This Day That year: West Indies achieved the highest successful run chase in Test cricket

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The 13th May 2003 saw the West Indies cricket team achieved the impossible as they stunned Australia to chase down successfully the highest run chases in Test cricket. The match was played at Antigua Ground from 9th-13th May. With this amazing win, West Indies broke India’s record of 404 for 4 played at Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain in 1975/76.

Australian captain Steve Waugh won the toss and decided to bat first. Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer got off to a decent start putting on 27 runs for the opening wicket. Jerome Lawson got the breakthrough dismissing Hayden for 14. Martin Love and Justin Langer played with positive intent as both added 53 runs for the 2nd wicket. Lawson wreaked havoc among the Australian batting line up as he took 7 for 78 including a hattrick. Mervyn Dhillon took 2 for 53. West Indies bowled out Australia for 240. Justin Langer was the top scorer for Australia with 42. Martin Love, Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, and Andy Bichel got starts but were not able to convert into big scores.  The Australian bowlers made inroads early as West Indies ended the first day on 47 for 2.

The second day saw Australian bowlers making a strong comeback with wickets at regular intervals. West Indies captain Brian Lara was the top scorer for West Indies in the first innings with an impressive 68.  Australia bowled out West Indies for 240 which meant the scores were equal. Andy Bichel took 3 for 53, Brett Lee 3 for 73, and Glenn McGrath 2 for 44.  It was an amazing batting display by Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer who showed their domination against West Indies bowlers to end day 2 in a strong position at 171 for 0.

Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden made the batting look easy with aggressive stroke play. Chris Gayle got the breakthrough for West Indies dismissing Justin Langer for a superb 111. Adam Gilchrist was promoted to number 3 but was dismissed for just 6. Despite Matthew Hayden going strong, the West Indies bowlers kept picking wickets at regular intervals. Hayden was run out by Baugh for an attacking 177. Steve Waugh remained not out on 45. West Indies bowled out Australia for 417.

Merve Dillion was the pick of bowlers for West Indies in the 2nd innings with 4 for 112, Omari Banks 2 for 153, and Drakes 2 for 92. West Indies were given a mammoth target of 418 runs to win.

Chasing 418 runs to win, West Indies openers Chris Gayle and Devon Smith remained solid to end day 3 on 47 for 0.

It was a superb start by the Australian team on 4th day as they took wickets of Gayle, Smith, and Darren Ganga in quick succession. West Indies captain Brian Lara and Sarwan steadied the West Indies innings with a brilliant 91 runs stand for the 4th wicket. Stuart MacGill dismissed Brian Lara for 60.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Sarwan came together taking on the Australian bowling line up. As things looked ominous for Australia, Brett Lee struck to end 123 runs stand for the 5th wicket. Sarwan was dismissed for a counterattacking 105 off 139 balls. Ridley Jacobs was dismissed off the first ball to leave West Indies at 288 for 6.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul took the attack to Australian batting line up and kept the hopes alive of a famous West Indies win. West Indies ended the fourth day on 371 for 6 with Chanderpaul not out on 103 and Banks on 28.

The fifth day saw Brett Lee dismissing Chanderpaul early for 104. With 46 runs required to win, Drakes and Banks were cautious but also hit boundaries off bad balls. Drakes hit a boundary off MacGill bowling to register a famous 3 wicket win.

West Indies 418 is the highest successful run chase in Test cricket. For his superb century in the 2nd innings, Shivnarine Chanderpaul was awarded the man of the match.

West Indies 240 in 65.3 overs ( Brian Lara 68, Andy Bichel 3 for 53) and 418 for 7 in 128.5 overs ( Shivnarine Chanderpaul 104, Sarwan 105, Banks 47*, Brett Lee 4 for 63) beat Australia 240 in 72.1 overs ( Justin Langer 42, Steve Waugh 41, Jerome Lawson 7/78) and 417 in 104 overs ( Matthew Hayden 177, Justin Langer 111, Steve Waugh 45*, Merve Dillion 4/112) by 3 wickets.





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