and only Test match that Tate ever played for England.

#3 England beat Australia by three runs (Melbourne, 1982)

England went into the Boxing Day Test trailing 2-0 and another defeat could have shut doors for them in the Ashes. Fortunes turned around in the first three days only which left Australia needing 292 to win.

At 218-9, it looked all over but Alan Border found a willing partner in Jeff Thompson and they together started scratching off the runs. But Ian Botham took the new ball and managed to find the edge of Thompson’s bat and Chris Tavare at slip dropped the chance off his hands but Geoff Miller took it on to the rebound to keep England in the series.

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#2 England beat Australia by two runs (Birmingham, 2005)

England were cruising in the second Ashes Test but Shane Warne came out of nowhere to put all his effort in his team's win. The leg-spinner took 10 wickets in the match and came to bat at the crease with Australia 137-7, needing 282 to win. He made 42 with the bat which was followed by Brett Lee and Michael Kasprowicz who added 59 for the last wicket.

In the end, Australia fell just short by merely two runs when Kasprowicz nicked a Steve Harmison bouncer to Geraint Jones behind the stumps. It was also the first Ashes win for England since 1986-87.

#1 West Indies beat Australia by one run (Adelaide, 1993)

The West Indies headed into the fourth Test in Adelaide after trailing 1-0 in the five-match series. It was a relatively low-scoring game where Australia required just 186 to win but lost their nine wickets for just 144.

The last pair of Tim May and Craig McDermott almost turned the impossible but Courtney Walsh had McDermott caught with just two runs needed to win. West Indies went on to win the fifth Test as well to claim the series.

Published 20 Nov 2018, 20:55 IST
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