Australia and England Fight it Out in First-ever International Test Match
Published By: Nibandh Vinod
Last Updated: March 15, 2023, 07:52 IST
The English team for Australia. (Image: Twitter/ICC)
Australia went on to win the first Test match by 45 runs.
On this day in 1877, the sport of cricket saw its maiden chapter being scripted as the first-ever official international Test match was played between Australia and England at Melbourne. Australia went on to win the first Test match by 45 runs. England were scheduled to play two Tests in Australia, with both matches being played in Melbourne. The series ended in a draw as England won the second Test by 4 wickets.
#OnThisDay in 1877, Test cricket began. Nobody knew it at the time – the match was awarded Test status only later – as James Lillywhite (jnr) led an England side against a ‘Combined New South Wales and Victoria XI’ in Melbourne.Australia won the match by 45 runs. pic.twitter.com/GuCTirvjy2
— ICC (@ICC) March 15, 2018
At the time, when the rules of cricket were different, each over consisted of four deliveries. Australia captain Dave Gregory won the toss and opted to bat on a sunny day at the MCG. History in the making, England’s Alfred Shaw bowled the first Test delivery to Australia opener Charles Bannerman. Opening with Bannerman was Nat Thomas, who became the first dismissal of the inaugural Test match as the Australian opener departed for 1 by Allen Hill, who claimed the first-ever Test wicket.
In a match that saw wickets falling like pins, opener Bannerman became the first Test centurion, scoring 165 before retiring hurt. James Southerton (3/61) and Alfred Shaw (3/51) played an important role as Australia were bowled out for 245.
Retaliating, Harry Jupp and John Selby opened for England and the visitors received their first jolt as John Hodges removed Selby for 7. Jupp went on to score a gritty half-century before departing for 63, in 241 deliveries. Other than Jupp, Harry Charlwood (36) and Allen Hill (35) were the only other contributors for England as Billy Midwinter claimed the first-ever fifer in Test cricket, helping Australia bundle out England for 196 as the hosts went into the second innings with a 49-run lead.
Australia opener Bannerman was unable to recreate his first innings heroics as the batter departed for 4 by George Ulyett. Nat Thomson joined Bannerman soon as Australia were 27/2. At 20, Tom Horan scored the highest runs for Australia in the second innings. The hosts were stunned as England bowled out Australia for 104, with Alfred Shaw claiming the second fifer in Test cricket history.
A target of 154 on the board, England were in the front seat, but Tom Kendall had other plans in mind, as the pacer ripped apart the visitors, claiming the third fifer of the Test match, and went on to register figures of 7/55 as Australia bowled out England for 108, winning the first-ever cricket Test match by 45 runs.
England went on to win the second Test by four wickets, with the series being drawn 1-1.
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