Today marks the 140th Anniversary of the first ever Cricket Test Match in the world. It was between England and Australia. Today’s Google Doodle which you can see above brought this information to my notice. The letters of the Google logo are spread across players from both the teams across the pitch. Strangely enough, although the two participating teams were from England and Australia, the Google Doodle for the 140th Anniversary of the first Cricket Test Match is only being delivered to the cricket crazy nations of India and Australia. On my behalf, to celebrate the birth of Test Cricket, I am posting this article for every Cricket lover worldwide.
In brief, this is the information I gathered about the First Test that started today, 140 years ago.
This very first Test Match was a timeless Test consisting of four ball Overs and it was completed within five days, including a rest day on the Sunday. It was played at Melbourne Cricket Ground from 15th May to 19th May 1877 and Australia won the Match by 45 Runs.
The match started with England's Alfred Shaw bowling the first ever delivery in Test cricket to Australia's Charles Bannerman, after the hosts won the toss. Bannerman went on to score the first ever Test century and then 165 before retiring hurt, in a total of 245 during Australia’s first innings. 49-year-old James Southerton, who was joint top wicket taker in the first innings with 3-61, was the oldest player on either side and to this day remains the oldest Test debutant ever.
In response England posted 196 with Surrey’s Harry Jupp (63) top scoring. He was lucky to do so however, after stepping on his stumps before even scoring a run. Neither umpire noticed as the Australians appealed in vain, while 4,000 spectators at the MCG booed in disapproval. In fact, Jupp was not meant to even play due to an eye infection but had to take the field as England's twelve-man squad had been reduced to eleven after they returned from the New Zealand leg of their unofficial Cricket tour. Wicket-keeper Ted Pooley was in a Christchurch jail after becoming embroiled in a betting scandal. England fared better second time around, dismissing the hosts for 104 in their second innings in front of a 12,000 strong crowd on the Saturday. But set 154 to win, England crumbled to 108 all out, with English-born slow bowler Tom Kendall taking 7 for 55 as Australia won the first ever Test Match.
However England won the Second Test Match in the series by four wickets, so the series was a draw at 1:1.
You may see this special video brought out on this occasion:
Here are Match Details, Match Notes and Score Cards: