Top five instances when teams lost the Test despite scoring 500 in the first innings

Top five instances when teams lost the Test despite scoring 500 in the first innings

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Bangladesh declared their first innings at 595/8 against a strong New Zealand bowling attack- This tells you the story of the Bangladesh cricket’s coming of age that had long been facing challenges aplenty to rub shoulders with the big boys. But this is just the half the story.

The eventual result was Bangladesh lost the game by seven wickets from the hosts, to miss a Test victory yet again. With that, they also went on to acquire the dubious distinction of scoring the highest first-innings total in a losing cause. Here, we take you through five such instances, when a team lost the Test despite scoring more than 500 runs in the 1st innings of the game.

1. Bangladesh vs New Zealand, 2017

In the first Test of the ongoing series between both the teams, Bangladesh batsmen tonked the Kiwi bowlers to submission and scored 595 runs in the first innings. New Zealand replied strongly too and scored 539 runs in their first essay but were left 56 runs behind the Bangladesh total. But, Bangladesh’s second innings was a complete contrast to their first-innings performance as the wickets fell like a pack of cards and they bundled out for 160.

After the superb performance from the bowlers, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson scored a blistering century with Ross Taylor (60) for company. Their alliance of 163 runs for the third wicket helped the home side track down the target of 217 runs in just 39.4 overs.

Apart from losing, Bangladesh also added another forgettable record to their hat by having a record difference of 435 runs between two innings in the match. The previous highest such difference for Bangladesh was 389 that they had acquired against West Indies in Mirpur in 2012-13, where they made totals of 556 and 167.

2.  Australia vs England, Sydney, 1894-95

Ashes rivalry has been considered as one of the greatest rivalries in sports, and a look at the scorecards of 1894 Ashes series underlined why it has been so. It was a hard-fought series between hosts Australia and England, in which England emerged as the winners by a margin of 3-2. 

The first Test of the series was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground in which Australia decided to bat first after their skipper Jack Blackham won the toss. As the scorecard suggests, after that it was majorly some stupendous batting performances by Syd Gregory (201) and George Giffen (161) that helped the Aussies post a huge first-innings total of 586 runs. 

The English batsmen tried to pose some challenge but couldn’t get to more than 325 runs in the first innings and were trailing by 211 runs in the first innings. From such a commanding position, losing a Test match was the last thing Australia would have imagined, but as history has it now, England ran away with the match with fantastic performances in the second innings.

After following on, England gave a target of 177 runs to Australia, but the hosts lost their last 8 wickets for only 36 runs to hand England a 10-run victory. 

3. Australia vs Pakistan, Melbourne, 1972

This Test proved to be one of the most remarkable Australian victories in Test history due to the sheer amount of runs scored during the course of five days. Australian skipper Ian Chappell won the toss and elected to bat first. With the help of marvelous centuries by Ian Redpath (135) and Greg Chappell (116 not out), Australia scored 441 for 5 before Chappell declared the innings.

Pakistan also didn’t hold back as Sadiq Mohammad scorched his way to 137 runs before Dennis Lillie trapped him plumb in front. In reply, Pakistan scored 574 runs. When it seemed, Pakistan would pull off a miraculous heist, Australia showed their true caliber and posted 425 runs in their second innings.

A target of 293 runs wasn't going to be too hard for the Pak side, but they lost wickets every so often to become all out for 200 runs. 

4. Australia vs India, Adelaide, 2003

Saying this match put India’s reputation as a bad tourist to rest would be an understatement. India registered an emphatic victory to topple Australia, who had always been a giant on their home turf. No one would have imagined that India would go on to win the Test match after the Aussies scored 556 runs in their first innings. 

India also started brilliantly and thanks to a brilliant 233 from Rahul Dravid, the team went on to score 523 runs in the first innings. Things didn’t get better for Australia in their 2nd innings as Ajit Agarkar ran riot with a ferocious spell of 6 for 41 that ensured that the hosts bundled up for 196, giving the visitors a target of 233 runs.

India achieved the target, losing six wickets, again riding on another Dravid special.

 © Getty

5.  Bangladesh vs West Indies, Mirpur, 2012

This was another instance where Bangladesh lost the plot despite holding the edge for the major part of the match. 

Winning the toss, West Indies posted 527 runs in the first innings and Bangladesh replied with 556 runs in the first innings. After taking a first-innings lead of 29 runs, Bangladesh restricted them to 273 in the second innings. 

Facing a target of 245 runs, Bangladesh were expected to pull off the victory, but they replayed the same age-old story and got all-out for 167 runs to lose the game by 78 runs. 

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