Tied Test at The Gabba

 

In this era of T-20 cricket I dont know if this post finds any takers… but I have just been talking with a friend about two of the greatest test matches ever played in the history of cricket. Where no one won … no team… but Cricket won !! 😀 Then lightning struck and I decided to make a post on them… so you have to either bear with it or ignore… !!!! coz i gotta do this… !!!! 😛 😛 😛

 

In 157 years of Test Cricket till date we have had only two tied test matches (no not drawn, I am talking about tied test matches)… amazingly both involve Australia…

 

As much I always want the Aussies to lose against us, its impossible to deny the fact that they have been great achievers in Test Cricket…

 

Anyways this post is not about Australia and India its about cricket – Test Cricket and about one of the only two matches that were tied…

 

The first happened in 1960 when Frank Worell led a West Indies team to play against the Australians in their own country led by Richie Benaud.

 

Around the mid 1950’s test cricket was almost at its nadir… Slow over rates, negative tactics and dour play (with England the main culprit) had seen Test matches develop into wars of attrition. As a result crowds were down; cricket had become boring. The public was crying out for some bright, attractive cricket that would provide entertainment for the paying spectator.

 

Australia was the best team during that time… both the captains Richie and Frank encouraged their teams to play attacking cricket and this series became a master piece… !

 

The first test was scheduled to be played at the Woollengabba stadium nicknamed “The Gabba” in Brisbane … Frank Worell was the first Black captain for a full series to be leading the West Indies.

 

After Sir Frank Worrell decided to bat first in the first innings Sir Alan Davidson, whom many claim to be the best left arm bowler until Wasim Akram struck early blows … at 65/3 the men from the Carribean seemed to be in dire straits… But Sobers & the skipper struck a partnership.. and Sobers hammered 132 of 174 deliveries with 21 boundaries. Remember these were dull slow days of test cricket and this was being played in Australia on a bouncy pitch !!!! West Indies had made 453 off 100.6 overs (8 ball overs) in their first innings. Sir Davidson had taken 5 wickets !

 

In reply Australia rode a slow and defiant innings by Norman Clifford Louis O’Neill (181) and ended their innings at 505. They led by 52 runs at the end of day 3 with all wickets of the West Indies intact and no runs on the board.

 

The next day Sir Alan Davidson swung the ball and took 6 wickets and at stumps the West Indies were at 259/9 and it seemed like a lost cause for the men from the caribbean, however the next day Wes Hall for the last wicket added another 25 runs.

 

Seeking 233 runs at a rate of about 45 an hour for victory Australia probably took it too easy or concluded the result but very soon they saw why Wes hall was considered one of the fastest and more dangerous bowlers of his time… soon they were stumbling at 109 for 6, with about 120 minutes to go. 

 

This is when the legendary conversation between the then Chairman of Selectors Sir Don and Richie Benaud took place at tea time… 

 

As was his habit, Sir Donald Bradman, the chairman of selectors, made his way to the rooms for a cup of tea. Looking straight at Richie Benaud, Australia’s captain, he said: “What’s it going to be?”  

“Well, we’re going for a win,” replied Benaud.  

“I’m very pleased to hear it,” replied Sir Donald.

 After that ensued the rear guard action Richie Benaud along with the great Sir Alan Davidson scored 134 runs for the 7th wicket partnership. Unfortunately disaster struck and at 226 Sir Davidson was run out with victory was just 7 runs away.

 

What happened after that is copy pasted below from Wikipedia : 

[edit] Last over of the Australian second innings

Wes Hall was bowling, with the clock showing 5:56. Australia stood at 227-7, needing six runs to win from the 8-ball over (the standard for Tests in Australia at the time) with three wickets in hand.

