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TIED TEST - India V Australia, Chennai; Sep 18-22, 1986,
India and Australia have always produced exciting encounters. Perhaps the most thrilling of all contests happened this week 24 years ago. Allan Border's Australia and Kapil Dev's men played out a tie at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai - only the second ever instance in Tests.
Australia declared on the final morning deciding not to add to their overnight total of 170 for five, setting India a target of 348 runs. Good work by the top order, a bit of a fumble and then a shift in gears in the final session meant the decision hinged on the final over to be bowled to the final pair in Maninder Singh and the all-rounder Ravi Shastri.
Nothing of the first ball from Greg Mathews who had a good Test match;a couple by Ravi off the second a single off the third meant the scores were tied. As Maninder Singh faced, the idea was to take whatever was available to begin with. Three to go, the left arm spinner squared up to the offie. Everyone associated with Chepauk that evening were recorded in one of the finest chapters of Test cricketing history. The most prominent was perhaps Vikram Raju, the umpire who adjudged Maninder Singh leg before. The Indians couldn't believe it, the Australians were overjoyed and the game was the winner!
In the first innings, David Boon and Allan Border scored hundreds for Australia. Dean Jones' fighting, energy-sapping 210 in the humidity of Chennai, ranks as one of the most courageous knocks in the cricket history Dilip Vengsarkar's injury meant someone had to take the responsibility of a fight back and the captain Kapil Dev, responded with a brilliant hundred.
The visitors still had a lead of 177 after the first innings which is why they could dictate terms till the final morning of the test. Krishnamachari Srikkanth's quick 39, a good 90 from Sunil Gavaskar and an effective half century from Mohinder Amarnath kept India in the hunt until as the say, the rest is history.
S Radhakrishnan works with Neo Sports
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