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Highest run chases in Test, ODI and T20 cricket history

Ahead of a big summer of cricket, we look back on some of the best run chases across all three formats of the game.

Highest run chases in Test cricket history

1) West Indies - 418/7 (Target: 418) v Australia, May 2003

Australia's tour of the West Indies in May 2003 would be the last overseas tour for 37-year-old skipper Steve Waugh, and although Shane Warne was absent and Glenn McGrath missed the first two Tests through injury, it was still an Australia squad featuring the likes of Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Adam Gilchrist, Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie and more.

The tourists took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the four-match series, and with man-of-the-series Ponting missing out on the fourth and final Test, Australia would be all out for 240 in the first innings. The West Indies matched that total in their first innings, before the Baggy Greens, led from the front by openers Langer and Hayden - who put on a 242-run opening stand - were all out for 417 runs.

Things started ominously for the hosts, with Chris Gayle, Devon Smith and Daren Ganga falling for 19, 23 and 8 respectively, bringing Brian Lara to the crease. With the Windies needing 344 runs with seven wickets remaining, Lara steadied the ship with a respectable 60 before being bowled by Stuart MacGill.

The 123-run stand between Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul would give the West Indies a way back into the contest, however. Sarwan would raise his bat before being caught and bowled by Lee on 105, leaving the West Indies on 288-5, needing another 130 runs.

Ridley Jacobs was harshly dismissed for a golden duck, leaving Lee on a hat-trick. Omari Banks survived the delivery, but Chanderpaul would have to do much of the heavy lifting for the rest of the innings. Chanderpaul would add 49 more runs before being caught behind by Gilchrist on 104, bringing an end to the 84-run partnership that had seen the West Indies somehow take control of the match.

All-rounder Banks was joined at the crease by Vasbert Drakes with the hosts needing 46 runs with four wickets remaining. The pair got the Windies over the line in a remarkable final partnership that saw the hosts run record a legendary, historic three-wicket victory.

2) South Africa - 414/4 (Target: 414) v Australia, December 2008

Despite ducks for Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey, nine Australians scored double figures in the first innings against South Africa in the first Test of their three-match series in 2008/09. No one managed a century, but Simon Katich, Michael Clarke and Andrew Symonds all recorded half-centuries to lead by 86 runs after the tourists came to bat.

There was no second-innings century, either, though Brad Haddin came closest with what looked like a match-winning knock of 94 to leave South Africa a surely unassailable target of 414.

Only three times in history had a score of more than 400 been chased down in Test cricket, and it had never happened in Australia...

Standing up to the pace attack of Brett Lee, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson, Graeme Smith produced a captain's knock of 108 having seen fellow opener Neil McKenzie fall for just 10.

The Proteas' momentum was halted when Smith was trapped LBW however, still needing 242 runs with eight wickets remaining. Hashim Amla went just three overs later for 53, but Jacques Kallis put on a 124-run stand with AB de Villiers to somehow put South Africa in the driving seat.

The partnership was broken by Johnson and South Africa fell to 303/4, but it was the final wicket the Aussies would take, as De Villiers and JP Duminy finished unbeaten on 106 and 50, to record a historic six-wicket win.

3) India - 406/4 (Target: 403) v West Indies, April 1976

It wasn't quite the West Indies of the 1980s, but in April 1976, India visited the Caribbean to take on a Windies side featuring a young Viv Richards with the bat, a young Michael Holding with the ball and Clive Lloyd as captain.

A modest 177 in the first innings from Richards saw the hosts take a 131-run lead with none of the tourists reaching 50.

Alvin Karricharran shone with an unbeaten 103 in the second innings as the Windies declared on 271/6. Despite being one of the best teams in the world at the time, the West Indies suffered a humbling 5-1 defeat to Australia just months earlier, but worse was still to come.

Having fielded three spinners and just two quick bowlers, the West Indies were quickly put on the back foot by the tourists. Sunil Gavaskar opened with 102, though fellow opener Anshuman Gaekwad was dismissed for 28. Nevertheless, Gavaskar put on a 108-run stand with Mohinder Amarnath.

