Looking back at the 1981 Boxing Day Test

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Whenever great Test matches are talked about, the 1981 Boxing Day Test at the MCG between Australia and the West Indies always gets a mention.

Australia under Greg Chappell won the toss and decided to bat on a dicey pitch. The West Indies had at its disposal probably one of the best pace attacks of all time-Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner and Colin Croft.

Within half an hour, Australia were 4/25-including skipper Chappell who was going through a very lean period with the bat, dismissed for his fourth successive duck.

Kim Hughes stepped up to the mark and made possibly one of the all-time great 100s, making 100 off 198. Michael Holding took five wickets for the West Indies.

Little did the 50,000 crowd, and millions more watching on Nine (in captial cities, including Melbourne, who joined the live telecast after tea) and ABC TV and radio (in regional and country areas around Australia) know what was in store for them with 30 minutes of the day’s play remaining.

Dennis Lillee and Terry Alderman ripped through the West Indies top order to have the West Indies reeling at 4/10, including Viv Richards bowled Lillee on the last ball of the day.

The following day Lillee broke Lance Gibbs’ world record for most Test wickets when Greg Chappell took the catch off Larry Gomes. Lillee racked up 7/83 and 3/44 in the game.

Australia ended up winning the match by 58 runs, with Kim Hughes Man of the Match.

What do you remember about the Boxing Day Test 1981?

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