The shortest innings can be found in even the most extended game formats. Thunderous sixes, dazzling fours, cuts, flicks, and drives are all part of the game of cricket. It is not just a batter’s game because the bowlers nearly always have a say in the matter.
It is undeniable that hitters frequently take centre-stage and outshine bowlers; nevertheless, if the pitch conditions favour the bowler and when the bowler has a good game, the result makes headlines. The top ten lowest scores in test history can testify the same. Let’s look at some of the lowest scores in test cricket history.
Top 10 Lowest Scores in Test Cricket
|1.||New Zealand||26||England||Auckland||March 28, 1955||0.96|
|2.||South Africa||30||England||Gqebera||February 14, 1896||1.63|
|3.||South Africa||30||England||Birmingham||June 16, 1924||2.43|
|4.||South Africa||35||England||Cape Town||April 4th, 1899||1.56|
|5.||South Africa||36||Australia||Melbourne||February 15, 1932||1.55|
|6.||Australia||36||England||Birmingham||May 30, 1902||1.56|
|7.||India||36||Australia||Adelaide||December 19, 2020||1.69|
|8.||Ireland||38||England||Lord’s||On July 26, 2019||2.46|
|9.||New Zealand||42||Australia||Wellington||On March 29, 1946||1.07|
|10.||Australia||42||England||Sydney||February 14, 1888||1.12|
New Zealand (26) vs England (1955)
The lowest total in Test cricket remains New Zealand‘s team’s total of 26 runs against England in Auckland in 1955. Except for Bert Sutcliffe, the opener, who made 11 runs, everyone else was dismissed for a score of under 10, and five batters returned to the plate without making a deposit. England triumphed by an innings’ worth of runs.
South Africa (30) vs England (1896)
In the fourth inning of the game, this took place. The Proteas were eliminated for 30 in just over 18 overs after Lohmann set a goal of 319 runs, destroying the host team’s batting order. In 9.8 overs while taking 8 wickets, Lohmann conceded just 7 runs. In the first and second innings, respectively, England scored 185 and 226 runs and went on to win the match by 288 runs.
South Africa (30) vs England (1924):
When South Africa won the toss, they decided to field. With the help of Hobbs, Hendren, and Sutcliffe, England scored 438 runs. The Proteas’ batting order was completely dismantled by Gilligan and Tate, who took all 10 wickets when they came out to bat. South Africa only managed to reach 30, losing the game by an inning and 18 runs despite the fact that the Birmingham field wasn’t exactly a minefield.
South Africa (35) vs England (1899):
Once more, South Africa appears on the list of lowest scores in Test Cricket. In the last innings, they needed 246 runs to win but were only able to muster a meagre 35. They were outscored by 210 runs, with Powell leading the way with 11 while Haigh and Trott each claimed 6 and 4 wickets.
South Africa (36) vs Australia (1932):
South Africa’s disastrous decision to bat first in Melbourne on the opening morning of 1932 resulted in them folding for 36 runs. Ironmonger claimed one wicket, while Nash claimed four. By an inning and 72 runs, Australia triumphed.
Australia (36), vs England (1902):
Tyldesley’s outstanding 138 runs helped England to a 376-run total when they decided to bat. Rhodes claimed 7 victims as Australia was bowled out for 36 as a response. When the game was called a draw, Australia was leading 46-2.
India (36) vs Australia (2020):
The Adelaide Test, the first day-night match between the two teams, saw the Indian squad wind up for a score of 36, shocking everyone including the Kangaroos. India had a significant 62-run advantage going into Day 3 and would have liked to score a lot more runs to win the match on a challenging batting surface.
They never would have believed, even in their wildest nightmares, that Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins would run through the line-up and bowl them out for their lowest score in Test cricket history. The host team easily reached their 90-run goal.
Ireland (38) vs England (2019):
Ireland, a newly promoted Test squad, was set to beat England at Lord’s and record their most memorable win of 2019. Tim Murtagh’s five-for helped the visitors remove England for a meagre 85 runs, giving them a comfortable 122-run lead. The hopes of a historic day for Ireland cricket were dashed earlier than anticipated when they were dismissed for 38 runs inside the first 16 overs, with Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad both taking 6 and 4 wickets.
New Zealand (42) vs Australia (1946)
When their neighbours, Australia, came to Wellington for a single Test, New Zealand scored their then-lowest total in Test cricket, which is now second-lowest overall. New Zealand batted first and lost for 42 runs in 40 overs, led by Walter Hadlee. The advantage was 157 runs for the visitors. Australia, led by Bill Brown, won the game by an innings and 103 runs after bowling out the hosts for 52 in their 2nd innings.
Australia (42) vs England (1988)
In 1988, England visited Australia and played one Test match in Sydney. The visitors scored 113 runs while they batted first, but Australia’s first innings total was only 42 runs, with only one batsman reaching double figures. In their 2nd innings, England scored 137 runs on a challenging batting surface. The hosts, who were chasing 209, were once again eliminated with weak tally of 82. The solitary test of the trip was won by England by a margin of 126 runs.
In conclusion, the lowest scores in Test cricket history are a testament to the challenging conditions and dominance of bowlers in the game of cricket. These top 10 lowest scores in Test cricket, ranging from New Zealand’s 26 runs against England in 1955 to India’s 36 runs against Australia in 2020, showcase the importance of adapting to the conditions and performing well in adversity. The lowest scores in Test cricket history serves as a reminder that in this game, anything is possible and bowlers have a significant say in the outcome of a match.