Australia 1 England 1

England in Australia, 1876-77

What have come to be accepted as the first two official Test matches were played in Australia in 1876-77. The tour was a private one - which is probably why the Wisden Almanack overlooked it - but the team of English professionals, captained by James Lillywhite, took on Australia in two 11-a-side matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Australia won the first match by 45 runs (a result which was exactly duplicated when the Centenary Test was played 100 years later to celebrate this first match). Charles Bannerman, a 25-year-old right-hander who was born in Woolwich, south-east London, scored Test cricket's first century. He went on to 165 before he had to retire hurt with an injured finger, and his percentage of Australia's score (67.3%) remarkably remains a record for any innings in Test cricket.

England won the second match, also played at the MCG, by four wickets to square the series.

In all Lillywhite's team played 23 matches, eight of them in New Zealand. They won 11, drew eight and lost four - to Australia, New South Wales (twice) and Victoria.

Click here for a full report on the tour and the first Test

Match reports for

1st Test: Australia v England at Melbourne, Mar 15-19, 1877
Report | Scorecard

2nd Test: Australia v England at Melbourne, Mar 31-Apr 4, 1877
Report | Scorecard

© John Wisden & Co