The highest rating 50 test matches
Russell Degnan

This is by no means meant to be definitive. By calculating the rankings of the two competing sides, and minusing 10 times the calculated run margin, or, if a draw, the distance to victory of both sides, I have created a basic measure of game quality. It doesn't account for dead tests, series context, or other intangibles, nor does it correct for slight ratings inflation as weaker sides have been added. It also strongly favours great sides, particularly Australia who are fairly consistent on that front, meaning some great games between mediocre sides have missed out. That said, the list is interesting, and occasionally surprising.

MatchTest No.Quality
South AfricaAustralia1996/972Port ElizabethAustralia by 2 wickets13601925.4
Amazing comeback from Australia, led by series winning knock from Mark Waugh
AustraliaPakistan2009/102SydneyAustralia by 36 runs19451926.0
Questionable comeback as Pakistan crumble in low chase.
IndiaAustralia1986/871MadrasMatch Tied10521928.3
The second tied test, epic high scoring game as India chased 347
EnglandAustralia18821The OvalAustralia by 7 runs91930.0
The game that birthed the Ashes as Spofforth takes 14
AustraliaIndia1977/781BrisbaneAustralia by 16 runs8091937.2
Under-rated WSC years match as Thomson holds back Gavaskar
AustraliaEngland1884/853SydneyAustralia by 6 runs191940.0
Flowers and Read bring England close in an under-rated fixture
EnglandWest Indies19801Trent BridgeWest Indies by 2 wickets8801945.9
Despite 5 wickets from Willis, Haynes and Roberts sneak home
West IndiesEngland1973/745Queen's Park OvalEngland by 26 runs7381950.3
Boycott and Grieg draw the series in a fluctuating game.
EnglandAustralia19813HeadingleyEngland by 18 runs9051969.7
A truly great comeback but played between two average sides.
AustraliaWest Indies1960/615MelbourneAustralia by 2 wickets5061972.5
The final chapter in an epic series as Australia blocked out the Windies spinners to win
PakistanEngland2005/061MultanPakistan by 22 runs17701973.3
A great comeback, started by Butt and Inzaman, finished by Shoaib and Kaneria
AustraliaWest Indies1960/614AdelaideMatch Drawn5041973.4
Mackay and Kline survive the final session to draw
AustraliaWest Indies1951/521BrisbaneAustralia by 3 wickets3401979.2
The most under-rated series, as Australia just squeeze past Ramadhin and Valentine
Sri LankaSouth Africa20062ColomboSri Lanka by 1 wicket18121979.2
Sri Lanka survive a late collapse as Murali takes 12
EnglandAustralia19025The OvalEngland by 1 wicket741985.1
Jessop's ton allows Hirst and Rhodes to close a brilliant comeback.
South AfricaPakistan1997/982DurbanPakistan by 29 runs14031985.7
Pollock sparks a collapse, but Mushtaq Ahmed holds off the long South African tail.
EnglandWest Indies19693HeadingleyEngland by 30 runs6551987.9
A West Indies comeback falls just short after a middle-order collapse
AustraliaWest Indies1968/694AdelaideMatch Drawn6451993.8
Australia runout half their side chasing a last day target, before surviving the last few overs to draw
EnglandAustralia19614Old TraffordAustralia by 54 runs5101994.2
Lawry leads a comeback capped by Benaud as England collapse on the final day
IndiaEngland1972/732Eden GardensInda by 28 runs7062008.6
Despite Grieg's efforts, England lose a low-scoring affair
West IndiesAustralia1998/993BridgetownWest Indies by 1 wicket14532013.6
Extraordinary 153 not out by Lara to overcome McGrath and Gillespie
EnglandPakistan19713HeadingleyEngland by 25 runs6892016.9
Lever sparks late collapse in see-sawing game
West IndiesPakistan1987/883BridgetownWest Indies by 2 wickets10972024.1
Amazing series ends with Winston Benjamin an unlikely batting hero
West IndiesEngland1967/685GeorgetownMatch Drawn6362032.5
Cowdrey and Knott hold off Gibbs and Sobers all day to draw.
West IndiesPakistan1987/882Queen's Park OvalMatch Drawn10962036.6
An amazing match, concluded with both sides in sight of victory
South AfricaAustralia2005/063WanderersAustralia by 2 wickets17952045.9
Martyn and Hussey mean South Africa fall short again
AustraliaEngland1894/951SydneyEngland by 10 runs422055.6
The first side to win following on as Peel sparks extraordinary collapse
IndiaPakistan1998/991ChennaiPakistan by 12 runs14422060.7
Tendulkar gets India to brink before lamentable collapse of 4/4
