On this day in 1955: New Zealand register lowest-ever team total in Test cricket

Test cricket is a format that can sometimes prove to be very difficult for the batsmen depending upon the match situation and pitch conditions. Many times it has been seen the teams succumb to pressure in crucial situations and get dismissed for low totals. On this day i.e. 28th March back in 1955, the New Zealand team got all-out for just 26 runs, the lowest ever innings total in Test cricket. This was the second Test of England tour of New Zealand played at Eden Park, Auckland.

New Zealand captain Geoff Rabone won the toss and elected to bat first in the game. In the first innings, the Kiwi team scored 200 runs in 88.4 overs. For them, John Reid top scored with 73 runs coming off his bat which included 7 fours and 1 six. Opener Bert Sutcliffe also made a vital contribution of 49 runs for the team.

Among the English bowlers, Brian Statham was most successful picking up 4 wickets for 28 runs in 17.4 overs. Apart from him, Bob Appleyard took 3 wickets for 38 runs and Frank Tyson got 2 wickets for 41 runs. In response to the score posted by New Zealand, the visiting side were all out for 246 runs thus taking an important lead of 46 runs.

The Kiwi team must have thought of scoring as many runs in their second innings to give a challenging total for England in the fourth innings. However, what happened next shocked the Kiwi team as they could not even score 46 runs, the score which they needed to avoid innings defeat.

The English bowlers dismantled the hosts’ batting line-up dismissing them for 26 runs, and won the game by an innings and 20 runs. 5 Kiwi batsmen bagged a duck in the second innings. For England, Bob Appleyard and Brian Statham picked up 4 and 3 wickets respectively. New Zealand’s innings lasted for only 27 overs, and their record for lowest innings total still remains intact even after 66 years.