Australia wins the first test match, 1877 [15 March 1934]

[Editor: An article published in The Argus, 15 March 1934.]

It happened to-day

Australia wins the first test match, 1877

The first English Eleven to visit Australia was brought out as an advertising venture by the famous catering firm, Spiers and Rond.

The team, which was captained by H. H. Stephenson, arrived late in 1861. Cricket in Australia was then in its infancy, and the Australian players were no match for the Englishmen. In order to make a game of it they were obliged to field 18 or 22 men. The visit, however, had the effect of arousing keen interest in cricket and in improving the Australian standard of play.

Another English team, captained by George Parr, toured Australia in 1864, with similar results.

Ten years later the great W. G. Grace arrived with a team. By that time Australian cricket had so improved that Grace’s men were thrice defeated.

When James Lillywhite’s Eleven came out in 1877 Australia at length ventured to meet the Englishmen on equal terms. The match, the first Test match, began on the M.C.C. Ground, Melbourne, on March 15, 1877. After four days of exciting play it ended with a win for Australia by 45 runs.

The victory was due largely to the brilliant batting of “Charlie” Bannerman in Australia’s first innings. He scored 165 runs before he was injured and obliged to retire. A second factor was the bowling of Midwinter and Kendall. In the Englishmen’s first innings Midwinter took five wickets for 78 runs; while Kendall in their second innings took seven wickets for 55 runs. The final scores were:— Australia — First innings, 245; second innings, 104. England — First Innings, 196; second innings, 108.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), 15 March 1934, page 8

[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]

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