AustraliaEngland1954/552SydneyEngland by 38 runs3922073.2
Harvey's 92 not enough as Tyson takes 10 to complete comeback
EnglandAustralia19976The OvalEngland by 19 runs13772074.7
Tuffnell and Caddick prevent Australia chasing low target in dead match
AustraliaEngland1982/834MelbourneEngland by 3 runs9432095.2
Thomson and Border fall just short in a game that stayed close the whole way
AustraliaPakistan2002/031ColomboAustralia by 41 runs16152100.2
Shoaib's spell offers Pakistan hope but they fall just short
EnglandAustralia20053Old TraffordMatch Drawn17602109.4
Ponting holds back England for just long enough as last pair hold on
AustraliaEngland1998/994MelbourneEngland by 12 runs14362116.2
Australia collapses alarmingly to Headley in evening finish
Sri LankaAustralia2003/042KandyAustralia by 27 runs16882136.1
Gilchrist and Martyn start comeback in Warne/Murali showdown
Sri LankaSouth Africa20002KandySouth Africa by 7 runs15052137.4
Sri Lanka lose 4/8 after Ranatunga's dismissal to fail just short in low chase
EnglandWest Indies19632Lord'sMatch Drawn5442168.9
Cowdrey comes out with broken arm to see off Griffith and Hall in epic game
AustraliaEngland1928/294AdelaideEngland by 12 runs1792170.6
Dual tons from Hammond enough as young Bradman's runout by Hobbs leaves his side short in dead rubber
PakistanAustralia1994/951KarachiPakistan by 1 wicket12682177.3
Warne beats Inzaman and Healy for byes as largest last wicket chase is achieved
EnglandAustralia19024Old TraffordAustralia by 3 runs732182.4
Trumble's 10 enough to beat Lockwood's 11 as English collapse leaves them just short
IndiaAustralia2010/111MohaliIndia by 1 wicket19722199.9
Laxman guides his team home in most recent epic game
South AfricaEngland1956/574WanderersSouth Africa by 17 runs4372207.6
Tayfield takes 9 in 4th innings to hold off English comeback
AustraliaEngland1924/253AdelaideAustralia by 11 runs1602226.1
England almost pull off massive chase but fall just short
AustraliaEngland1950/512MelbourneAustralia by 28 runs3282245.4
Low scoring game meant England continued their long losing streak
AustraliaSouth Africa1993/942SydneySouth Africa by 5 runs12432274.2
de Villiers bowls South Africa to famous victory as Australia fall just short two years running
IndiaAustralia2004/054WankhedeIndia by 13 runs17202319.4
Crazy low scoring game on difficult pitch. A dead rubber but no less exciting for it.
AustraliaWest Indies1992/934AdelaideWest Indies by 1 run12102345.3
My personal favourite, the dominant team of the past 15 years holds off the dominant team of the next 15 on epic fourth day
AustraliaWest Indies1960/611BrisbaneMatch tied4982436.6
The first tied test, Davison and Benaud almost pull off unlikely chase in last session before runouts decide it
AustraliaWest Indies1951/524MelbourneAustralia by 1 wicket3452465.6
Series winning, 38 run, 10th wicket partnership from Ring and Johnston against Ramadhin and Valentine.
EnglandAustralia20052EdgbastonEngland by 2 runs17582544.3
Warne and Flintoff combine to produce amazing game, finished by Harmison, Lee and Kasprowicz

And, the best games from the three unrepresented sides:

New ZealandWest Indies1979/801DunedinNew Zealand by 1 wicket8731876.5
Hadlee overcomes the mighty West Indies in an ill-tempered game
PakistanZimbabwe1993/942RawalpindiPakistan by 52 runs12401474.6
Wasim and Waqar take 9/52 to overcome a gallant Zimbabwe
PakistanBangladesh20033MultanPakistan by 1 wicket16581337.6
Twice Bangladesh has almost taken a proper scalp, twice denied by a great innings, this one by Inzaman

Idle Summers 18th July, 2011 00:43:54   [#] 

Comments

The highest rating 50 test matches

You missed the famous 2001 Eden gardens test match between India and Australia...
http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/63920.html
Christopher Poshin David  18th July, 2011 02:15:33  

The highest rating 50 test matches
I didn't miss it, it just doesn't rank very highly (about 589) because it wasn't a close finish. To be honest, I didn't find it that interesting to watch either. Great comeback, but it was basically two slow-burning collapses book-ending some seemingly endless batting. In other words, I probably wouldn't put it in the top-50 if it was a purely subjective list.
Russ  18th July, 2011 11:47:15