New Zealand Bowled Out for 26, Lowest Ever Score in Test Cricket

New Zealand Bowled Out for 26, Lowest Ever Score in Test Cricket

On this day, March 28, in 1955, New Zealand were bowled out for 26 runs by England. It remains the lowest ever Test cricket score in the history of the sport and till date, it is the lowest. Back in the days, New Zealand were considered to be the minnows of the cricket as they did not have the facilities and the skills at the time to take on dominating countries such as England and neighbours Australia. It was the second Test match of the Test series and the Kiwis were trailing the series 0-1.

In the second match, New Zealand managed to restrict England to 246, however, the rebuttal was something which was never expected.

The England attacking unit were fierce and a force not to be reckoned with. The Kiwis were in trouble early in the first innings of the match after losing early wickets. But a fightback from Bert Sutcliffe (49) and John Reid (73) saw New Zealand post 200 on the board on day 1.

Not a challenging total, but the wicket had favoured the bowlers.

England fought on and posted 246 on the board, leading by 46 runs. In what could have been an easy path for New Zealand to take a strong lead, the Kiwis had no idea was in store the next day.

Running riot, England’s Bob Appleyard and Brian Statham wreaked havoc as the two pacers shared seven wickets and saw New Zealand collapse to score the lowest ever total in the history of Test cricket, 26 runs. Appleyard claimed four whereas Statham claimed three. It was only Bert Sutcliffe, who scored the most runs in the lowest total i.e., 11 runs. Four batsmen were dismissed for a duck in the innings.

12,000 in attendance, the hosts witnessed one of the darkest days in New Zealand cricket. Stunning the crowd and the players, England cruised past the Kiwis. England went on to win the Test match by an innings and 20 runs.

Paul Ford, the co-founder of Kiwi cricket supporters’ group told AFP that as a New Zealand fan, they’d be grateful if anyone could take the unforgettable record from the Kiwis.

“It’s ignominious, it’s shameful. It would be great if someone came along and scored 25 or fewer.”

Ever since, New Zealand have improved and have now become a side not to be underestimated. The Kiwis did give England a taste of their own medicine in 2018, when they had England wabbling at 23/8 in a Day-Night Test in Auckland. It was the perfect opportunity to erase the record and bowl out England for the lowest total ever, but it was England’s tail that managed to rescue England from the lowest form of humiliation and dragged the visitors to 58.

In the top five lowest scores in cricket, it is New Zealand at 26 runs, and the second, third, fourth and fifth spot are occupied by South Africa with scores of 30, 30, 35 and 36 respectively.

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Author: Shirley