The Best of Tests: When Australia became first team to score 400+ runs in successful 4th innings chase in 1948
Test cricket mirrors life. The ebbs and flows of the format have given birth to some of the most breath-taking cricketing epics. A Cricket World Series, The Best of Tests, highlights the finest of these spectacles.
4th Test, Australia tour of England at Leeds, Jul 22-27 1948
England 496 & 365/8d
Australia (target 404) 458 & 404/3
Result - Australia won by 7 wickets
400 or more had never been scored in the fourth innings of a Test match in a successful run chase. But with Sir Don Bradman and Arthur Morris at the helm, Australia successfully chased down England's target of 404 on the last day of the fourth Test in 1948.
On a good batting surface at Leeds, England batted first and scored a huge 496 on the back of centuries from Cyril Washbrook and Bill Edrich. Australia replied in fine fashion with 458, just 38 runs short of England's 1st inning score.
Neil Harvey was the top scorer for Australia with 112 while Keith Miller, Sam Loxton and Ray Lindwall also scored half-centuries. Sir Alec Bedser and Jim Laker picked up three wickets each for the hosts.
With half-centuries from each of their top 4, England were well placed in their second innings. In fact, Godfrey Evans was unbeaten on 47 and Jim Laker was batting on 15 when England declared their innings at 365 for 8, setting Australia a target of 404.
400 had never been chased before which informed England's confidence. However, Australia chased down the total within 344 minutes as the England bowling fell apart. Wicket-keeper Godfrey Evans missed an easy stumping of Arthur Morris and Sir Don Bradman was dropped twice.
And you know what happens when chances are given to two of the very best. Australia won the match with 13 minutes to spare and registered a great victory.
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