Test Cricket: Australia was one of the first two countries to start the game of cricket. They played the first ever Test match against England in 1877. So, with such an old history with the class, the Aussies have always dominated this format over the years. They remain the top-ranked team in the latest ICC Test rankings.
Over the years, despite having different captains, different management, and different players, the Australian side have been consistent. Speaking of their cricket history, they currently hold many records in the red-ball format. However, in this article, we will cover the highest successful run chases for Australia in Test cricket.
3. Australia (362/7) against West Indies on 31 March 1978
It was a match against West Indies on 31st March, 1978 at Bourda, Georgetown. Batting first, the Caribbean team got all out for 205 runs, with only Alvin Greenidge (56) scoring a half-century. Jeff Thomson and Wayne Clark each took four wickets for Australia. In response, Australia scored 286 runs in their first innings to take an 81-run lead. Despite trailing by 81 runs in the second innings, West Indies performed admirably.
Alvadon Williams (100) and Larry Gomes (101) scored centuries, and the team scored 439 runs, setting a target of 359 to chase. The match became interesting when Australia lost their first three wickets for just 22 runs. But after that, a massive partnership of 251 runs between Graeme Wood (126) and Bob Simpson (124) for the fourth wicket helped the Aussies to get near to the target. Both batters also scored their respective centuries. Australia chased down the target of 362 runs in 101 overs with the loss of seven wickets.
2. Australia (369/6) against Pakistan on 18 November 1999
The second highest chase for Australia came against Pakistan on November 18, 1999, at Bellerive Oval, Hobart. After batting first, Pakistan scored 222 runs in their first innings, with a top score of Mohammad Wasim (91). In reply, Australia scored 246 runs and took a lead of 24 runs in the first innings. Michael Slater missed his century by three runs and scored 97 runs. Trailing by 24 runs, Pakistan did a really good job and their batters scored 392 runs in the second innings, setting a target of 369 to chase.
Inzamam-ul-Haq (118), Ijaz Ahmed (82) and Saeed Anwar (78) were the top scorers. Chasing the target, they lost their first wickets for just 81 runs. But a partnership of 238 runs for the 6th wicket between Justin Langer (127) and Adam Gilchrist made the path easy for Australia. Both batters also scored their centuries, and Gilchrist remained unbeaten on 149* off 163 balls to seal the deal for the team. Australia chased down the target of 369/6 in 113.5 overs.
1. Australia (404/3) against England at Headingley (Fourth highest in Test cricket)
The highest chase and the fourth highest overall came on July 22nd, 1948. It was a match between Australia and England at Headingley, Leeds. England scored 496 in their first innings, with Cyril Washbrook (143) and William Edrich (111) each scoring centuries. In reply, Australia also replied well with 458, with the top score by Neil Harvey (112). The English team got a lead of 38 runs in the first innings. When England batted in the second innings, they declared at 365/8, setting a target of 403 runs to win.
It was an impossible target to chase at that time. But Australia did the impossible and chased it down with seven wickets in hand. For Australia, Arthur Morris scored 182 and Don Bradman remained unbeaten on 173* to chase down the massive total. Both these batters added 301 runs for the second wicket to help Australia reach the target.
List of Highest Run Chase in Test Cricket by Australia
|404/3||404||England||Headingley, Leeds||22 July 1948|
|369/6||369||Pakistan||Bellerive Oval, Hobart||18 November 1999|
|362/7||359||West Indies||Bourda, Georgetown||31 March 1978|
|342/8||339||India||WACA Ground, Perth||16 December 1977|
|336/5||336||South Africa||Kingsmead Cricket Ground, Durban||20 January 1950|