List: First Test Wins for Each Team in Test Cricket

It’s been close to 150 years since Australia and England played the first-ever Test match in 1877. And in between, we saw the rise of 2 other formats — ODI and T20I — but nothing beats the thrill that Test cricket serves.

When a team tries to corner their opponent across 5 days, it brings a lot of emotion and enthusiasm from the players and fans alike. And that’s why, when a team wins a Test match after putting in the effort, they cherish it for longer.

Something similar happens when a team registers their first-ever victory in the longest format. The victory is nothing short of an event, and players and fans celebrate it with great fervour.

So, in this article, we’ll go down memory lane to delve into the first Test wins marked by each team in Test cricket.

Australia | 1877

Australia is the only team to win the inaugural Test match. The Aussies registered their first win in the first-ever Test match played in 1877.

Australia faced off against arch-rivals England at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in the curtain-raiser of the format. 

The hosts won the toss and decided to bat. Australia put up 245 runs on the board in the first innings. England were all out for 196 runs in their pursuit to go ahead of Australia’s total.

Australia had a lead of 49 runs, but they couldn’t extend it too far as England restricted them to 104 runs. With a target of 154, England never took off in their chase and crashed on 108 runs. 

The Aussies thumped England by 45 runs in the match to go home with their first-ever Test win.

England | 1877

After the defeat in the first match, England made a quick turnaround to overpower Australia in their backyard. The second match took place at the MCG between March 31 and April 4, 1877.

Australia elected to bat first but was skittled for 122 in the first innings. England put in a good show with the bat, scoring 261 in their first innings and taking a lead of 139 runs.

Coming to bat again in the second innings, Australia scored 259 runs, putting a target of 121 runs ahead of England. The visitors chased down the target with 4 wickets to spare and won their first Test match.

South Africa | 1906

After Australia and England, South Africa became the third team to play Test cricket in 1889. However, they waited for 17 years and 12 matches to bring up their first Test victory.

The year was 1906, and it was their first Test match after a gap of 3 years and the first against England in almost 7 years. England were touring South Africa for 5 match series.

In the first match, England decided to bat first and mustered 184 runs. South Africa also didn’t do well with the bat and were bundled out for 91 runs.

England then added 190 runs to their lead of 93 runs, putting in a 284-run target in front of the Proteas. The chase went down the wire, with South Africa holding their nerve and winning the match by 1 wicket.

West Indies | 1930

The West Indies got Test status in 1928 and didn’t take too long to taste their first Test win. England toured the Caribbean Islands for the first time between January and April 1930. 

The first Test of the 4-match series ended in a draw, with England winning the second one. After being 1 down in the series, the Windies put on a valiant effort in the third match by scoring 471 runs. 

Later, they continued their brilliant run with a strong bowling performance by skittling England for 145 runs. They extended their lead of 326 further by adding 290 runs.

With a mammoth target of 617 runs, England succumbed to 327 runs, and the Windies registered a thumping victory by 289 runs.

India | 1952

India made its Test debut back in 1932 but had to endure losses and draws in their first 24 Test matches. But 1952 changed the momentum, as India logged their first Test victory after 20 years.

Chennai hosted the last Test of the 5-match series against England, which the visitors led by 1-0. When the odds were against India, they put on a brilliant performance in all departments.

India didn’t let England score a huge total by restricting them to 266 runs. And later, India posted 457 runs on the board, taking a lead of 191 runs. 

The lead proved to be just enough as India bundled England for 183 runs, winning the match by an innings and 8 runs.

Also Read | The Evolution of Indian Cricket: From Colonial Era to Independence

Pakistan | 1952

1952 saw another Asian team get their first Test win. Pakistan were playing in their second Test match against India in Lucknow.

In their debut Test, India handed them a huge defeat by an innings and 70 runs. But they avenged the loss in the next match, equalling England in registering their first-ever Test win in 2 matches.

