A Rewind: Shortest Test Matches in History

A Rewind: Shortest Test Matches in History
Indian bowlers were on fire against England in 3rd Test match. (Image: BCCI/Twitter)


Test match is the oldest format of the Gentleman’s Game. Therefore, cricket experts and fans call it the purest form of cricket as it tests the ability of the players. There have been many enthralling matches over the years.

Some Tests are remembered because of any individual’s performance and some are remembered because it ended in the blink of any eye. On many occasions the longest format saw an early end.

Therefore, we will be talking about Test matches which were hailed as the shortest Tests in terms of balls played.

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Shortest Tests in history:

1. India vs England, 2021

The third Test of the India vs England series in 2021 will be remembered for multiple reasons. This match was the first international contest at the world’s largest cricket stadium and as a result, roped in a lot of eyeballs.

However, the match wasn’t as big as the stadium. England won the toss and scored 112 runs in the first innings. India took a 33-run first-innings lead. Indian bowlers seemed unplayable on the dusty pitch and England got bundled out for 81 runs in the second innings. India won the Test by 10 wickets. Only 842 balls were bowled in the match and was over within two days.

2. England vs South Africa, 1912

England and South Africa locked horns at The Oval in 1912. South Africa failed to reach the 100-runs mark in both their innings. England scored 176 runs in their first innings. South Africa scored 93 runs in 2nd innings and gave a 13-run target in the fourth innings, which was achieved by England in 4.3 overs. This match lasted 813 balls.

3. West Indies vs England, 1935

Surprisingly, England has been part of shortest Tests a lot. In the Bridgetown Test, England and West Indies had two declarations but there was only one 100 plus score in the whole Test.

The match got its winner in just 672 deliveries. West Indies batted first and scored a 102-run score. England declared their innings at 81/7. However, West Indies declared their second innings on a mere score of 51/6. Eventually, England won the Test after losing 6 wickets.

4. South Africa vs Australia, 1932

The shortest ever Test match was played between Australia and South Africa. However, the match got wrapped up in just 656 balls. Australia dominated their opponents and crushed them by an innings and 32 runs.

Batting first, South Africa scored their lowest Test total – 36 runs and in reply, Australia had put 153-runs on the scoreboard. In the whole Test, South African batsmen struggled to even put up fifty runs as the team’s total and they got all out on 45 runs.

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