On this day in 2003: West Indies chase down world-record 418 runs against Australia

This is a Test match that will be etched in West Indian cricketing folklore for eternity. Against a raging Australian side, the West Indies side chased down a gargantuan target of 418 runs in the second innings to stun the Australian bowling attack, consisting of bowlers of the quality of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, and Brett Lee.

The historic Test

Let us delve deep to unravel the spine-tingling finish to this marvelous Test match that ended on 13th May 2003. Australia won the toss and decided to bat first. None of the Australian batsmen could even score a half-century, as the kangaroos were bowled out for just 240 in the first innings. Jermaine Lawson single-handedly wreaked havoc with the ball in hand for West Indies, and scalped 7 wickets, giving away 78 runs in the first innings.

The West Indies replied with the same total, 240. For them, it was the legendary Brian Lara who stood up with the willow. The batting icon scored a classy 68 off 94 deliveries. The next highest run-scorer was Devon Smith, who scored 37.

In the second innings, the Australian openers hammered the West Indian bowling attack. Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer put on a partnership of 242 runs for the opening wicket. While Hayden scored 177, Langer helped himself to 111. The other Australian willow wielders could not contribute much, but still, the kangaroos set the West Indian outfit a mammoth target of 418 for victory.

The legendary chase

The West Indies were reeling at 74/3 in the second innings, and it looked as if Australia would run away with the match. But then, the trio of Brian Lara, Ramnaresh Sarwan, and Shivnarine Chanderpaul stood up for the West Indian side. While Lara scored a sparkling 60, Sarwan and Chanderpaul scored 105 and 104 respectively.

Omari Banks chipped in with a handy 47* lower down the order, as West Indies went past the target of 418 with 3 wickets to spare on the final day. For Australia, Brett Lee was the pick of the bowlers. The pace-bowling legend scalped 4 wickets in the 23 overs that he bowled.

And, for his magical 104 that led West Indies to victory, Shivnarine Chanderpaul was awarded the Player of the Match award.