Trivia on Test cricket - Pre-1900s: Part 2

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13 Apr 2020 | 09:21 AM
authorMohandas Menon

Trivia on Test cricket - Pre-1900s: Part 2

In a series of special trivia articles, our expert statsman looks back on some interesting and rare statistical pieces of cricketing information

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- The three-day Melbourne Test match played between 30th December, 1882 and 2nd January, 1883, which was originally billed as Mr Murdoch's Eleven vs The Hon. Ivo FW Bligh's Team attracted a total attendance of around 54,000.

- William Bates, who against Australia, achieved the first hat-trick by an English bowler in Melbourne in January, 1883, still remains the only Test player to score a fifty (55) and also claim ten or more wickets in the same Test match. 

-  When England won by an innings and 27 runs against Australia in Melbourne on 22 January, 1883, it provided Test cricket's first ever result of a victory by an innings. 

-  In the Sydney Test between Australia and England from 26-29 January, 1883, two pitches were prepared for this final Test, with each captain having the choice of pitch on which to bat.

England's Edmund Tylecote (66) against Australia in Sydney in January, 1883, became the first wicketkeeper to score a fifty in Tests.

- At the end of the third Test between Australia and England in Sydney in January, 1883, a group of ladies from Melbourne burned a bail, sealed the ashes in an urn and presented it to the victorious captain of the English team. This urn is housed in the cricket museum at Lord's.

- In the fourth Test between Australia and England in Sydney in February, 1883 the captains decided to experiment by using a separate pitch for each of the four innings. 

-  Billy Midwinter, after two appearances for Australia followed by four for England, embarked upon the final phase of his unique Test career, when he once again appeared for Australia in Sydney in February, 1883.

Australia's Frederick Spofforth, playing in his 8th Test match of his career, became the first Test bowler to claim 50 wickets in the Sydney Test against England in February 1883. 

The cricket ground at Old Trafford, Manchester immediately established its unenviable reputation as the rain-center of Britain when on the very first day (10th July, 1884) of the first ever Test match to be played here, heavy rains washed out any possibility of play. 

Australia's Billy Murdoch became the first substitute fielder to take a catch in Test cricket at Lord's in July, 1884. He did so while fielding for the opposition - England!

Australia's Jack Blackham at Lord's in July, 1884 batting without gloves had to retire hurt when his left-hand was damaged by a ball from Englishman George Ulyett.

- All eleven English players bowled during Australia's innings of 551 at The Oval in August, 1884. The most successful bowler was English wicketkeeper Alfred Lyttleton, who had figures of 12-5-19-4!

- Australian captain, Billy Murdoch became the first batsman in Test history to score a double-hundred, when he made 211 against England at the Oval in August, 1884. 

- Australians Billy Murdoch and 'Tup’ Scott recorded the first ever double-hundred partnership when they added 207 for the third wicket against England at the Oval in August, 1884. 

- Australian Percy McDonnell (124) against England at the Adelaide Oval in December 1884 became the first batsman in Test history to score back-to-back hundreds. He had scored 103 in his previous Test at the Oval against England in August 1884.

- The Australian selectors made eleven changes to the team for the second Test match against England at Melbourne in January 1885 from the team which played the first (at Adelaide) since they were demanding fifty per cent of the gate money for this match. 

- In the Ashes Test in Sydney in February, 1885, Billy Barnes, England's most successful wicket-taker on the tour, refused to bowl on a pitch that was ideally suited to him because of a quarrel with his captain Arthur Shrewsbury. England lost the Test by six runs!

Australia's 6 ft 6 in giant, George Bonnor, batting at number eight, scored the then fastest hundred in 100 minutes against England in Sydney in March, 1885. His only Test century (128) included four fives (now counted as sixes) and 14 fours!  

- In the match between Australia and England in Sydney in March, 1885, the home team's 12th man Patrick McShane was an emergency fourth-choice umpire after JW Payne (unavailable), JS Swift (refused) and C Bannerman (rejected by England). 

In the Ashes Test in Melbourne in March 1885, Arthur Shrewsbury (105 not out) became the first England captain to score a Test match hundred.

A member of the Australian Test team, Tom Garrett, playing against England at Melbourne in March, 1885 had to deputise for umpire GJ Hodges, when the latter refused to stand after tea on the third day because of the visiting team's complaints about his decisions.   

Australian Frederick Spofforth became the first number 11 batsman to score a fifty in Test cricket when he scored an exact 50 against England in Melbourne in March, 1885.

England openers WG Grace and William Scotton became the first opening pair to register a 150+ stand in Test cricket, when they put on 170 in nearly 135 4-ball overs (ie about 90 six-ball overs) against Australia at the Oval in August 1886. Scotton’s contribution was just 34 runs in 225 mins, while Grace made 170 in 270 minutes!

WG Grace’s 170 in the Oval Test in 1886, was then the highest by a batsman in a single day. Grace in fact was then the only batsman to score two 150s in a single day. Had made 152 on debut also at the Oval in 1880 – both coming on the opening days of the Test match.

The Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 28th January, 1887 began late on 1:45 pm on the opening day only after the conclusion of a state game between New South Wales and Victoria. This provided the only instance of a ground staging two first-class matches on the same day.

Australian skipper Percy McDonnell in Sydney in January 1887 against England, became the first Test captain to put the opposition in after winning the toss. However, Australia lost the Test by just 13 runs. 

Englishman George Lohmann in Sydney in February 1887 became the first bowler in Test history to take eight wickets in an innings, when he claimed 8 for 35 against Australia. And now after 133 years, it still remains the best bowling figures by an English bowler in Australia!

Englishman Billy Bates during the Sydney Test match in Feb-Mar 1887 became the third Test bowler to claim fifty wickets after Spofforth and George Palmer. In doing so, he became the first Test allrounder to take 50 wickets and also score 500 runs (he then had aggregated 656 runs) in a Test career.  

To be continued…..

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