What is a Timeless Test:
History of longest Test match ever played: A timeless Test is played with no time limit allocated. This occurs when there is no possibility of a draw, and the result cannot be decided. The match proceeds until one side triumphs, or the game is tied. However, if it ends with bad weather, it does not prevent the deciding result with positivity.
The longest Test ever played in cricketing history:
The longest recorded Test match was played between England and South Africa in 1939. The Durban Test holds the Guinness record for a reason. Although not the first ‘timeless test,’ but it was the longest of all timeless tests ever happened. Being in 2021, it stays the most prolonged one.
Did you know: This was not the first longest test recorded.
There were already 99 timeless tests played between 1877-1939. The match was played until there came any outcome but ought to be abandoned after eleven days of play.
Why was the test abandoned?
The test match started on 3rd March 1939. With nine days of play, SA had set a target of 696 runs for England to win, but they could reach 654, losing 5 wickets with five more to spare in the 4th inning. Later, the pitch was interfered with by three times cloud burst.
The pitch stayed the same even after rain and was in good condition to bat on even after it was abandoned. Why was the test abandoned on Day 12th? Notably, the ship was due to leave from South Africa assigned to pick English players back to their homes.
The match was played over nine days with a total of twelve days included indulging waiting period. The total duration of the game played was 43 hours and 16 minutes. The game disrupted twice between 3-14 March, and one of the days was dedicated to the rain.
A total of 1981 runs were scored, with 5447 deliveries bowled. SA at first won the toss and scored 530 runs in the first innings. England’s bowlers picked all the wickets.
The Test 271 in ICC history witnessed Pieter Van Der Bijl and Dudely Nourse as the top-scorers of SA’s 1st innings. They scored 125 and 103 runs respectively.
From England‘s end, the bowlers’ Reg Perks and Hedley Verity yielded 5 and 2 wickets, respectively, conceding 100 and 97 runs in 41 and 55.6 overs.
As visitor’s first inning commenced, Les Ames and Eddy Paynter remained the top-scorers with 84 and 62 runs. SA’s bowlers remained outstanding as Eric Dalton picked 4 wickets, conceding 59 runs in 13 overs whereas, Chud Langton grabbed his three-wicket haul allowing 71 runs in 35 overs.
At the beginning of the 2nd inning for South Africa, Pieter once again struck with his smashing 97 runs. Alan Melville remained the top-scorer from SA, this time slamming 103 runs.
This time, England’s Ken Farnes and Doug Wright picked four and three wickets respectively in 22.1 and 32 overs, conceding 74 and 146 run sequentially. England continued their second inning, which was to decide the result of the match.
Despite scoring 654 runs, losing 5 wickets, they got no chance to show the potential with the remaining five wickets. As the ship’s schedule was out of the plan, the match drew. Bill Edrich and Wally Hammond scored 219 and 140 runs to be the first and second highest scorers from England’s end in their second (fourth overall inning of that test) innings.
Again, Eric and Chud show off their average deliveries, picking two and one wicket as no other bowler from Englishmen did so. ICC also added a memorable photo in their #OnThisDay trend.
#OnThisDay in 1939, the longest Test of all commenced. The famous 'timeless Test' between South Africa and England, lasted eleven days, before the visitors had to return to Cape Town in order to sail home! pic.twitter.com/DLHFaIsDp3
— ICC (@ICC) March 3, 2018
History of longest Test match ever played.
First-ever longest Test match:
Until World War 2, all of the red-ball games were limitless in Australia. Out of 99 Tests, only two matches were drawn – both against England. The reason for these drawn matches was the schedule of ships to take the players home. The first longest test was between Australia and England at Adelaide Cricket Ground.
The test took nine playing days to decide the winner. England elected to bat first after winning the toss, but they could not win the game as Aussies declare a victory by four wickets.
Top ten longest Test matches:
|Team 1||Team 2||Winner||Ground||Match date||Test #|
|South Africa||England||Drawn||Durban||3rd March 1939||Test # 271|
|West Indies||England||Drawn||Kingston||3rd April 1930||Test # 193|
|Australia||England||Australia||Melbourne||8th March 1929||Test # 180|
|Australia||England||England||Sydney||23rd February 1912||Test # 120|
|Australia||England||Australia||Sydney||19th December 1924||Test # 158|
|Australia||England||Australia||Melbourne||1st January 1925||Test # 159|
|Australia||England||Australia||Adelaide||16th January 1925||Test # 160|
|Australia||England||England||Melbourne||29th December 1928||Test # 178|
|Australia||England||England||Adelaide||1st February 1929||Test # 179|
|Australia||England||England||Sydney||14th December 1894||Test # 42|
Lastly played longest test:
The lastly played longest test took place between West Indies and India in 1989. During theWest Indies’ India tours, the two teams indulged in the first test at George Town.
India won the toss and elected to field first. As West Indies stepped in their first inning, they scored 437 runs on losing all of the players. Richie Richardson remained the top-scorer with 194 runs as Arshad Ayub took his wicket with a magnificent catch by Shastri.
Gordon Greenidge and Gus Logie were the next two highest-scorers after Richie as they smashed 82 and 46 runs on 183 and 93 balls respectively.
Arshad remained the top wicket-taker in the WI’s 1st innings as he picked a five-wicket-haul. Kapil Dev, Chetan Sharma, and Narendra Hirwaini contributed with two, one, and one wicket sequentially.
India’s opened, Arun Lal was sent back to the pavilion on just 9 runs due to catch out. The next two batters, Navjot Sidhu and Ravi Shastri were going absolute with 42 and 29 runs. There was no play later on days three and four due to interruption, and it was drawn finally.