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In a sport that started in 1877 , there has been numerous great cricket matches across eras and hence to choose the top 10 best matches is a humongous task and we had to leave out many such matches across formats  that could have featured in the list.  Since Test cricket is the most revered format,  there is a dominance of test matches in the top 10 list. Below is a scrambled list of the top 10 best cricket matches across eras. 

Australia v West Indies . Tied test 1960 Brisbane 

This was the finest cricket match ever played.  West Indies won the toss and batted.  They put on 453 with Sobers scoring a superb 132 aided by few 50s. Davidson took 5 wickets for Australia.   In reply Australia made a strong statement getting 505 with 181 from Norman O Neil and 92 from Simpson with Hall getting 5 wickets .
West Indies got 284 in their 2nd innings with 65 from Worrel and 54.from Kanhai while Davidson took 6/87 and completed 11 wickets for the match .Needing 233 to win,  Aussie’s slumped to 92/6 before Davidson (80) and Benaud (52) took the score to 226/6 when Davidson was run-out which triggered a collapse with Benaud getting caught behind off Hall ( took 5 more wickets) ‘, followed by Grout run-out and finally in a mad scramble Mekiff was run-out and scores were tied — first time in cricket history!!  


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Aus v Eng 2nd Test Egbaston 2005

In another spine chilling game,  England batted first and rapidly scored 407 with Trescothick (90),  Petersen (71)  and Flintoff (68) all scoring briskly.  in reply Australia struggled to 308 with Langer (82) , Ponting (61), Gilchrist (49) main contributors.  In the second innings Brett Lee (4/82) and Warne (6/46) created collapse for England as they could get only 182 . Needing 282 to win Aus slumped to 175/8 before Warne (42)  and Lee rescued the innings but at 220 /8 Warne was dismissed leaving the last pair to get 60 . Both Lee (43*) and Kaspowicz (20) almost did the impossible before Harmision induced an edge of Kaspowicz for a caught behind and England won in sensational finish by 2  runs and Flintoff taking 4.wickets .


Aus v Eng. 4th test MCG  1982.
The Ashes rivals played an absolute thriller at MCG.  England batting first and helped by Tavare (89) and Lamb (83) reached 284 and Australia replied with 287 with Hughes scoring 66 . England scored 294 in 2nd innings with several middle order contributions . Needing 292 to win Australia were 171/3 with Hughes (48) and Hookes (68) in control but once both departed  Aussies slumped to 218/9 with Cowans bowling quick taking 6 wickets.  Finally it was left to Border and Thomson and they put up a gallant partnership to inch towards the target in a spine chilling thriller till finally Thomson’s (21) luck run-out when he was caught at slips off Botham leaving Australia agonisingly short by just 3 runs and agony for Border who was left stranded at 62 .

Eng v Aus. 3rd test Leeds 1981
This was called Botham’s test due to his Houdini act of changing the fortune of the test upside down.  Australia batting first scored 401/9 declared with Dyson (102) and Hughes (89) main contributors and Botham now free from captaincy pressures taking 6 wickets.  England batted poorly scoring only 174 in the first innings with Botham getting 50 and Lillee taking 4 wickets. Following on England were staring at a big defeat in the 2nd innings at 135/7 when Botham took over and played one of the all time great knocks smashing the lethal Aussie bowling attack to all directions and scored 149 notout in 148 balls getting solid support from Dilley (56) and Old (29) and taking England to 356 , a lead of 129 . 


Needing 130 to win Australia reached 56/1 and looked on course when Bob Willis struck ripping through the Aussie batting to get 8/34 in a sensational bowling spell as Australia slumped to 75/8 . Bright and Lillee had a 35 run stand but once it was broken the end came soon and England sensationally won by 19 runs after following on in the test .

India v Australia  2nd test Kolkata 2001 

Another case of a team winning after following on in another Test match for the ages.  Batting first Australia scored 445 aided by Steve Waugh 110 and Matt Hayden 97 . In reply India were miserably shot out for 171 with Laxman scoring  53. After follow on India were 115/3 with Sachin getting out but Laxman batting at 3 had a productive stand with Ganguly (48) . Dravid joined Laxman at 232/4 and from there started the Indian resurgence.  Laxman and Dravid put on a marathon 376 runs with outstanding batting and dazzling strokeplay.  Laxman scored his famous 281 and Dravid made 180 as India declared early on the 5th day at 657/7 taking a 383 lead.  With 384 need to win Australia started decently with Hayden  (67) and Slater (43) but once the stand was broken, Harbhajan who took 7.wickets in the first innings ripped through the middle order with Sachin , to script a famous win by 171 runs after having to follow on. 

Aus v Ind  Tied test  Madras 1986.

This was another fabulous test match having ended in another tie after 1960  test at Gabba.  Australia  batting first piled on a mammoth 574/7 declared with a double ton by Dean Jones (210), centuries by Boon (122) and Border (106) . In reply despite 50s from Srikkant,  Azhar and Shastri India were staring at 235/7 and the follow-on on the cards. However Kapil Dev played a blistering innings of 119 to just about save the follow on for India with team total reaching 397. Australia batted in the second innings scoring 170/5 declared and set a 348 target to India. 


