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TODAY (14 December 2010) marks the 50th anniversary of the first ever Tied Test match. Australia and the touring West Indies had both fought hard to win the first Test at The Gabba in Brisbane, and with just one more eight ball over remaining it was all still to play for.

Australia needed 6 runs to win; the West Indies needed 3 wickets. True nail-biting stuff eh?

Wes Hall was to bowl the final over of the match and wicketkeeper Wally Grout was on strike. The following is a ball-by-ball review of the final, fateful over.

  1. Grout is hit on the thigh and Captain Richey Benaud calls a single. The leg-bye is taken and Australia need 5 runs to win.
  2. Benaud attempts a hook shot but is caught behind by wicketkeeper Gerry Alexander for 52. 5 runs or 2 wickets to win in just 6 balls.
  3. New man in, Ian Meckiff, cuts the ball to mid-off but no run is scored. 5 runs or 2 wickets to win off of 5 balls.
  4. Hall sends the ball down the leg-side and everybody misses it. Grout calls for Meckiff to run the bye and they do. Alexander attempts to run Meckiff out but misses the stumps. 4 runs or 2 wickets needed off of 4 balls. Australia are now a boundary away from winning.
  5. Grout fends a bouncer away to square leg, and Rohan Kanhai goes for the catch. But Hall also attempts to take the catch in his follow-through, and in the resulting mix-up (with no catch taken) Grout and Meckiff take the single. 3 runs or 2 wickets from 3 balls needed.
  6. Meckiff sends the ball to the mid-wicket boundary. He and Grout run 2 but Conrad Hunte just prevents the boundary, and his return throw is so good that it lands straight into Alexander’s gloves and he runs out fellow wicketkeeper Grout for just 2. The scores are now level; 1 run or 1 wicket from 2 balls needed for victory.
  7. No. 11, Lindsay Kline, pushes the ball to square leg and he and Meckiff set off on what they hoped would be the winning run. But Joe Solomon scooped the ball up and with one stump to aim at, hit it directly from almost 40ft away and runs Meckiff out for 2 by a matter of inches. With the scores at 737 runs each and no more fourth innings wickets left to fall, the 84 year wait for the first tied Test was at an end.

There has only ever been one other tied Test in the history of Cricket. It was the first Test of the 1986/87 Australia tour of India. This means that only two out of the 1,983 Test matches that have ever been played have ended in a tie. Don’t you think we are due for another one soon?

West Indies in Australia 1960/61 1st Test – The Gabba, Brisbane

West Indies won the toss and elected to bat

West Indies

vs.

Australia

453 (100.6 overs @ 4.49 rpo)

1st Innings

505 (130.3 overs @ 3.87 rpo)

G.st A. Sobers 132

N.C. O’Neill 181

A.K. Davidson 5-135

W.W. Hall 4-140

284 (92.6 overs @ 3.05 rpo)

2nd Innings

232 (68.7 overs @ 3.35 rpo)

F.M.M. Worrell 65

A.K. Davidson 80

A.K. Davidson 6-87

W.W. Hall 5-63

Note: This was back when Australia had 8 ball overs in their home Tests

Match Tied – Series level at 0-0 with four matches left. Australia won the series 2-1.

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