A third-wicket partnership of 159 between Amarnath and Gundappa Viswanath took India to 336 runs and just 67 away from a remarkable victory.

Amarnath was run out on 85 with Viswanath going the same way for 112, with Brijesh Patel and Madan Lal finishing the job with an unbeaten 49 and 1 respectively, to win by six wickets.

The West Indies declared in the second innings, but managed to take only two wickets (with two batsman falling to run outs) as India recorded what was the biggest successful chase in Test cricket history.

4) Australia - 404/3 (Target: 404) v England, July 1948

In the post-war period, Australia had become all-conquering, and while England had enough about them to pose threats to the tourists in the 1948 Ashes, much of the series was one-way traffic.

Australia cruised to victory in the first two Tests, with a weather-affected draw in the third meaning the Aussies would retain the Ashes. With England chasing victory in the fourth Test to have a chance of drawing the series, they would go on to create cricketing history.

Centuries from Cyril Washbrook and Bill Edrich saw England post a first-innings total of 496 and though Don Bradman - averaging 99.85 at this point - was dismissed for 33, Australia posted a solid response of 458.

England would declare on 365/8 setting Australia a target of 404, but despite taking Lindsay Hassett for 17, Bradman and opener Arthur Morris stood for a mammoth 301 runs with Morris eventually falling for 182. Bradman would remain unbeaten on 173 as the tourists coasted to another victory, this time by seven wickets.

5) West Indies - 395/7 (Target: 395) v Bangladesh, February 2021

Far removed from their 1980s teams, and even their 1990s teams of Brian Lara, Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose, the West Indies toured Bangladesh for a two-match series in 2021, lacking the star power of generations past.

Half centuries from Shadman Islam and Shakib Al Hasan and a century Mehidy Hasan Miraz saw Bangladesh post a first-innings total of 430, and while Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood responded wiht 76 and 68, the Windies were all out for 259.

A century from Mominul Haque allowed Bangladesh to declare on 223/8, giving the West Indies four sessions to bat out a draw... or go one better.

The tourists would end day four on 110/3, needing 285 to win with Nkrumah Bonner and Kyle Mayers at the crease, but with seven wickets remaining going into a fifth day on a subcontinental wicket, the odds were hugely stacked against the West Indies.

Bonner and Mayers would pick up where they left off, with their 218-run partnership eventually being broken by Taijul Islam.

By this point, with all three results still possible, Mayers was fully on the attack, chasing the win. Mayers - on his Test debut, no less - would bring up a double century to see the Windies home, capping an unbelievable innings and a miraculous win.

Highest run chases in ODI history

1) South Africa - 438/9 (Target 435) v Australia, March 2006

In 2006, the world's best ODI team, Australia, travelled to the world's second best ODI team, South Africa, for a five-match series.

South Africa won the first two matches with Australia taking the second two. Nothing could separate the two best teams in the world heading into the final match of the series, which would be as hotly contested as the series itself.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat. The four batsmen who were dismissed - Adam Gilchrist, Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey, scored 55, 79, 164 and 81 runs, with Andrew Symonds and Brett Lee adding 38 more. They plundered their way to 434, becoming the first team in history to surpass 400 runs. The previous highest ODI total was set by Sri Lanka, who scored 398 against Kenya, 10 years earlier.

So to a historic challenge. Boeta Dippenaar went for 1 to make South Africa's task that bit harder, but the game would begin to turn as Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs combined for 187 runs.

Smith went for 90 as AB de Villiers came to the crease, but the new man was largely an onlooker as Gibbs smashed his way through the Aussie attack. Although De Villiers was only at the crease for 20 balls, scoring 14 runs, he was part of a 52-ball, 96-run partnership.

When Gibbs finally departed on 175, South Africa needed 136 runs with six wickets left and 18.1 overs left. Game on.

Jacques Kallis went for 20, but Mark Boucher plodded along nicely despite seeing three of his partners dismissed heading into the final over.

With six Brett Lee balls left, South Africa needed just seven runs with two wickets in hand. Boucher lost strike with a single off the first, but a drive for four from Andrew Hall took South Africa to the brink of victory.