The hosts began well,  Gavaskar (90) and Mohinder Amarnath(51)  shared a 103 stand , Srikkant (39), Azharuddin (42) and Pundit (39) played well but with overs running out,  lower order lost quick wickets to poor shots even as Ravi Shastri was trying to shepherd the innings . Finally it came to the last wicket in the last over when Greg Mathews trapped Maninder lbw and the match was tied with Shastri left unbeaten on 48 . A sensational end to a test match made possible by an exciting declaration by Border.

Eng v Aus 3rd test Leeds 2019

A brilliant test match showcasing fine pace bowling till a special innings took away the honours.  Australia batting first was rattled by a rapid Jofra Archer who took 6/45 in seaming conditions to skittle out the tourists for 179 with only Labuschagne (74).and Warner (61) performing. In reply Josh Hazlewood (5/30) ,  Pat Cummins (3/23) and James Pattinson (2/9) showed their true class and ran through the England batting for a paltry 67.  With a sizable 112 run lead,  Aussies however failed to bat England out of the game scoring 246 in second innings with Labuschagne top scoring with a superb 80 and Stokes taking 3 wickets. England thus needed 359 to win and were rattled initially at 15/2 followed by a fine 126 run stand between skipper Joe Root (77) and Joe Denly(50) but both were dismissed quickly with England 159/4. Bairstow(36) and Stokes added 86 to get England in front before they collapse from 245/4 to 286/9 with Hazlewood and Lyon rattling them and Australia now looked poised to win.  However Ben Stokes who batted mostly watchfully till then switched to beast mode in company of Jack Leach. Dominating the strike skilfully Stokes took on the Aussie  quicks and started smashing sixes and fours in a fierce counter attack rattling the famed bowling attack and runs flowed . Leach survived a run-out and Australia burnt their reviews earlier so couldn’t review Stokes not out lbw to Lyon and finally Stokes (135.notout)  hit Cummins for 4 to win the test sensionally by 1 wicket with England reaching 362/9. 

Aus v SA  ODI World cup SF  Egbaston 1999
This was the greatest ODI match of all time. Australia put in by South Africa scored only 213 batting first. It was the Pollock – Donald show as the two top fast bowlers restricted the Aussies with brilliant exhibition of fast bowling. For Aussies Bevan (65) and Steve Waugh (56) contributed.  Pollock took 5/36 and Donald took 4/32. In reply South Africa started well with a rapid 48 run opening stand till Shane Warne started weaving his magic. First he had Gibbs(30) to a brilliant leg spinner , then castled a sweeping Kirsten (18) and dismissed Cronje while Cullinan was run-out with Proteas now 61/4 . Kallis(56) and Rhodes (43) got into a great stand followed by Pollock (20) cameo but then a flurry of wickets reduced South Africa to 198/9 but Klusener was playing a special knock and in the last over of Fleming,  Klusener hit back to back 4s to tie the score and then with 2 balls left Donald was run-out and match tied  and Australia going into the final on basis of their super six win against South Africa earlier and man of the match Warne finishing with 4/29 in a match for the ages .

Eng v NZ.    ODI World cup final  2019 
This was another ODI match for the ages.  New Zealand batting first scored 241/8 with Nicholls(55) and Latham(47) being main scorers and good contributions from others. In reply England had early jitters at 86/4 before Stokes and Buttler (59) got into a 110 run stand . From 196/4  , a collapse happened as England lost regular wickets in pursuit of runs till finally Wood was run-out trying to attempt the winning run off the last ball with Stokes left strand at 84 as the match was tied.  


With the scores tied at 241, the match went to a Super Over. Stokes and Buttler returned to the crease for England to face the bowling of Trent Boult; the pair scored 15 runs without loss. For New Zealand, Guptill and James Neesham went in to face Jofra Archer, needing 16 runs to claim the title. A six from Neesham off the third ball, left New Zealand needing two from the final delivery. Facing his first ball of the Super Over and the last of the match, Guptill   was run out well short of his crease. New Zealand finished with 15 runs, the Super Over tied, but England’s superior boundary count (26 to New Zealand’s 17) meant they won the World Cup title for the first time in four final appearances. Stokes earned Man of the Match honours with his unbeaten 84, plus eight runs in the Super Over.

Ind v Pak T20I World cup final 2007
This was the only time till date that India and Pakistan played in a World Cup final and what a match it turn out to be for the ages . Batting first India scored 157/5 with Gambhir scoring a fine 75 and Rohit Sharma smashing a 16 ball unbeaten 30 and Gul taking 3/28 for Pakistan. In reply Pakistan kept losing wickets to struggle at 104/7 after 16.overs with RP Singh (3/26) and Irfan Pathan.(3/16)  dominating . However Misbah Ul Haq who till that time played slow started dominating and smashed four sixes to turn the game around and take it to final over in which Pakistan needed 12 runs with last wicket standing.  Misbah hit a 6 off Joginder Sharma second ball.  With 6 more needed Misbah went for a lap shot but succeeded in skying the ball and Sreesanth took a good pressure catch and India scraped through by a mere 5 runs in a dramatic finish in one of the great games ever played.

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