Many of the reader's suggestions are in the 1990s, and few prior to 1972, which either indicates that the compiler of the main list missed a lot of recent matches, or that cricket was exceptionally good in the 90s, or that readers have short memories. The compiler believes that the biggest ommissions are likely from first-class cricket, and welcomes the few first class matches proposed here.
Thanks to the readers who took the time to mail us. Many of their suggestions are good candidates for the 100 best, and certainly worth a look! Here in reverse chronological order are the suggestions.
Another heart-tugging emotional game, since I was there, oooooooh boy what an unbelievable game, only 40 overs per side too. NZ make a fairly OK 191, Kirsten out first ball of the chase and struggle at 19/2, but at 107/2 after 23.1, things are cruisy, not even needing 5 an over to win.
Then chiefly through Astle, and supported by Vettori and Larsen, NZ claw their way back and up to a dozen, but at least 8-9 incredibly close third umpire decisions are required in the innings - almost all bar 1 (maybe 2) go RSA's way, and most due to poor camera angles, fuzziness, incomplete picture information including one where Klusener should've been run out backing up from a straight shot, deflected on to the stumps by Astle, but given benefit of the doubt.
He went on to belt RSA to the match, 18 from Nash's final over - 6 runs off the final ball with 4 needed.
Astle also took what Cronje (and the rest of the RSA team in the dressing room afterwards) described as "the most amazing catch we've ever seen in our cricketing careers" to get rid of Pollock (running a mile around from wide long on, and diving full stretch near the sightscreen in slippery, wet conditions to snatch a stunner just above the ground, sliding through to the loudest, most deafening "hairs on your back standing on end" cheer I have ever heard, and it lasted for nearly half a minute to a minute it seemed)
The Boxing Day Test at the MCG begins with Michael Holding running amok -- he took 5/45 for the day, and was chiefly responsible for the Aussies being 3/8, then 4/26 and eventually all out for 198. However there was also a 43 run stand for the last wicket -- not only was it the second highest of the innings, but certified bunny Terry Alderman held out for long enough to allow Kim Hughes to progress from 70-odd to an heroic 100 not out.
All had taken only 68.1 overs, meaning that the Windies had to see out a nasty little half hour session before stumps. They failed to do so, crumbling to 4/10. At 2/5 Lloyd sent out Colin Croft (now of CricInfo fame) as nightwatchman, but Lillee quickly dismissed him, leaving the then-greatest-batsmen-in-the-world Viv Richards to bat out a few overs as the shadows got longer and longer. It seemed he'd succeeded, as he was left to face the last ball of the day from Lillee. With the crowd of fifty thousand chanting his name, he steamed in, got an inside edge, and bowled Richards. I can still remember the fierce, animalistic look in Lillee's eyes, and the slumped shoulders of the West Indian in one of my favourite ever sports photographs. The crowd didn't move for about an hour, staying to chant, ``Lil-lee, Lil-lee, Lil-lee'' and soak in the amazing events. Not only had their hero got figures of 3/5 (I think.), but he'd equalled Gibbs's world record.
The next day saw Larry Gomes (with Lloyd and then Dujon) take the score to 5/134, when Lillee struck again. An outside edge to Greg Chappell at second slip, and suddenly there was the record. Marsh lifted his mate high in the air, and the game stopped for some time. When it restarted, Lillee got three more wickets (to go to 7/83, his best ever Test figures) and the West Indies made it to 201, a somewhat unlikely lead of three runs.
When Australia batted again, a good start of 3/184 (courtesy of Laird's 64, Wood's 46 and Border's 66) was torn apart by that man -- Michael Holding -- again. This time he took 6/62 (11/107 for the match) and Australia lost its last 7 wickets for only 38 runs. Nonetheless, they'd still set the West Indies 220 for victory, and the pitch was crumbling (as Melbourne pitches do).
It was only the fourth day, but it soon became apparent that 220 was a huge target. Wickets fell steadily, with no partnership more than 42, and the West Indies were 9/161 as Lillee (with only two wickets for the innings) started his 28th over. With the first ball he had Joel Garner LBW, and Australia had won by 58 runs. Hughes got the man of the match award for his century, but Lillee had 10/127, and a new world record, *and* we'd beaten the West Indies where few expected us to.
I'm sure I'm biased by the fact that I was only seven years old at the time, and Dennis Lillee was (and maybe still is) my hero, but it seemed amazing then, and still does now. How could one even think of omitting it from the 100 great matches of the century? :) (suggested by Daniel Mortlock)