The 4th innings of a Test match is a walk along a thin rope for any batting side as the conditions suit the bowling side in most cases. The pressure built around the chase and the weary pitches make any target look challenging. We will look into those instances when the bowling teams used the cracks and wear-downs of the pitches, the chasing pressure and, in some cases, the home crowd and conditions advantage to defend the subpar totals on the field.
Of course, there were instances when the batting side changed the tides and showed extreme grit and determination to win big in 4th innings.
However, this article will list the lowest ten target scores successfully defended in Test cricket.
Lowest Totals Successfully Defended in Test Cricket
|TARGET SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDED||BATTING TEAM||BOWLING TEAM||VENUE||YEAR|
|85||England (77)||Australia||The Oval||1882|
|99||Zimbabwe (63)||West Indies||Port of Spain||2000|
|111||Australia (44)||England||The Oval||1896|
|117||Australia (111)||South Africa||Sydney||1994|
|120||India (81)||West Indies||Bridgetown||1997|
|124||Australia (104)||England||The Oval||1997|
Australia bowling out England for 77 while chasing 85 is the lowest Test total successfully defended by a touring side. In contrast, West Indies winning against a target of 99 in the Port of Spain is the lowest by any home side.
The Oval is the venue which hosted three such instances from the above table – the most among all venues, with Sydney coming next with two entrants. You can read about how difficult are the English and Australian playing conditions to bat on for any touring side.
The team that came very close to the target in the above list was England in Manchester against Australia in 1902. The English side lost the game by just 3 runs.
Australia has been the most regular entrant in the wrong side of the above chart (losing 4 times), whereas Australia themselves and England are placed each thrice in the bowling (winning) sides column.
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