10 unforgettable Boxing Day Test moments
The Boxing Day Test at the MCG is one of the biggest and best traditions in cricket and it's been home to some unforgettable moments.
ELIZA SEWELL relives the best memories from Boxing Day Test matches.
DK ROLLS VIV
1981 - Australia v West Indies
Boxing Day starts out a horror movie and ends up feel-good story of the year. The West Indies quicks led by Michael Holding demolish the Aussie top-order, the hosts reduced to 3-8 at one stage. Kim Hughes is the sole survivor and his unbeaten 100 enables a total of 202. But the day is not done. West Australians Dennis Lillee and Terry Alderman take up the attack as the shadows lengthen on the 'G and, amazingly, Lillee has two wickets and Alderman one by the time the great man tears in for the last ball of the day, to master blaster Viv Richards, the crowd screaming for one last miracle. DK delivers. Bowled! Out! The Windies are 4-10 and the Australians are on their way to a famous victory.
AB & THOMMO
1982 - Australia v England
Australia needs 292 to win and a 100-run fourth-wicket stand between Kim Hughes and David Hookes gives fans hope - but then comes the crash. All looks lost as No.11 Jeff Thomson strides out to join Allan Border, 74 still to get. By stumps on day four the deficit is just 37 and a nation dares to dream. Thompson continues to hold out the next morning and now Australia needs just four runs. Ian Botham bowls a nothing sort of ball outside off stump and Thommo edges to Chris Tavare at second slip, who knocks it up for Geoff Miller next to him to snaffle. Thomson trudges off, taking with him the most famous 21 ever scored at the 'G.
1992 - Australia v West Indies
The jury was out on Shane Warne but the young spinner from Victoria was recalled for his fifth Test match - and first Boxing Day Test - after Greg Matthews had got the nod in Brisbane. Chasing 359 for victory, the Windies were flying at 1-143 but in the shadows of lunch Warne struck, a flipper ripping through the defences of Richie Richardson. Warne would walk off with 7-52 and a glittering career had been launched.
EASY AS 1-2-3
1994 - Australia v England
Shane Warne was coming off match figures of 11-110 in Brisbane and two years on from his Boxing Day debut heroics, his confidence could not have been higher. A six-for helped produce a first-innings lead for the hosts and after a David Boon second-dig century, England needed a miracle (and 520 runs) to win. Craig McDermott made sure that was never going to happen and then it was Warnie's turn to produce some late-innings magic. First was Phil DeFreitas lbw, then Darren Gough caught behind and then Boon lent a spectacular, diving hand at short leg to remove Devon Malcolm to complete the Warne hat-track.
TON OF LUCK
2017 - Australia v England
David Warner is enjoying a rich vein of form and a rehabilitated public image (which would be destroyed just a few months later) and the pugnacious opener is on song. He races towards a century, but stalls in the 90s before being caught out one run shy of his century. Tragedy. The eyes of the crowd turn to video screens and then a mighty roar erupts. It looks like Tom Curran has overstepped. He has! Come back, Davey, all is forgiven (well, this day, at least). Warner gets his ton but adds just three more runs before being forced to walk for real.
2006 - Australia v England
Shane Warne, by now one of the greatest of all time, had announced that this would be his final MCG Test, and the Sydney game to follow soon after, his final Test match of all. With 699 Test scalps to his name, it was little wonder that a huge crowd just shy of 90,000 rolled in and the roar produced when Ricky Ponting threw him the ball was the loudest Warne says he has heard. It may have been rivalled later that day when a classic leg-spinner unsettled Andrew Strauss's middle stump. Wicket No.700, and Warne's 37th Test five-for was underway. Warne would retire with 708 Test scalps, including 56 in 11 Boxing Day matches.
RICKY ON A ROLL
2003 - Australia v India
Ricky Ponting was in his pomp in 2003 and by the time he walked out to bat against India at the MCG he already had two double tons to his name. Ten hours later, it would be three, the No.3 amassing 257 off 458 balls to set up Australian victory.
1999 - Australia v India
Brett "Bing" Lee was the new blond-haired kid on the block, and he sure arrived with a bang, the tearaway taking 5-47 on debut. It was the best debut return at the MCG since Tony Dodemaide bagged 6-58 against New Zealand in 1987. The chainsaw was kept in the kit bag but Australians would have plenty of opportunity to see Lee let it rip - the speed demon retired with 310 wickets from 76 Test matches.
1995 - Australia v Sri Lanka
Muttiah Muralitharan was a 23-year-old spinner from Sri Lanka. Darrell Hair was a seasoned Australian umpire. Seven times in three overs, Hair called Muralitharan for chucking. Finally, Muralitharan switched ends and the calls stopped, but the furore continued to burn.
Muralitharan would be called by different umpires later in the summer and while it cast a stain on his career, a record 800 Test wickets in 133 matches suggests the combative tweaker had the last laugh.
1983 - Australia v Pakistan
Graham Yallop loved batting on his home deck - and in 1983 he batted and batted … and batted some more, scoring a monster 268 in a 517-ball, 12-hour marathon that ensured a drawn game after Pakistan posted 470 in its first innings. Yallop's super knock stands as the highest score in a Boxing Day Test.
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