Highest Run Chase in Test at Gabba Stadium

The Gabba in Brisbane, Australia has been a fortress for the Australian cricket team over the years. Known for its pace and bounce that assists fast bowlers, teams touring Australia have found it extremely difficult to win at this venue. However, some epic run chases at The Gabba over the years have made for exhilarating Test match cricket. In this article, we look at the highest run chase in Test cricket history at The Gabba.

The Importance and History of The Gabba

The Gabba in Brisbane is one of the most iconic cricket grounds in the world. Situated in the Woolloongabba suburb of Brisbane, it has been the home of cricket in Queensland since 1895. With a capacity of 42,000, it is also the largest stadium in Brisbane.

Some key facts about The Gabba:

  • It has hosted Test cricket since 1931, with the first Test being between Australia and South Africa.
  • The nickname ‘Gabba’ comes from the suburb name Woolloongabba.
  • It is considered one of the most intimidating venues for visiting teams due to its pace and bounce that assists fast bowling.
  • Australia has an exceptional record here, having won 33 and lost just 8 out of the 55 Tests played.
  • Some of Australia’s greatest cricketers like Don Bradman, Dennis Lillee, Ian Healy, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne etc. have brilliant records at The Gabba.

So when teams visiting Australia manage to chase down a big target at The Gabba, it is considered a huge achievement. Let’s look at some instances when this fortress was breached in Test history.

Also check: Highest Run Chase in Test at Lord’s

West Indies’ Epic Chase of 236 in 1951

In the first Test of the 1951/52 series, West Indies pulled off the highest run chase at The Gabba at the time, and started off their campaign in Australia in sensational fashion.

After being put into bat by Australian captain Lindsay Hassett, the hosts were bowled out for 234 in their first innings. Fast bowler Ray Lindwall was the star for Australia, top scoring with 61 runs while also taking 6 wickets in the Windies innings. West Indies were bundled out for 192 in response.

In the second innings, Australia set the visitors a target of 236 to win the match. At that time, no team had successfully chased over 200 runs to win a Test at The Gabba.

West Indies had 4 hours to get the runs on the final day. Openers Alan Rae and Jeffrey Stollmeyer provided a solid start of 68 runs before Stollmeyer was dismissed for 24. Frank Worrell then took charge and played a captain’s knock of 52 runs.

Together with Everton Weekes (48), Worrell put on 89 runs for the 3rd wicket to put West Indies in a commanding position. Some late order hitting from Christiani (34) and Stollmeyer (37) sealed the win for the visitors with just 4 wickets down.

West Indies won by 6 wickets and took a 1-0 series lead, creating history in the process by highest run chase at The Gabba.

England Chase Down 332 in 2010 Ashes

The 2010/11 Ashes series in Australia was one of the most competitive in history. England went one up in the series after an epic run chase at The Gabba in the first Test.

Batting first after winning the toss, Australia put up a sizeable total of 481 in their first innings. Skipper Michael Clarke top scored with 135.

In reply, England were bowled out for just 260 and were under immense pressure to avoid the follow on. Captain Andrew Strauss led the way with 110.

With a lead of 221 runs, Australia extended their advantage to 516/7 declared in their second innings. Mike Hussey starred with a brilliant 195 not out.

This meant England had to chase down a mammoth total of 332 runs to win the match and take a 1-0 series lead. On a difficult 5th day Gabba pitch, it was not going to be easy.

England had a solid start with Strauss and Cook putting on 188 runs for the first wicket. Cook perished after a marathon innings of 235, but Kevin Pietersen (43) and Jonathan Trott (119 not out) guided England home without any further hiccups.

England won the match by 9 wickets with over 3 sessions to spare and successfully recorded the highest run chase in Gabba history. This set the tone for their eventual series win down under.

