In the second semi-final of race to crown the Ultimate Test Series, a thrilling 1-1 between India and Pakistan in 1999 takes on 2005's unforgettable Ashes.
Ahead of the ICC World Test Championship Final, we’re looking to crown The Ultimate Test Series – a Test series that would stand out in any era for both its significance to the sport’s rich history and the level of cricket played.
Over the last week you have helped us whittle down a shortlist of 16 to a final four.
Today, in the second semi-final, a thrilling 1-1 between India and Pakistan in 1999 takes on 2005's unforgettable Ashes.
India vs Pakistan, 1999
1-1 across two Tests
An enthralling contest was expected between the two arch-rivals during their clash in 1999, and the series well and truly delivered its fair share of drama.
Sachin Tendulkar’s memorable knock of 136 was in vain as India fell short by a mere 12 runs in the opening Test match in Chennai while chasing down a target of 271. The close encounter was a treat for the fans witnessing it as it pitted Sachin’s mastery against the skills and wizardry of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Saqlain Mushtaq. The Pakistanis pulled off an incredible comeback to win the Test, with India collapsing from 254/6 to 258 all out following the dismissal of Tendulkar.
The second Test in Delhi would turn out to be another unforgettable encounter, with Anil Kumble etching his name in the history books. With Pakistan chasing down a total of 420, Kumble would scalp all 10 Pakistan wickets as he bowled them out for 207. He would become only the second bowler in history after Jim Laker to accomplish this feat.
Pakistan went on to win a third Test between the two teams a fortnight later, but that match was a part of the Asian Championship.
England vs Australia, 2005
2-1 to England across five Tests
Going into the 2005 series, England had not won an Ashes campaign since 1987, with the Australians taking out each of the past eight series between the two sides.
In 2005, England finally won back the urn.
That did not look a likely result when the Australians dealt them a 239-run defeat at Lord’s in the series opener off the back of a nine-wicket match haul from Glenn McGrath.
However, things took a drastic turn at Edgbaston, where the Australians lost McGrath to a rolled ankle before a ball had been bowled. In one of the sport’s tightest ever finishes, England went on to win that Test by two runs. In trouble at 175/8 and then 220/9 in the chase, the Australians almost pulled off the improbable.
At Old Trafford, the Australians just barely held on for a draw thanks to a century from captain Ricky Ponting, before England took a 2-1 series lead Trent Bridge after an Andrew Flintoff ton. A draw at the Oval was followed by an open-top bus parade for England’s triumphant outfit.
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