India decided to bat first, but Pakistan’s bowlers were all over India, skittling them for 106 runs. Pakistan came out to bat and scored 331 runs, taking a lead of 225 runs.

Pakistani bowlers did their job again by restricting India to 182 and winning the match by an innings and 43 runs.

New Zealand | 1956

New Zealand’s wait to mark their first Test victory was way longer than any other team. The Blackcaps took almost 45 matches to get off the mark in the longest format!

New Zealand’s win came against the West Indies in 1956 in Auckland and was a bigger one. In the low-scoring affair, the Kiwis posted 255 runs, and in response, the Windies were all out for 145 runs.

New Zealand declared their second innings on 157 runs, setting a huge target of 268 runs. The Windies fared poorly yet again, getting bundled out for 77 runs, and New Zealand won by 190 runs.

Sri Lanka | 1985

Sri Lanka earned their Test status in 1982, and they opened their win account only in their 14th match. Sri Lanka were facing their neighbour India in a Test in Colombo.

Sri Lanka batted first and mustered 385 runs on the board. In response, India were rattled for 244 runs, conceding a deficit of 141 runs.

The Island nation then solidified their lead by adding 206 runs (declared) in the second innings. The target of 348 was too big for India as they slumped to 198 runs, with Sri Lanka lodging a victory by 149 runs.

Zimbabwe | 1995

Zimbabwe, only the second African nation to make the cut and play in the Test format, secured their first Test win in 1995.

Playing in Harare, Zimbabwe outbatted Pakistan by scoring a mammoth 544 runs, throwing Pakistan completely out of the contest. Zimbabwe bowled out Pakistan twice for 322 and 158, winning the match by an innings and 64 runs.

Bangladesh | 2005

Bangladesh had a rough start to their Test journey as they witnessed 31 losses in their first 34 matches, with 21 of them coming in a row. After that world record of the most consecutive defeats, Bangladesh needed a big push to turn the tables.

Bangladesh were playing a 2-match series against Zimbabwe at home in 2005. In the first match, the hosts put in all-out efforts to score 488 runs.

Zimbabwe retaliated well with the bat but was bowled out for 312 runs, with Bangladesh securing a 176-run lead. They added 204 runs to the lead, setting a huge target of 381 runs for Zimbabwe.

Bangladesh’s bowlers put the pressure on Zimbabwe from the start of the second innings and skittled them for 154 runs. Bangladesh won the match by 226 runs and registered their first Test victory.

Afghanistan | 2019

Afghanistan’s rise in international cricket has been phenomenal despite facing so many challenges back home. They dared to challenge the heavyweights of cricket and got their due in 2017 by earning Test status.

After getting a huge defeat in their debut Test match in 2018 at the hands of India, Afghanistan achieved their first Test victory in less than a year.

The Afghan Atlans were playing in their second Test match against Ireland in a one-off Test in March 2019. Batting first, Ireland were bowled out for 172 runs as Afghani bowlers ran through the Irish side.

Coming to bat in the second innings, Afghanistan scored 314 runs and took a lead of 142 runs. Ireland fought back well in the third innings, scoring 288 runs before getting all out.

With a target of 147 in sight, the Afghan Atlans cruised to victory with ease, sparing 7 wickets in hand.

Ireland | 2024

Ireland and Afghanistan joined the Test bandwagon at the same time, but the Irish team took 8 matches to celebrate their first Test win.

They were up against Afghanistan in their only second encounter between them. The conditions were unknown to both teams as the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi was hosting its maiden Test match.

After electing to bat first, Afghanistan managed to put up 155 runs in the first innings. Ireland faced 2 early hiccups, but the top order batted well to muster 263 runs.

Afghanistan were trailing by 108 runs at the start of their second innings and filled in the deficit by scoring 218 runs. Now Ireland needed 111 runs to register their first Test win, and they chased down the target with 6 wickets to spare.

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