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Interesting bits of cricket history/facts/stats/trivia that you find

Red Hill

The artist formerly known as Monk
A bit of light reading and cricket history has to be good for all of us at the moment!

In 1939, the longest Test in the history of cricket commenced. The 'never-ending' match that is often referred as the timeless Test was played between South Africa and England at Durban. The match that was played from March 3 to March 14 witnessed action on 9 out of scheduled 12 days as March 5 and 12 were rest days and play on March 11 was abandoned due to rain. The match involved 43 hours and 16 minutes of play, 1,981 runs scored, 5,447 deliveries were bowled and ended in a draw.

It was the fifth Test of 1938-39 series where both teams had agreed before the commencement of the Tests that the final match will be timeless if the series was level or any of the teams would be one-up. England went into the final Test 1-0 up in the series having won the third Test of the series and hence the timeless Test began.

The match was not expected to last for 12 days, so England were booked to leave Durban for Cape Town on March 7 to play the final match of the tour against Western Province before taking the mail-ship on March 17 to home. As the match kept on going, it was declared a draw by mutual agreement on the twelfth day as the English team could not afford to miss their ship.


South Africa won the toss and decided to bat on a batting paradise pitch and a bowler's nightmare. The decision worked in the favour of South African skipper Alan Melville as his team put up 530 runs in the first innings. Van der Bijl (125) and Nourse (103) were the top scorers for the hosts. Pacer Reg Perks picked up 5 wickets for England in the innings.

In reply, England were bowled out 316, handing their opposition a lead of 214 runs. Leg Ames top scored with 84 as Eric Dalton returned bowling figures 59/4. South African batsmen continued their good form with the bat in the second innings as they amassed 481 with skipper Melville hitting 103. Ken Farnes was England's best bowler as he took 4/74.

The visitors were set a target of 696 to win the match and then England embarked on an innings journey that never got over. The English team batted for six days in total that included two days which didn't see any action.

On March 14, when the visitors were on 654/5 and only 42 runs shy if the target it was decided to end the match as a draw after rain interrupted the play after tea. The English team also had to make a two-day train journey to Cape Town to take the mailship to go back home.

Frustrated with the length of the game without a result, Wally Hammond in his farewell speech said that timeless Tests are not in the best interests of the game.



New member
I have made an infographic which will show some interesting facts about cricket. Do check this and explore your knowledge..Let me know if there is something interesting we can add.