  • 1st ball : Wally Grout, facing, was hit on the thigh. Benaud called him through for a single to take strike. Five runs were needed to win from seven balls.
  • 2nd ball : Benaud attempted a hook shot but was caught behind by wicket-keeper Gerry Alexander. The score was 228-8.
  • 3rd ball : The new batsman, Ian Meckiff, cut to mid-off. No run. Still five runs to win from five balls.
  • 4th ball : The ball flew down leg-side without making contact with Meckiff’s bat. Grout called him through for a bye. Alexander threw the ball to the bowler’s end to try to run out Meckiff, but his throw missed and Meckiff made his ground. Four runs to win from four balls.
  • 5th ball : Grout fended a bouncer to square leg, where Rohan Kanhai was ready to take the catch. Hall also attempted to take the catch in his follow-through, resulting in a fielding mix-up which allows Meckiff and Grout take a single and the catch was not taken. Three runs to win from three balls.
  • 6th ball : Meckiff swung desperately and sent the ball towards the mid-wicket boundary. The batsmen ran two runs as Conrad Hunte scooped the ball up just inside the fence. The batsmen attempted a third run for victory but Hunte’s return was flat and true, straight into the gloves of Alexander, who whipped off the bails before Grout could get home. The teams were tied. Australia were on 232-9, requiring one run to win with one wicket in hand and two balls remaining.
  • 7th ball : The new batsman, Lindsay Kline, pushed the ball to square leg and set off for a single. Joe Solomon scooped up the ball and, with one stump to aim for from 12 metres out, threw the ball in and hit the stumps, running Meckiff out by a few inches.
Australia were all out for 232 and the match ended in the first tie in 84 years of Test cricket.

 

Australia versus West Indies – Score Card

 

Here is the moment re-lived in words of Wes Hall himself :

“It was the strangest over I have ever bowled in cricket. Purely because of the tension. I just kept running in and tried not to think too much about what I was doing, what I was going to bowl him.”

Was he nervous?

“Yeah, of course I was, man! But you couldn’t let it get to you, you know? I had a job to do and I just ran up and bowled my best and hoped they didn’t hit it. From the second I let that last ball go, it was all a blur. A wonderful, wonderful blur.”

 

The classic piece is this :

Hall disclosed he had disobeyed Worrell’s instructions not to bowl a bouncer to Benaud and had him caught behind all the same. “I told you not to bowl a bouncer,” Worrell admonished Hall. “Suppose that ball had taken a top edge? Do you realise how many runs they had to win?” Grout was run out by Conrad Hunte’s accurate long throw to wicketkeeper Gerry Alexander from deep mid-wicket. As Hall went back to his long mark to bowl to Kline with one run to win, Worrell had only one piece of advice: “Don’t bowl a no-ball or they’ll never let you back into Barbados.”

 

When the dust had settled, and the realization dawned on everyone that it had been a tie, the players from both sides celebrated together in the dressing rooms, drinking champagne, beer, and singing songs well into the night. They players describe how the bond that was formed that night between the members of both teams, set the tone for the rest of the series.

 

Can you actually imagine two opposition teams singing and drinking together ?????

 

For some more quotes click here 

 

This series turned out to be the Calypso Summer… There is a film on this test match which has videos of the last over and really interesting interviews, I have seen in it a few times but I have not been able to find it out… (if any one can please be my guest)

 

At the end of this series which Australia won 2-1, Sir Frank Worrell and his men were given the most gracious an ovation from the Australian crowds… amazingly there are very few teams which can actually draw so much respect and love from Australian crowds !!!!!

 

This was one hell of a test match and I really wonder how much fun it would have been to see the match… !! Test cricket lived and kicked on after this series… !!!

 

This is for the real cricket fans…

 

and I hope to do another post on India v/s Australia Tied Test at the Chepauk soon !!!

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45 thoughts on “Tied Test at The Gabba

    • hitchwriter says:

      I am still trying to watch that video… it has interviews of all the players and the best of all Wes Hall’s interview… that man used to get excited even at 50 years while giving this interview !! 🙂 its worth watching !

  1. kanagu says:

    Wonderfully written Bhai… being a cricket fan i loved it very much… 🙂 wonderfully narrated… chepak match is another gem… please write about it.. 🙂 I am a fan of test cricket… and i love to watch it 🙂

  2. masood says:

    Super stuff dude. Loved reading it. I’d read a lot of reviews of this test match on cricinfo as well. With all the hype about T20 cricket, i really feel sorry for test cricket. This is the real thing. Only a true cricket fan or purist can understand this. I just hope cricket administrators all over the world don’t let test cricket die. I’ve grown up watching some great test matches involving India. Who can forget the India-Pak test at Chennai or the Ind-Aus test series in 01 or Kotla test (Kumble 10 for) or even the Aus-Eng Ashes in 05 or Aus-Windies series in ’99 (Lara’s 153*). There are more but I could only get this many on top of my mind.

    Lets just hope that test cricket stays. This is real cricket.

