Test match Cricket has been there around for the last 143 years and it has a rich history which comprises a lot of records. The first-ever Test match was played between Australia and England in 1877 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and since then, more than 2000 Test matches have been played by 13 different nations.
England has played the maximum number of Tests with 1022 Tests, followed by Australia who has played 830 Tests followed by West Indies with 545 Tests.
There are many noteworthy records in Test Cricket and here in this post, we are going to talk about 5 of such records which have stood for a long time and it doesn’t look like they are going to be broken anytime soon either.
400* By Brian Lara in 2004 – the highest individual score in Tests – 16 years
England was on a tour to the Caribbean in 2004 and they were all over the West Indies in the first 3 Tests, and the series stood at 3-0 in England’s favor before the fourth and final Test at St.John’s, Antigua and the entire Caribbean cricketing fraternity was rooting for Brian Lara’s head as a possible-whitewash was looming large. Lara was the captain of West Indies and had scored a mere 100 runs in the first three Test matches. He was troubled by the England fast bowlers, especially by Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff.
But like he always did, gave his best when his back was to the wall. On the same ground where he had scored that magnificent 375 against the same opposition, 10 years ago which was the highest individual score in Tests before Mathew Hayden broke his record by scoring 380 runs against a hapless Zimbabwean attack.
Lara broke Hayden’s record and reclaimed his lost record and in the process became the first batsman in Test Cricket to hit a quadruple century. It’s been more than 16 years; the record still stands and looks like it’s going to remain for more time to come.
Most wickets in a Test match ever – 19/90 by Jim Laker in 1956 – 64 years
Jim Laker, a right-arm off-break bowler did the unthinkable in test Cricket by taking all 10 wickets in a test match and believe it or not, in the same test match he had taken 9 wickets for 37 runs. He took a total of 19 wickets in a Test match against Australia at Manchester in the 1956 Ashes series. His match figure of 19-80 broke the record of Sydney Barne’s record of 17-159 which held the record of best figures by a bowler for 43 years. Barne had achieved the record for England against South Africa in 1913. It looks like the record set by Jim Laker is going to be there for many more years to come.
A hat-trick in each of the innings of the same Test match – Jimmy Mathews – 108 years
Thomas James Mathews is a former Australian leg-spin bowler who has played eight Test matches for Australia. He is rather known for achieving a feat that is still unbroken in Test Cricket. Playing against South Africa at Old Trafford on 28th May 1912, he took a hat-trick in each innings of the same Test match. He took the last three South African wickets in the first innings which forced South Africa to be followed on and later on the same day, he took another hat-trick. The most unique thing about both his hat-tricks was, it didn’t require the assistance of any other fielder. In the hat-trick in the first innings, the first victim was bowled and the remaining two batsmen were out leg before wicket (LBW) and in the hat-trick in the second innings, the first victim was bowled and the remaining two batsmen was out caught and bowled. Former South African wicket-keeper batsman, Tommy Ward was his third victim in both his hat-tricks.
Highest score while batting at number #10 – Walter Read – 136 Years
Walter Read has captained England in two Test matches and won them both but he is more renowned for being the first number 10 to score a century in test match Cricket when he scored 117 against arch-rivals Australia at The Oval in 1884. Even after 136 years, the inning by Reads still remains a world record. His inning of 117 was a match-saving one and he had scored his century in 113 minutes with only 36 scoring shots.
Read was actually a specialist batsman and he was furious for being held down to so low in the batting order. In the next Test match, he went out to bat as an opener and he became the first player to have scored a century in both his debut match as well as in his final Test match.
The highest percentage of runs ever scored in a completed Test inning – Charles Bannerman in 1877 – 143 years
Charles Bannerman was an English-born Australian cricketer and he is most famous for facing the first ball ever bowled in test match Cricket, scoring the first run ever to be scored in Test Cricket and for making the first-ever century in Test Cricket. And, he also became the first cricketer ever to be retired hurt when a ball broke his finger. But, Charles Bannerman is rather known for another record that has stood for more than 143 years when he scored 165 runs on his debut out of Australia’s total of 245 and he scored 67.35% of the runs Australia scored which remain the highest proportion of runs scored by any batsman in a completed test inning. None of the other Australian batsmen could score more than 20 runs in either of the innings as Australia won the match by 45 runs.
Almost a century later, former Australian opener Michael Slater came close to breaking Charles Bannerman’s record when he scored 123 out of Australia’s total of 184 against England in the 1998-99 Ashes series in Sydney but his proportion was 66.84% and the record set by Charles Bannerman still remains intact.