Natually, the game would have one final twist. Hall gifted his wicket away with the very next ball, meaning Lee could potentially have three deliveries at Makhaya Ntini for the win, with South Africa still two runs short and Boucher stranded at the non-striker's end.

But Ntini, with all the composure in the world, nicked a single allowing Boucher to bring up his 50 with a four securing a miraculous win by one wicket with just one ball to spare.

2) Netherlands - 374 (Super Over, target 375) v West Indies, June 2023

Technically the Netherlands needed 51 overs to win having been set a target of 375 by the West Indies in a World Cup qualifier in 2023.

The Windies brought up 101 without loss when Johnson Charles went for 54 with fellow opener Brandon King falling for 76. The introduction of Nicholas Pooran seemed to have changed the game, however. The West Indies added 108 runs with Pooran and Shai Hope at the crease before the wicketkeeper went for 47. Two quick wickets came before Keemo Paul joined Pooran at the crease, with the Windies adding another 79 runs without losing another wicket.

Pooran made an unbeaten 104 to set the Netherlands 375 to win.

The Netherlands kept in touch with 170 runs for their first four wickets, but it was the partnership between Teja Nidamanuru and skipper Scott Edwards that brought the game to life. A 114-run stand saw Nidamanuru bring up his century with Edwards adding 67, but when Nidamanuru wet for 111, only the tail were left with another 48 runs required and three wickets in hand.

A terrific partnership between Logan van Beek (28 off 14) and Aryan Dutt (16 off 9) gave the Dutch a chance despite needing 42 off the final three overs, to needing 30 in the final two to just nine heading into - what was meant to be - the final over.

The final over went 4-1-W-1b-2-W as a Super Over beckoned. Van Beek was sent back out with Edwards - who didn't face a ball. Edwards slogged his way to 30 with the West Indies only capable of offering eight in response as the Netherlands won an all-time epic.

3) South Africa - 372/6 (Target: 372) v Australia, October 2016

10 years had passed since South Africa's record-breaking chase against Australia, but history was set to repeat itself.

This was a new generation for Australia, with David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith and a young Travis Head coming to the fore.

Finch blasted 53 off 34 balls to get Australia to 110/1, with Smith and Warner combining for a 124 runs before Warner fell. Australia had gone from 234/1 to 371/6 in their 50 overs, but surely enough to beat South Africa?

As they had a decade earlier, South Africa were on the front foot. Quinton de Kock opened with 70 with Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis adding 45 and 33 respectively, but it was the arrival of David Miller that changed things.

South Africa were 179/4 when Miller arrived at the crease but the game ebbed away from Australia as a poor bowling and fielding display saw Miller smash an unbeaten 118 off 79 balls with Andile Phehlukwayo adding 42 with South Africa winning by four wickets with four balls to spare.

4) England - 364/4 (Target: 361) v West Indies, February 2019

Just months away from the Cricket World Cup, England travelled to the West Indies for a five-match series, looking to lay down a marker in Bridgetown.

The world's best side, however, ran into an inspired Chris Gayle. Put down on 9, Gayle cleared the rope just the 12 times, going on to make 135 off 129 balls. Shai Hope added 64 as the hosts scored 360/8, setting England a record chase.

While it might not have been a vintage display with the ball, the tourists punished the hosts with the bat. The Windies were left to rue dropped catches of their own as Jason Roy made 123, Joe Root added 102 and skipper Eoin Morgan scored 65, with Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler putting the finishing touches on the innings with eight balls to spare.

5) India - 351/4 (Target 351) v Australia, October 2013

He'll forever be remembered as one of the greatest batters to have ever played the game, and we saw some of the very best Virat Kohli had to offer in Nagpur in 2013.

2-1 down in the seven-match ODI series, India needed to win the final to matches to take the series, but having been set 351, the odds were stacked against them.

After two wickets for 45 runs, Asutralia put on a 168-run partnership between Shane Watson (102) and skipper George Bailey (156) who was still only 18 months into his ODI career.

Bailey was joined by Adam Voges and Australia went from 213/3 to 344/5, eventually settling for 350/6 from their 50 overs.

