Test cricket is now played by 12 nations. Cricket is appropriately referred to as “Test” cricket. The longest and perhaps toughest version of the gentleman’s game is test cricket. It is the most effective approach to evaluating a player’s skill set and fundamentals.
Over the course of five days, it also puts a player’s mental fortitude, moral virtue, and endurance to the test. Test cricket offers a premium brand of cricket, even though it may not be as exciting as day internationals and Twenty20.
The shortest Test match, between West Indies and England in 2009, lasted only 10 balls. There were a few more times when a Test match lasted fewer than 100 deliveries, with Team India taking part in one of them (vs. Sri Lanka, 1993).
Without further ado, let’s look at the five-Test cricket matches that have been concluded with the fewest number of balls:
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5. 2017 Port Elizabeth match between South Africa and Zimbabwe (907 balls)
In the 2017 Port Elizabeth Test, the Proteas crushed Zimbabwe by an inning and 120 runs. South Africa produced a total of 309/9d (78.3 ov) after winning the toss thanks to Aiden Markram’s 125.
In response, Zimbabwe’s first and second innings were both bowled out for 68 (30.1 ov) and 121 (42.3 ov), respectively. Keshav Maharaj scored a home run in the second inning, while Morne Morkel did so in the first.
4. Australia versus Pakistan in Sharjah in 2002 (893 balls)
In the 2002 Sharjah Test, Australia destroyed Pakistan by an inning and 198 runs. The “Baggy Greens” scored 310 runs (92.1 ov) in the second innings after skipping Pakistan for 59 (31.5 ov) in the first. This was made possible by Matthew Hayden’s 119-run inning.
Shane Warne continued his heroics after securing a four-for in the first innings, as Pakistan was once more easily defeated for 53 (24.5 ov).
The fact that Australia and Pakistan’s match was played on a 58-degree Celsius surface is what most people remember about it. This list, which includes every short test match ever, is therefore appropriate and includes it. On a dry pitch, Shane Warne took four wickets as Pakistan was bowled out for 59 runs.
Australia responded by going 310 all out and taking the lead by 215 runs. The Men in Green once again had a poor batting performance in their second inning, as they were run out for 55 runs. By defeating Pakistan by an innings and 198 runs, Australia thereby secured its quickest test match victory.
3. South Africa vs. England, Centurion 1999 (883 balls)
In an unexpected turn of events, the then-England captain Nasser Hussein and the late Hansie Cronje, the former captain of South Africa, decided to forgo one inning each in the Centurion Test in order to finish the match after the rain had disrupted play.
England prevailed by two wickets after chasing a score of 249 runs. But it was later discovered that Hansie Cronje had taken a 50,000 rand bribe to guarantee the outcome of the game.
England requested that South Africa bat first after choosing to bat. Before rain interrupted play for the following three days and stopped play, the Proteas reached 155 for 6 in 45 overs. By the time play started on Day 5, South Africa had scored 248 runs and declared their innings.
When given the task of chasing 249 for a victory in 73 overs, England responded with an exhilarating performance and reached the goal with two wickets left. It was one of the quickest test matches ever played due to the incessant rain, and it finished with a clear winner.
2. Australia versus New Zealand at Wellington, 1946 (872 balls)
The one-off Test match between opponents from across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand, was over in a flash. Being put in to bat first by New Zealand didn’t exactly pay off as they were dismissed for a pitiful 42 (39 ov) in the first innings.
In retaliation, Australia was able to score a total of 199/8 thanks to half-centuries from Sid Barnes and captain Bill Brown. The Blackcaps were only able to muster 54 in their second inning, and they went on to lose by an inning’s worth of runs (103).
The Kiwis won the toss and decided to bat first. They were bowled out for 42 as a result of Bill O’Reilley’s 5-wicket haul, which was a stunning failure for them. The Australians responded by declaring their first innings at 199 for 8. In their second innings, New Zealand battled once more but was eventually bowled out for 54 as Australia won the test match in the fastest time possible, defeating the Kiwis by an innings and 103 runs in less than two days.
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1. England vs. India at Ahmedabad in 2021 (842 balls)
The quickest Test match to be finished since World War II is this one. India and England both needed victories in the pink-ball test in Ahmedabad to stay in the running for a berth in the World Test Championship (WTC) Final, with the four-match series poised at 1-1.
England was bowled out for 112 and 81 in the first and second innings, respectively, as a result of the devastating bowling of Indian spinners Axar Patel (11 wickets) and Ravichandran Ashwin (7 wickets). India took a 2-1 series lead after winning the match by a margin of 10 wickets.
The shortest-ever Test match was played in Ahmedabad, where India defeated England with just 842 balls bowled.
Even though 30 wickets fell in just over a day and a half, and Virat Kohli and his team celebrated going up 2-1 with one game remaining in the series, many cricket fans were disappointed when the highly anticipated day-night test ended after only a few sessions.
Long before Rohit Sharma scored the winning runs, social media users were debating the rationale for the game’s brief, abrupt nature in a format typically associated with a more gradual-burn style of excitement and anticipation of, at most, a dramatic climax.