On This Day: West Indies win by 1 run against Australia

The definition of a close match can be subjective. But do you know what the first close test match resulting in just a one-run win for West Indies?

On this 31 years ago Richie Richardson-led West Indies won a test match by 1 run against Australia. The record for the closest margin for a victory is still 1 run and it stood as a record for 30 years before New Zealand equalled it with their victory over England last year. Here is a recap of the historic match.

Hughes picks a five-for, Lara scores 50

West Indian skipper, Richardson won the toss and decided to have a bat first in the fourth test of the West Indies tour of Australia, 1993 at Adelaide. The openers shared an 84-run stand with Desmond Haynes and Phil Simmons both scoring 40s but missing out on a half-century. Steve Waugh drew the first blood for the hosts by dismissing Simmons. 

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Australian fast bowler, Merv Hughes got among the wickets after dismissing Richardson. Haynes was the next batter to be dismissed courtesy of Tim May outfoxing the opener and keeper Ian Healy stumping him out. Brian Lara showed first signs of greatness as wickets started to fall at regular intervals around him. Keith Arthurton was dismissed by May while Hughes dismissed Carl Hooper. 

Lara and West Indian wicket-keeper, Junior Murray shared a 55-run stand which saw the former getting to his half-century. Murray remained unbeaten for his knock of 49 runs and 63 runs for the last four wickets while Hughes came back to complete his five-for dismissing Ian Bishop, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh.

Sir Ambrose picks six 

In reply to West Indies’ 252, Australia started poorly. Ian Bishop dismissed opener Mark Taylor for just one run while Curtly Ambrose picked up his first wicket of the match by dismissing Mark Waugh for a silver duck. Justin Langer was the next batter to be dismissed as he edged one behind to Murray off Kenny Benjamin’s bowling.

Skipper Allan Border and Steve Waugh shared a useful 62-run stand for the fourth wicket. Ambrose broke the partnership and triggered something in him that saw him going on a rampage against the hosts. The right-arm fast bowler dismissed Border to end the 4th-wicket partnership. He then dismissed Ian Healy for a three-ball duck. Steve Waugh was his next victim who also edged one behind to Murray after a well-made 42. Australia went from 108-3 to 112-6 in no time as Sir Curtly Ambrose wreaked havoc on the hosts. 

Hughes after his first innings heroics was not done and top scored for the Aussies with his 43 in 66 before being dismissed by Carl Hooper. Warne was dismissed for a three-ball duck by Hooper. Ambrose picked up the last two wickets of Tim May and Craig McDermott to complete his six-wicket haul and earned a healthy 39-run lead for his side.

One-man show from Richardson

After a poor performance in the first innings, Richardson needed to lead from the front and that is exactly what he did in the third innings. McDermott dismissed Haynes with just 14 runs on the board. Richardson first shared a 35-run partnership with Simmons before the latter was dismissed by McDermott.

McDermott and Hughes struck again West Indies lost Lara and Arthurton in quick succession with a lead of just 104 runs. Richardson found an able partner in Hooper and the duo shared a 59-run stand for the 5th wicket. Richardson amidst the partnership reached his fifty. 

Hooper was dismissed by Tim May who was en route to something special himself. After dismissing Hooper, May dismissed Murray for a 10-ball duck while his spin partner, Warne dismissed Richardson. Richardson scored 72 runs in 106 balls hitting six fours and two sixes while batting for 150 minutes. May quickly dismissed the tail and picked up the last three wickets to complete his five-wicket haul. Despite a captain’s knock from Richardson, the visitors only managed to score 146 runs.

West Indies wins the thriller match

Chasing 186 runs, Australia lost wickets in quick succession. Ambrose trapped Boon in front of the stumps for a 17-ball duck. Benjamin dismissed Boon’s opening partner Taylor for seven runs. Debutant, Justin Langer steadied the ship with a half-century but did not find any partner for long durations. 

Mark Waugh was dismissed after a quick knock of 26 runs by Courtney Walsh. This was Walsh’s first wicket of the match as he went wicket-less in the first innings. Ambrose dismissed Steve and Border while Walsh dismissed bowled Healy for a golden duck. Australia went from 54-2 to 74-7 in quick time with the debutant watching the dismissals from the non-striker’s end.

With 112 runs remaining in the chase, Australia had fallen behind the eight ball in the match. Warne shared a 28-run stand with Langer while contributing just nine runs in his 60 balls. Langer then shared the most crucial partnership of the match with Tim May. The duo added 42 runs for the ninth wicket before Langer was dismissed by Bishop. Once again with 42 runs needed to win the game for Australia, West Indies had their noses in front in the match. 

May and McDermott had other things in their plan as the duo went to give this match a thrilling climax. May after picking a five-for in the previous innings was in the middle with McDermott. The duo batted for a long time sharing a great last wicket stand but with two runs remaining to win the match, Walsh who went wicket-less in the first innings picked the most important wicket of the match dismissing McDermott. Ambrose was awarded the Player of the Match award for his 10 wickets in the match.