Between Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, India scored 178 runs before eventually losing their first wicket. Not that it was much of a breakthrough for the tourists. Kohli came to the crease, smashing a 61-ball century, eventually making 115* from just 66 deliveries as India won with three balls remaining.

Highest run chases in T20I history

1) South Africa - 259/4 (Target: 259) v West Indies, March 2023

Nearly 18 months on from Chris Gayle's last appearance, the West Indies needed a new talisman, and they seemed to have found one in Johnson Charles...

In his 38th T20I, nearly 12 years after his debut, Charles made his first T20I century, smashing 118 off just 46 deliveries with Kyle Mayers adding 51 off 27 in a 135-run partnership as the Windies finished on 258/5.

But Quinton de Kock, as he had done so many times before, led from the front with 100 runs off 44 in an opening partnership of 152. Reeza Hendricks scored 68 off just 28 balls as South Africa won by six wickets in what was the first - and to date only - 500-run T20I.

2) Australia - 245/5 (Target: 244) v New Zealand, February 2018

Having been on the receiving end of the biggest run chases in Test and ODI history, it was only fair that Australia were on the right side of a T20I chase, which at the time was the biggest successful chase in T20I history.

The Aussies conceded 243 runs at Eden Park as New Zealand posted the seventh-highest T20I score in history with Martin Guptill plundering 105 off 54 balls and Colin Munro adding 76 off 33.

Australia immediately went on the attack with openers David Warner and D'Arcy Short smashing 59 and 76 off 24 and 44 respectively. Chris Lynn added 18 off 13 with Glenn Maxwell scoring 31 off just 14 before Aaron Finch came in with 36 off 14, finishing with a six as Australia got home with seven balls to spare.

3) Bulgaria - 229/4 (Target: 226) v Serbia, June 2022

Two emerging cricketing nations, Bulgaria met Serbia in a four-match series in 2022. The tourists batted first and captain Robin Vitas was largely a bystander as Wintley Burton smashed the Bulgarian bowlers all over the park.

In their 87-run opening partnership, Vitas contributed just 11 runs as Burton would go on to make 83 off just 27 balls with Leslie Dunbar adding 70 off 35. Bulgaria were set a target of 226 which they didn't look like getting near in the first half of their inninings.

Hristo Lakov, Aravinda De Silva and Saim Hussain went for 3, 43 and 5 with Bulgaria reduced to 87/3 after 10.3 overs. Kevin D'Souza had been the ray of light and when he was joined by captain Prakash Mishra, the pair put on a remarkable 134-run partnership before Mishra went for 53, leaving another five balls to score five runs, with Mukul Kadyan hitting two boundaries with the next two balls to secure a place in cricketing history.

4) West Indies - 236/6 (Target: 232) v South Africa, January 2015

Prior to 11th January 2015, only one player had scored more than 119 runs (Aaron Finch - 156 v England), to give you an idea of how impressive Faf du Plessis's knock was against the West Indies in Johannesburg.

More than half of South Africa's 231 runs were scored by their skipper, whose 119 came in 56 balls, with David Miller adding 47 to set the West Indies a mammoth target.

Dwayne Smith went for 17, but the Windies gave themselves a chance thanks to the 152-run stand between Chris Gayle (90) and Marlon Samuels (60).

Just nine balls separated Gayle's and Samuels' dismissals, with Kieron Pollard going four balls later. Wickets followed in the next two overs leaving the West Indies needing 21 runs for victory with just four wickets remaining, but Daren Sammy added a crucial 20 off seven, sealing the win in style, hitting Marchant de Lange for six to secure a memorable win.

5) England - 230/8 (Target: 230) v South Africa, March 2016

England faced South Africa in the 2016 World Twenty20, with quick-fire 50s from Hashim Amla (58), Quinton de Kock (52) and JP Duminy (54*) leaving them with a target of 230 - the highest in World Twenty20 history, and the second highest in T20Is.

Jason Roy fell just shy of his 50, but got England off to a great start with 43 off 16 as Alex Hales and Ben Stokes added 17 and 15, but it was Joe Root who flicked the switch with a sublime 83 off 44 balls before falling to Kagiso Rabada.

England needed just 11 runs after Root's dismissal with Moeen Ali getting his side over the line.

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