Top 10 Shortest Test Match In Cricket History

Top 10 Shortest Test Match In Cricket History

Test cricket is the longest format of cricket and generally examines a team's overall endurance and ability. In the decades since passed, there have been some memorable test matches that were pretty short-lived. However, each of them has gone down in history as among the shortest test matches ever in cricket.

In this article, we have compiled a list of the shortest test matches in cricket history, in terms of playing time (days) & balls bowled.

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Top 10 Shortest Test Match In History of cricket

1. 1932 Australia vs South Africa, Melbourne (656 balls bowled)

1932 Australia vs South Africa, Melbourne (656 balls bowled)

The first shortest test match in cricket history occurred when South Africa entered the fifth Test in Melbourne, having been thoroughly beaten by the Aussies in each of the first four tests.

South Africa got bowled out for 36 in the first session of the 1st day after opting to bat first. This was thanks to some excellent bowling from Bert Ironmonger, pulling out 5/6. In response, Australia did marginally better, scoring 153 runs. The Proteas were hoping for a better performance the second time around but were bundled out for 45. Ironmonger was the hero once again, picking up six wickets for 18 runs as Australia thrashed the South Africans to register their quickest test match win.

2. 1935 West Indies vs England, Bridgetown (672 balls bowled)

Second on the list of every fastest test match ever witnessed, occurred in early 1935, when England were touring the West Indies for a four-match Test series.

The visitors chose to bowl first after winning the toss in the first Test at Bridgetown and bowled out the hosts for 102. England was then expected to bat better than their opponents, but, instead, were skittled out for 81 runs. Coming out to bat with a 21-run lead, the West Indies' batting flopped for the second time in a row, being bowled for 51 runs, leaving England to chase 73 runs to win. Despite Manny Martindale's 5-wicket haul, England won by four wickets and clinched their shortest test match win in 1 day and 22 overs.

3. 1888 England vs Australia, Lord's (792 balls bowled)

1888 England vs Australia, Lord's (792 balls bowled)

Third on the list of every quickest test match ever played in the history of test cricket, occurred at Lord's when Australia was touring England in 1888.

Batting first, Australia was bundled out for 116 runs in 71.2 overs. As a result, the England batting collapsed, and they were bowled out whilst scoring only 53 runs in 50 overs. Australia, in their second innings, were able to score just 60 runs in 29.2 overs. With 124 runs to win, England, in the fourth innings, was shot out at 62 runs in 47 overs. This was the Aussies' fastest test match victory, and it took 1 day and 42 overs to end the match with a decisive result.

4. 1888 England vs Australia, Manchester (788 balls bowled)

1888 England vs Australia, Manchester (788 balls bowled)

Another shortest test match in which a team got the quickest test match win occurred in 1888 in Old Trafford, Manchester, when England and Australia entered the third and final Test.

England batted first and were dismissed for 172 on the first day, with Charlie Turner taking 5 wickets. Bobby Peal then bowled an astonishing spell on a wet pitch to dismiss the Australians for 81 runs, giving England a 91-run lead. Following that, Australia was in trouble early in their second innings, losing all four batsmen for ducks, and was bundled out for 70 before lunch on Day 2.

5. 1889 South Africa vs England, Cape Town (796 balls bowled)

1889 South Africa vs England, Cape Town (796 balls bowled)

Next on the list of every shortest test match in cricket history, it took place when England crushed South Africa in Capetown in 1889.

Choosing to bat first, England were all out for 292 thanks to opener Bobby Abel's 120. William Ashley took 7 wickets. South Africa, in reply, were bowled out for a horrifying 47 runs, owing to the heroics of Johnny Briggs, who took seven wickets for 17 runs.

Following that, the Proteas were humiliated once more when they were dismissed at just 43. Briggs once again took 8 for 11 and registered the quickest test match win for his country, as the match ended before the completion of the second day.

6. 1912 England vs South Africa, The Oval (815 balls bowled)

1912 England vs South Africa, The Oval (815 balls bowled)

Another shortest cricket test match was observed when England played against South Africa at the Oval in a one-of-a-kind triangular Test tournament in 1912. South Africa were bowled out for 95 runs after electing to bat first. Sydney Barnes and Frank Woolley each took 5 wickets.

In response, England posted 176 on the board, but Aubrey Faulkner stole the show with 7 for 84. The Proteas, trailing England by 81 runs, failed to put up a good batting performance once again, and were all out for 93. England finally scored 13 runs to secure a 10-wicket victory, becoming among the quickest test match wins — in less than two days.

7. 1946 Australia vs New Zealand, Wellington (872 balls bowled)

1946 Australia vs New Zealand, Wellington (872 balls bowled)

Seventh on our list of every shortest test match in cricket history, took place when Australia faced New Zealand in Wellington.

After winning the toss, the Kiwis elected to bat first. That decision, however, backfired spectacularly as they were bowled out for 42, thanks to a 5-wicket haul from Bill O'Reilley. In response, the Australians declared their first innings for 199 for 8. New Zealand struggled once more in their second innings, and were eventually bowled out for 54 as Australia recorded their shortest test match win, beating the Kiwis by an innings and 103 runs in less than two days.

8. 2000 South Africa vs England, Centurion (883 balls bowled)

2000 South Africa vs England, Centurion (883 balls bowled)

Next on the list of every quickest test match ever played in cricket history, is the 5th and final Test between South Africa and England, at Centurion back in 2000.

After winning the toss, England asked South Africa to bat first. The Proteas reached 155 for 6 in 45 overs before rain intervened for the next three days, preventing any further play. South Africa declared their innings after scoring 248 runs when play resumed on day 5. England was then asked to chase 249 for a win in 73 overs, and in a thrilling response, they reached the target with two wickets remaining. Because of the constant rain, it was one of the shortest test matches ever played, which ended in a decisive result.

9. 2002 Australia vs Pakistan, Sharjah (893 balls bowled)

2002 Australia vs Pakistan, Sharjah (893 balls bowled)

The match between Australia & Pakistan is best remembered for being played at a ground temperature of 58 degrees Celsius. Hence, it qualifies to be on this list, covering every shortest test match ever. Pakistan were bowled out for 59 all out on a dry pitch, with Shane Warne taking four wickets.

Australia responded with 310 all out, gaining a 215-run lead. In their second innings, the Men in Green once again batted poorly, and were bundled out for 55 runs. With this, Australia clinched their shortest test match win in just two days, beating Pakistan by an innings & 198 runs.

10. 1895 Australia vs England, Sydney (911 balls bowled)

1895 Australia vs England, Sydney (911 balls bowled)

Last on the list of every shortest test match in cricket history, is the clash between Australia & England, which took place when England put Australia to bat in the fourth Test in Sydney.

In their first innings, Australia were dismissed after putting up a competitive 284 runs. England was bowled out for 65 in reply, thanks to some superb bowling from the Australians. Following on, England was bundled out for 72 in their second innings. The Aussies recorded this quickest test match win as the game ended before the end of Day 2, thanks to Giffen's heroics with 9 wickets.

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