Unforgettable Boxing Day Test moments

Ricky Ponting Boxing Day Test

Alice Piper

Posted December 20, 2021

An unexpected century, a milestone wicket and the crowning of cricket’s greatest saying - here are the most memorable Boxing Day Test moments of all time.

If you ask any cricket fan, the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground is the match of the year, the one where if you’re not watching at the ground in person, you’re glued to the TV all day.

As another cracking Boxing Day Test clash approaches, take a look back at some of the Test’s most memorable moments.

If you’re heading to the game, don’t forget to plan your journey to the MCG with the help of arevo. Summer road closures, traffic conditions and Public Transport changes can all impact your arrival time at the ground, so allow for extra time when travelling.

Best Boxing Day Test moments at the MCG

Shane Warne’s hat-trick, Australia V England 1994

The 1994 Ashes series was hugely successful for Shane Warne. The legendary leg spinner had already taken 17 wickets in the first three innings, before bowling the Aussies to victory at the MCG with three more in a row.

First cab off the rank was Phil DeFreitas, who misread a leg break and got caught in front of the wickets. Then came Darren Gough, who became Warne's next scalp, caught out by Ian Healy.

Finally, Devon Malcolm became the history maker as the hat-trick victim after he lunged at a top-spinner that went right to David Boon – and the MCG crowd went wild.

Shane Warne Hat Trick

Shane Warne claims a hat-trick against England in 1994. Image: Getty


Justin Langer’s 250, Australia V England 2002

It was vintage Justin Langer that took to the MCG pitch with best mate and opening partner, Matthew Hayden, in 2002.

Both men pulled out their full arsenal of shots, and after Hayden went out for 195, Langer went on to make his highest Test score in front of a packed crowd – a very healthy 250 runs. 

Justin Langer hits 250 at the Boxing Day Test

Justin Langer scored 250 against England in 2002. Image: Getty


‘Nice, Garry!’, Australia V Pakistan 2016

A bit of banter between mates has become one of Aussie cricket's favourite sayings.

Wicket-keeper Matthew Wade encouraged teammate Nathan Lyon using the term, ‘Nice, Garry’, in reference to AFL legend Garry Lyon, as he took on the challenge of bowling out the Pakistanis at the Boxing Day Test in 2016.

The MCG crowd soon followed suit and began yelling “Nice, Garry!”, and when Lyon bowled Sami Aslam out for his hat-trick ball, the whole MCG erupted with jubilation.

Nathan Lyon takes a hat trick at the Boxing Day Test

The iconic "Nice, Garry!" quip was coined in 2016. Image: Getty


Allan Border and Jeff Thompson nearly do the impossible, Australia V England 1982

The path to victory looked difficult when Jeff Thompson joined Allan Border at the wicket with the Aussies 9 for 218, still needing 84 runs.

But the Australian batsmen edged closer and ended the day not out, still needing 37 runs. Thousands packed the MCG the next day in the hope of witnessing an unimaginable victory.

With only four runs needed to seal the win and the series, Thompson was caught out by Geoff Miller – so close, yet not close enough for the Aussies. 

David Warner gets a lifeline, Australia V England 2017

After a lacklustre start for the English on the first day of the Boxing Day Test, David Warner was having the innings of the series, hitting 99 runs off just 128 balls.

And then… caught out. However, as a furious Warner walked off the pitch, a replay of the ball showed English bowler Tom Curran had overstepped the crease by mere millimetres, resulting in a no-ball and giving Warner a second chance to hit his milestone.

Next shot, Warner claimed his century, and was dismissed soon after only making a few more runs. 

David Warner hits a century at the Boxing Day Test

David Warner hits a century against England in 2017. Image: Getty


Ricky Ponting’s masterclass, Australia V India 2003

Just a day after Virender Sehwag made an unbelievable 200+ runs on day one of the Test, threatening to derail the Aussies’ series, Ricky Pointing came to the crease and smashed out his highest Test score.

Ponting made an incredible 257 runs off 458 balls by hardly hitting a false shot, showing the Indian players and the packed MCG crowd what a batting masterclass looks like. 

Ricky Ponting gives the MCG a batting masterclass

Ricky Pointing gives the MCG a batting masterclass in 2003. Image: Getty


How to get to the MCG for the Boxing Day Test

Whether you’re getting to the Boxing Day Test by car, train, tram, bus, or car, arevo – a free journey planner app made by Victorians for Victorians – can help you get to the MCG with plenty of time to spare and less stress, thanks to real-time disruption alerts.

If you're driving to the ground, arevo can also help you find the cheapest petrol prices near you and the best places to park your car.

So, whether you’re headed to The G’ or not for the Boxing Day Test, get ready for a few days of more memorable moments, and a whole lot of “HOWZAT!”. 

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