After three days of one-sided matches in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, fans and organisers were hoping for a close game between Bangladesh and South Africa at The Oval.
The 1977 Centenary Test played at the MCG between old rivals Australia and England is regarded as one of the all-time great test matches in cricket history.
Australia had come off a 2-0 away series win over New Zealand, while England, under Tony Greig, did the unthinkable by winning a series in India, 3-1.
More than 30 years later, memories of the match come flooding back:
– More than 200 legends of Ashes cricket – from Bradman to Larwood, from Benaud to Compton were present at the game
– Australia was all out for 138.
– Rick McCosker being hit on the jaw by a bouncer from England’s Bob Willis.
– England being dismissed for 95, Lillee taking 6 wickets.
– The late David Hookes hitting Tony Greig for five fours off one over, which turned the match on its head.
– Rod Marsh scoring 100 in the second innings.
– The courageous reappearance of Rick McCosker, head swathed in bandages, and the crowd singing ‘Waltzing McCosker’.
– England’s Derek Randall scoring 174 that almost won the game for England.
– Marsh recalling Randall who was thought to be out on 161, when Marsh indicated to the umpire that he didn’t catch the ball.
– The gripping battle between Lillee and Randall.
– England’s Alan Knott being judged lbw to Lillee, which saw the match end in Australia’s favour by 45 runs – the same result as in the first test in 1877.
It was one of the great test matches of all time.
Little did people know when they left the MCG after the last day’s play that a revolution was on the horizon that would change cricket forever.