    Test Cricket is the ultimate. *period*

    That India-Pak test at Chennai made me cry… it was the most painful loss ever !!

    The best series for me though has been us stopping Steve Waugh on his final frontier… if ever there was drama in a series it was here… !! the most miraculous of comebacks ever in Eden… that series is etched in my mind !! after that I guess the Ashes of ’05 … and that Lara’s century was unbelievable… though i think he was dropped by healy with 10 runs required for victory if i m not wrong !!!

  3. Crafty Shines says:

    Hitchy!!!!!!!!! what a post!!! i watch cricket, but am not an enthusiast…i won’t deny that i turn into a screaming-and-punching-pillows kinda lunatic during a India Paki match… 😛

    HW : lol !! I love Indo-Pak too ! but prefer beating the Aussies more !! 🙂

    to tell u the truth, i am not a fan of the T-20 etc…gimme a test match anyday! yeah, me is old fashioned….vintage songs, 60’s wala dress style and good ‘ol test cricket!!! 😀 😀

    u got me sitting on the edge of my chair (that’s a dangerous perch u know…) when i was reading that bit on bowling done in the last over…what thrill! i wanna watch this now. even the movie! 😀

    This was one hell of a test match you know !! and when you will see that video where all the players are interviewed you will realise how exciting it might have been ! 🙂

    warning: unrestrained praise ahead! 😛 😛
    hitchy, u bowled me over with ur writing style! of course i know cricket is ur passion, but u made me, a cricket non-enthusiast not miss a single word of what u wrote out here…so very well written, to get a cricket-immune person to be reading this and understanding it! ur naration was beautiful! 😀

    Gloating like a dog with all four legs in the air !! 😀

    wah, i did not expect so much talent…..

    bhaaagoooooooooooooooo! tee hee!!! 😀

    what ?? huh ??

    in all, there’s only one downside to this post… i ain’t first! 😛

    psst… let others also win some times… or they will cry foul ! 😀

  4. sraboneyghose says:

    I like watching cricket but not T20 especially the IPL…I’ve started enjoying watching Test cricket because they are no longer just boring draws…

    Well written…

    P.S. what happened to all the I’m the firsts?

  5. monikamanchanda says:

    oh i am not a test cricket fan, actually used to like seeing it but these days both patience and time are rare

    sigh

    • hitchwriter says:

      for us hard core fans… ! patience is not the question.. and we somehow manage the times and this irritates the missus a lot… how do you always have time when it comes to cricket ??? lol 😆

  6. Destination Infinity says:

    That was a good narration. If you had not told the result in the beginning, it would have been better! There was a time when I used to watch the test matches played by our team in SA where they would be terribly routed! They just struggle to play Donald, De Villiers and the other bowlers of SA. For some reason, I liked those matches, and I don’t like IPL!! Is it age?

    Destination Infinity

    • Indyeah says:

      no no!its not age DI ..its sanity 😀
      moi also no big fan of IPL (Itne Pakaau Log)

      me too actually ‘di !! I dont like it coz i dont support any team and am always confused who I want to win !!
      but the cricket is entertaining though.. but without supporting any one I cant feel any passion for it !
      Cricket is best when India plays Australia !!

      *trying to avoid Dhirenbhais’ eyes*
      na na.. no need !!

    • hitchwriter says:

      I dont like IPL too DI !! its nothing to do with age i guess… ! I dont dislike it but its no comparison with Test Cricket or even International T-20’s. I cant support any side.. !!

      I thought most would be knowing the result so no point in hiding the result… this was a cult test match you know !

      Yes those times were bad with no openers we used to flounder overseas !! but still we have some memorable innings played that… especially if you remember that day in Cape Town when Azhar and Sachin put up one of the best displays of batting in the afternoon session.. !

  7. Indyeah says:

    Achcha Dhirenbhai first things first!
    How in Gawd’s name did you manage to write so many posts in a row?

    I went mad trying to read all of them in my hyper enthusiastic state, then had to calm down and read them all over again 😛 😛

    Madam.. I have written only one a day… if you disappear from the scene this is what happens !! but seriously there is no fun without your comments !!!! missed u a lot !! 🙂

    • Rakesh says:

      Dhiren, 2 new teams will be added in the next edition of IPL and it seems that Ahmedabad will have a team as well. At least then, we know whom to support 🙂

      • hitchwriter says:

        Naa… Rakesh… I dont think I will be able to support Ahmedabad either… !!

