7 shortest Test matches in cricket history

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India vs. England
Photo Source: Twitter

Test cricket is the oldest format of this sport. Many fans and critics label it as the ‘purest quality of cricket’ because Test matches have a lot of history and traditions connected to them. Earlier, the Test matches would go on until there was a winner. Also, the overs comprised eight balls.

However, the rules have changed now. There is a limit of five days for any Test. Irrespective of whether play is possible on all days, a Test needs to end inside five days. However, due to the pitch’s nature or lopsided affairs, Test matches end quickly. In this article, we will have a look at the seven shortest Test matches in cricket history.

7. India vs. England, 2021

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Team India
Photo: Akshar Patel/Instagram

The third Test of the India vs. England series in 2021 will go down in history books for multiple reasons. This match was the first international fixture at the world’s largest cricket stadium.

England won the toss and batted first. However, things did not proceed as they would have expected. England scored 112 runs in the first innings. India took a 33-run first-innings lead. In reply, England got bundled out for 81 runs. India won the Test by 10 wickets. This game lasted for 842 balls only!

6. England vs. South Africa, 1912

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Apart from the India vs. England Test, all matches on this list are from the pre second World War era. England and South Africa clashed at The Oval during a triangular tournament in 1912.

South Africa could not touch the 100-runs mark in any of their innings. England scored 176 runs in their first innings. They received a 13-run target in the fourth innings, which was achieved in 4.3 overs. This match lasted 135.5 overs.

5. South Africa vs. England, 1889

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Another one-sided match between England and South Africa to appear on this list from the year 1889. Cape Town played host to this Test match.

England batted first and scored 292 runs, riding on Bobby Abel’s century. In reply, South Africa managed scores of 47 and 43 to lose the game by an innings and 202 runs. This game lasted for 796 balls.

4. England vs. Australia, 1888

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Ashes rivals England and Australia fought each other at Lord’s in the year 1888. The visitors batted first and scored 116 runs. England could score mere 53 runs in reply.

Even Australia got skittled out for 60 runs in their second innings. Chasing 124 runs, England lost all their wickets for 62 runs despite batting 47 overs. This Test went for 792 balls.

3. England vs. Australia, 1888

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In the same Ashes series, England and Australia battled at Manchester. This Test featured only 788 deliveries, where England crushed Australia by an innings and 21 runs.

England batted in that Test and aggregated 138 runs, with WG Grace being the top-scorer. However, Australia managed to score 81 and 70 in the two innings as they suffered a heavy defeat.

2. West Indies vs. England, 1935

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Surprisingly, this Bridgetown Test between England and West Indies witnessed two declarations and still there was only one 100+ score in the entire Test. The winner of this match was decided in 672 deliveries only.

West Indies batted first and posted a 102-run score. England declared their innings at 81/7. West Indies then declared in the innings when their score was 51/6. Eventually, England won the Test by four wickets.

1. South Africa vs. Australia, 1932

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Surprisingly, the shortest Test in cricket history does not feature the England team. Australia and South Africa had a Test that went on for only 656 balls.

Australia trounced their opponents by an innings and 32 runs in that contest. Batting first, South Africa scored only 36 runs. Australia replied with a 153-run total. In the second innings, South Africa got bundled out for just 45 runs as Australia sealed the victory very quickly.

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