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Top 10: Most Wickets in a Single Day in Test Cricket

Murphy’s law states ” Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.

This is true to the game of cricket too.

Test cricket, in particular, is unkind and cruel at sometimes.  Not only to bowlers, it happens to batsmen too on few days.

Here we are on the quest of finding out those days where the bowlers dominated the batsmen, literally.

Here are the top 10 days in Test cricket history when the most number of wickets has fallen.

Most Wickets in a Single Day of Test Match

WICKETSRUNSDAYTEAMSMATCH DATEVENUE
271572ENG VS AUS16-JULY-1888LORD’S
252211AUS VS ENG01-JAN-1902MELBOURNE
242552ENG VS AUS10-AUG-1896THE OVAL
243392IND VS AFG14-JUN-2018BENGALURU
232942SA VS AUS9-NOV-2011CAPE TOWN
232701SA VS IND3-JAN-2024CAPE TOWN
221971ENG VS AUS11-AUG-1890THE OVAL
222071AUS VS WI22-DEC-1951ADELAIDE
221953ENG VS IND17-JUL-1952MANCHESTER
222293SL VS ENG15-MAR-2001COLOMBO
222793NZ VS IND19-DEC-2002HAMILTON
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Now let us look into the things, a little deeper.

Ranking them in the descending order, here is the top 5 days in Test cricket, where the maximum of wickets have fallen!

23 – South Africa vs Australia, Day 2, 1st Test, 2011

When Australia was leading by 188 runs after the 1st Innings of both the teams on Day 2, they never would have thought they were going to wrap under a mere 50 Runs in the 2nd Innings. [SCORECARD]

But things happened so fast. Australian batsmen were all-out for 44 in just 90 minutes of play.

It took a total of 225 minutes for the 20 wickets of South Africa’s 1st Innings and Australia’s 2nd Innings to fall on that day.

Smith AMla Partnership

Interestingly, South Africa ended up chasing the tricky target of 236 runs convincingly, thanks to the 4th-innings centuries from Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla.

Thirteen years later, in the same venue, South Africa was involved in another day of Test cricket where 23 wickets fell. This time, the opponents are India, and it is the Proteas who ended up as the major victim of the day. They lost all their 1st innings wickets for just 55 runs and dismissed India for a score of 153 to only lose 3 more wickets of themselves on the same day in their 2nd innings.

24 – India vs Afghanistan, Day 2, 1st Test, 2018

It happened just after a historical day in Test cricket for Afghanistan.

The Asian country’s 1st ever Test match it was, and they were already facing the No.1 Test team in the world cricket- India in India.

The inexperience was witnessed when the visitors were wrapped up by the deadly Indian bowlers for 109 & 103 on Day-2 while replying to India’s 474 in the 1st innings.

India vs Afghanistan Only Test
India vs Afghanistan (Only Test)

Adding the 4 Indian wickets that fell on the morning session, it was 24 wickets fell on that day and the historical match just added a historical day to it. [SCORECARD]

24 – England vs Australia, Day 2, 3rd Test, 1896

The year was 1896 and it was the oldest rivalry in cricket, England taking on Australia.

On the 3rd Test of that 1896 Australia’s tour to England, 24 wickets fell on Day-2 to end the match in the favour of England by a difference of 66 runs.

Chasing the total of 111 in the 4th innings of the match, the whole Australian team fell for just 44 Runs, thanks to the sensational spell of 15 overs from R Peel & JT Hearne, in which they picked up the complete 10 wickets. [SCORECARD]

25- Australia vs England, Day 1, 2nd Test, 1902

It was just 16 years later, all hell was broke loose once again. This time it was Australia who ended up on the winning side against the same opponent England.

The opening day of that Melbourne Test match saw 25 wickets falling as both the teams surrendered their 1st innings inside the Day-1.

England scored a 15-overs 61 runs on the respond to Australia’s innings score of 112. [SCORECARD]

27 – England vs Australia, Day-2, 1st Test, 1888

The record for most wickets in a single day of Test cricket stands at 27.

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And that happened almost 130 years back when the same pair of Australia and England were playing.

It was on the Day-2 of the 1st Test match between England and Australia on 1888 when Australia’s Charlie Turner (10 wickets in the match) and J.J.Ferris (8 Wickets) toyed with the English batsmen to get them all-out for 53 & 62 in both the innings respectively.

The match was held on the famous Lord’s Cricket Ground.

The Australians were victims themselves as they were all-out for 60 not-out in their 2nd Innings earlier, which paved the way to the record falling of wickets on the Day-2 of that Test.

Ultimately Australia won the match by 61 runs.

JJ Ferris & Charlie Turner
JJ Ferris & Charlie Turner

J.J. Ferris who picked 8 wickets in the match, was also the joint high-scorer of that match with 34 runs (14 & 20). Find the scorecard here.

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