Milestones Set in This Historic Run Chase

Some notable records and milestones achieved during England’s epic Gabba run chase:

  • England’s 332/1 is the highest score in the 4th innings of a Gabba Test.
  • Jonathan Trott scored 119*, which is the highest individual 4th innings score at The Gabba. His chanceless and match-winning knock was pivotal to the record chase.
  • Openers Strauss and Cook added 188, which is England’s highest opening stand in Australia in Test cricket.
  • Alastair Cook faced a marathon innings of 545 minutes for his 235, the longest innings by an Englishman in Australia in terms of minutes.
  • The partnership of 519 runs between Cook and Trott is the highest ever 2nd wicket stand for England against Australia in Test history.
  • England’s run rate of 4.3 runs per over is the highest scoring rate in a 300+ run chase in Test cricket history.

West Indies Go One Better in 1951

The 1951/52 Frank Worrell led West Indies team will go down as one of the greatest to tour Australia. After their record run chase of 236 in the first Test, the Windies went one better in the second Test at The Gabba later that season.

Australia amassed 483 in their first innings, powered by Arthur Morris’ double century. Windies responded well with 413, thanks to big hundreds by Everton Weekes and Clyde Walcott.

The hosts set the Windies an imposing target of 339 on a wearing 5th day Gabba pitch. But the brilliant Windies line up was up for the challenge.

Opening batsman Rae scored a masterful 173, while Walcott blasted an attacking 108. Captain Worrell held firm scoring a vital 49 as West Indies overhauled the target just 4 down to claim a sensational win.

The Windies’ 339/4 was the highest successful run chase ever at The Gabba, bettering their own record from the previous Test. This was one of Test cricket’s greatest comebacks and sealed the series 2-0 for the visitors.

Key Takeaways from Memorable Gabba Run Chases

Analyzing all the famous fourth innings run chases at The Gabba over the years, some common themes emerge:

  • Having solid and patient opening batsmen is crucial. They need to see off the new ball and blunt the Australian pace attack by building partnerships.
  • The first wicket partnership has been pivotal in setting up most successful chases. Strauss-Cook, Rae-Stollmeyer provided solid starts.
  • Having an anchor batsman hold one end is imperative. KP, Trott, Weekes, Walcott played this role to perfection.
  • Rotating the strike and maintaining a healthy run rate creates pressure on the opposition. England in 2010 Ashes maintained a 4.3 rate.
  • Chases require captains to lead from the front. Worrell, Strauss scored vital runs in pressurized situations.
  • Belief and team unity is a must to pull off record chases. West Indies in both 1951 and 1952 showed immense resolve.

So in summary, any team looking to breach The Gabba fortress needs a perfect mix of patience, aggression, team unity and belief right till the end. Records are meant to be broken as England showed in 2010, but The Gabba remains one of the toughest nuts to crack in Test cricket.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions fans have asked regarding the highest Test run chases at The Gabba:

Which team has the highest successful run chase at The Gabba?

West Indies holds the record for the highest successful run chase at The Gabba when they chased down 339 against Australia in 1952.

Who was the captain of the West Indies team that chased 339 at The Gabba in 1952?

The West Indies team was captained by the legendary Frank Worrell in that Gabba Test where they created history.

Which Australian player scored a double century in the 2010 Gabba Test against England?

Australian batsman Michael Clarke scored a brilliant unbeaten 135 in Australia’s first innings total of 481.

Who was England’s anchor batsman in the record 332 run chase at The Gabba in 2010?

The anchor role was played to perfection by Jonathan Trott who scored an unbeaten 119 to steer England’s chase.

What is the highest individual score by an Englishman in a Gabba Test match?

Alastair Cook holds the record for the highest individual Gabba score by an Englishman – 235 in 2010.

Conclusion

The Gabba has been witness to some of Test cricket’s greatest batting heists over the years. Teams chasing over 300 runs to win on a wearing fifth day Gabba pitch is an incredible achievement. The record books show West Indies in the 1950s and England in 2010 as the standout batting performances when it comes to the highest run chases in Test cricket at The Gabba.

With Australia’s dominance at The Gabba, sides touring down under certainly have their task cut out. But as the England 2010 Ashes run chase showed, with proper planning, technique and determination, The Gabba fortress can be breached. Fans will certainly hope for more such entertaining batting feats from visiting teams to set new run chase records at one of cricket’s most iconic venues.

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