Stats: Highest successful run-chases in Test cricket

Stats: Highest successful run-chases in Test cricket

Sri Lanka's chase is the highest in the Asian continent.

Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan cricketers Asela Gunaratne (R) and Dilruwan Perera celebrate their team’s victory. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka were coming into the Test having lost the ODI series to Zimbabwe at home as they failed to defend a total of over 300 more than once. But the home side fought well in the 4th innings to clinch the trophy by recording their highest successful run-chase in Test cricket. Sri Lanka held the upper hand as early as day 3 and it appeared like they would finish the game before stumps but a tremendous fightback from Zimbabwe saw them post 377 runs in the 2nd innings and thus they set a target of 388 runs for the home side to win the game.

The 388-run chase by Sri Lanka now stands in as the 5th in the highest successful run-chases in Test cricket. This is also the highest in the Asian continent, as they went past India’s 387-run chase against England in 2008 at Chennai. All the four top targets were in excess of 400 with Windies’ 418-run chase against Australia in 1993 being the highest till date.

Highest successful run-chases in Test cricket:

Team Score Target Opposition Ground Match Date
West Indies 418/7 418  Australia St John’s 9-May-2003
South Africa 414/4 414  Australia Perth 17-Dec-2008
Australia 404/3 404  England Leeds 22-Jul-1948
India 406/4 403  West Indies Port of Spain 7-Apr-1976
Sri Lanka 391/6 388  Zimbabwe Colombo (RPS) 14-Jul-2017
India 387/4 387  England Chennai 11-Dec-2008
Pakistan 382/3 377  Sri Lanka Pallekele 3-Jul-2015
Australia 369/6 369  Pakistan Hobart 18-Nov-1999
Australia 362/7 359  West Indies Georgetown 31-Mar-1978
Sri Lanka 352/9 352  South Africa Colombo (PSS) 4-Aug-2006


Sri Lanka began the final day on 170/3 and lost both their overnight batsmen Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews and were reduced to 203/3. However, a century stand between Niroshan Dickwella and Asela Gunaratne took them closer to the target while and unbeaten 67-run partnership by Gunaratne with Dilruwan Perera finished off the game. The home side’s tally of 188 runs after losing their 5th wicket is the 6th highest by any team in a successful run-chase in the format and the highest since 2000.

Most runs scored after losing the 5th wicket in a successful run-chase in Test cricket:

Team Score at fall of 5th wicket Target Runs Wickets lost when target chased Opposition Venue Start Date
Australia 126 369 243 6  Pakistan Hobart 18-Nov-1999
England 48 263 215 9  Australia Th Oval 11-Aug-1902
West Indies 105 308 206 9  Australia Bridgetown 26-Mar-1999
South Africa 89 284 198 9  England Johannesburg 2-Jan-1906
Sri Lanka 137 326 189 5  Zimbabwe Colombo (SSC) 14-Jan-1998
Sri Lanka  203 388 188 6  Zimbabwe Colombo (RPS) 14-Jul-2017


(Stats as on July 18, 2017)