        I dont think anything works like the concept of team India does !!!

        domestic is a contest among ourselves… which maybe fun but not passion.. !!

        passion is aroused only when India plays !

  8. Indyeah says:

    absolutely and completely loved this one Dhiren 🙂
    Cricket test and ODIs that is(and international T20 to an extent ) is my first love 😀
    right after books that is 😛

    but I seriously love cricket 🙂

    toh loved this one as well 🙂

    remember that post where you had linked all your fav cricket videos? had loved that one too 😀

  9. Rakesh says:

    Yup, I’ve read much about this match. And wht bout the second tied test – I think Greg Mathews took a hell lot of wickets in that one.

    Yea Mathews took a lot of wickets, Dean Jones scored a double century and then on drip taking glucose after that heat !! but more on that in the next post !

    You know, the best test cricket that I’ve watched is the Ashes where England won it from Australia. Each and every match was a cracker…

    I think the atmosphere in that series was unbelievable with all the singing by the Barmy Army

    And also the series which India tied with Australia in Australia – We opened with Sehwag and Akash Chopra – There is something magical about watching Bret Lee in his test whites running in perfect rhythm and delivering at over 140 kph consistently, over after over.

    That series was unfair and If ever I could lay my hands on Steve Bucknor I would give him a tight one… He spoiled the last match by some ridiculous decisions !! or else Sourav’s India were actually the true winners of that test series !!! seriously unfair !

  10. Smitha says:

    Dhiren, I used to love Test cricket too.. But haven’t had a chance to read your post properly 🙂 Will be back tomorrow and will comment properly 🙂 But do remember this tied match.. I have read about it and heard about it from my dad 🙂 Yes, it would have been real nice to see it!!

  11. Amit says:

    Err..I am not a big cricket fan, but I like 20 20 because they get over fast and do not get on my nerves! 🙂 I can’t stand the suspense of who would win. 😛

  12. Badz says:

    WoW Dhiren! Long post. Didn’t know you had it in you. 😛

    LoL! Anyway, I found that post interesting. I learnt something you. Something to talk about to cricket fans. 😉

    Personnal, I like (all) cricket although I prefer international. Not fussed whether its test, one day or Twenty20. BUT nowerdays don’t really get time nor a chance to watch BUT certainly will was Twenty20 from the start of this week. 🙂

    HW : we start our warm up match today at Lords against NZ !!! Fingers crossed this cup is ours !! amen !

  13. nicky says:

    hey lovely post..i do follow cricket,actually love watcheing the matches played at chepauk , its great fun .. looking forward to the post on chepuak test …

  14. Ordinary Guy says:

    I just love test cricket dude!!!!!!!!
    especially the ones which feature australia…….
    I love the ashes… and test cricket is great fun when it is a close finish…..

    nice post about the tied test!!!!!!

    • hitchwriter says:

      Yes OG ! TEst cricket is the ultimate… and the fight against Australia are the best… ! not even Indo-Pak are so important for my liking.. Aussies were the best and it was great to take them on… !!

      I think we are the best now.. with South Africa a close second.. but we have to claim victories in tests in SA and Australia, once we beat them in tests in their own back yard, only then can we actually claim to be the best !!

  15. Mystery says:

    Nice read..
    I am not a fan of test cricket though coz it lasts for 5 days and i dont have the patience to sit in front of the TV for so long. But as my brother is as big fan as you, i do watch some matches because of him..

    I dint know that there were test matches which were tied..nice reading about it..waiting forward to read about the other tied test match which included India

  16. Sandhya says:

    My husband and my son are crazy about cricket. So I was compelled to watch some good test matches and one day internationals. But now the IPL has corrupted the game and its national spirit. Only money reigns. Somehow my mind is shut off for this game.

    I was a fan of a lot of our players and some foreign ones like Ian Botham(playful with the audiences and a good player!), Viv Richards (Nina Gupta!), Clive Lloyd(he was very famous and was in many advertisements), Border, Boon and many more. I still remember Richie Benaud’s commentary! Radio commentary was also very famous, in those days. Most of the matches which were played in Madras were during Pongal holidays, in January and it was like a cricket festival ..at least one person in every family will spend his time in the cricket ground. My husband used to stay there, sleep there too, with his friends when he was young, it seems! Food was going from home!

    Cricket will never be the same.

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