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How many times have teams won a Test match after following on

New Zealand’s stunning 1-run win over England is just the fourth such instance where a team has found itself on the wrong side of a result after enforcing the follow-on in a Test.

Welling 2023 to Kolkata 2001: 4 matches when enforcing the follow-on backfired for a team in Test cricket (AP/Reuters)

By India Today Web Desk: New Zealand pulled off an improbable victory by stunning England with a one-run win in the Wellington Test on Tuesday, tying the series at 1-1. However, this is not the first time that a team has found itself on the wrong side of the result after having enforced the follow-on in a Test.

In fact, it is only the fourth such occurrence, and the first since 2001, when VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid led India to a stunning victory over Australia at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. New Zealand thus became only the third team to win a Test match after being forced to follow on. England (1894 and 1981) and India are the other two teams to have registered this feat in the purest form of the game.

The Black Caps made history by becoming only the third team in Test cricket history to win a match after being asked to follow on. Surprisingly, the Kiwis accomplished the feat for the first time, and against a team that had previously accomplished it twice. In fact, England became the first team to win a Test match after following on in 1894.


The first occurrence occurred in the nineteenth century when Australia and England headlined another edition of The Ashes at the Sydney Cricket Ground. England and Australia faced off in the first test match on 14 December 1894 at Sydney, with Australia scoring 586 runs after batting first. However, England managed to post an average of 325 only and the hosts enforced the follow-on.

England came up with a strong comeback in the second inning, scoring 437 runs, giving Australia a target of 177 runs. However, Australia, who looked better in the first inning, were unable to handle England’s bowlers and were bowled out for 166 runs. Even after playing the follow-on, England won the Test by 10 runs.


Unfortunately for Australia, England repeated the follow-on victory phenomenon in the Ashes 1981 at Leeds. After winning the toss, Australia chose to bat first and scored 401 runs for 9 wickets before declaring their innings. On the other hand, England were bowled out for 174 runs, with Ian Botham top-scoring with a valiant 5-.

The then-Australian captain forced England to play follow-on, and the hosts put up a fight, scoring 356 runs in the second inning. Australia were set a modest target of 130 runs, but England’s bowlers, particularly Bob Willis, performed admirably, taking 8 wickets. Australia were bowled out for 111, thus handing England an 18-run win.


Australia won the toss and chose to bat first, which paid off handsomely as they amassed 445 runs following Steve Waugh’s century. India was bundled out for only 171 points and forced to continue. In that follow-on, VVS Laxman (281) and Rahul Dravid (180) combined to take India to 657/7 declared. The Australians were eventually set a target of 384 points but were only able to score 212.

Laxman and Dravid batted all day against the world’s best bowling attack led by Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne to rewrite history in Kolkata. With the stunning comeback in Kolkata, the Sourav Ganguly-led Indian side also ended Australia’s run of 16 consecutive Test victories.


With a thrilling one-run victory over England in a classic final-day contest, New Zealand became only the fourth team in history to win a Test match after being forced to follow on. Neil Wagner (4/62) was the Kiwis’ hero, catching James Anderson behind down the leg side to seal a famous victory for New Zealand at Basin Reserve.

Kane Williamson’s 26th Test century on the penultimate day of a topsy-turvy contest gave New Zealand some hope after they were asked to follow on after being dismissed for only 209 in their first innings in reply to England’s 435/8 declared.

England needed to chase down 258 runs in the fourth innings to win, and they appeared to be in command when Joe Root (95) and Ben Stokes (33) were at the crease and less than 60 runs were needed. But Wagner and Tim Southee (3/45) dug deep in a tense finish to give New Zealand a thrilling victory and tie the two-match series at one game apiece.

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