The term ‘Test’ is thought to have originated from the perception that matches between Australia and England’s representative teams were a “test of cricketing strength and competence.” The sun shone brightly in the afternoon as the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground prepared for one of the most historic moments in cricket history. England toured Australia in 1877 to play the first cricket test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
On a beautiful day at the MCG, Australia’s captain Dave Gregory elected to bat after winning the toss. England’s Alfred Shaw bowled the first ever test match delivery to Australian opener Charles Bannerman. Nat Thomas, the Australian opener, batted first alongside Bannerman, and was eventually dismissed for one by Allen Hill, who also got the first-ever Test wicket.
Charles Bannerman’s performance was truly outstanding. Opening batsman Bannerman scored the first Test century in the first ever cricket test match in which wickets fell like pins, hitting 165 before retired hurt. The next highest score by an Australian was 18 by Garrett, the No. 9 batter. Australia reached a total score of 245 runs thanks to Bannerman’s heroic effort. As Australia was bowled out for 245, James Southerton (3/61) and Alfred Shaw (3/51) were crucial.
John Selby and Harry Jupp opened for England in retaliation, and the visitors suffered their shock when John Hodges took Selby out for 7. Jupp continued to score a tough half-century before departing for 63, in 241 deliveries. In addition to Jupp, the only other English players who made an impact were Harry Charlwood (36) and Allen Hill (35) as Billy Midwinter helped Australia dismiss England for 196 and give the hosts a 49-run advantage going into the second innings. Billy Midwinter took five wickets. The first ever five wicket haul in a Test match was taken by Midwinter.
Australia’s batsman, Bannerman, was unable to repeat his first inning heroics as George Ulyett got him out for four runs. As soon as Australia was 27/2, Nat Thomson joined Bannerman. Tom Horan, who had a run total of 20, scored the most runs for Australia in the second inning. England bowled out Australia for 104.
England needed 154 runs to win the test match and were favourites to get them, but they were annihilated by the bowling of Tom Kendall, who had only taken one wicket in the first innings; this time he took seven wickets, for an aggregate of eight for 109 claiming the third fifer of the Test match. The first four England batsmen scored only 79 runs, while the remaining seven batsmen contributed only 24 runs as Australia bowled out England for 108 runs.
After four days of cricket, Australia had beaten Team England by 45 runs in the first cricket test match. The second Test also took place at The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). England won that match by four wickets to draw the series 1–1.
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