HomeCricket10 Lowest Score in Test Cricket History

10 Lowest Score in Test Cricket History

In the history of Test cricket, some records are less celebrated than others. One such unwanted record is the lowest team total, held by New Zealand, who were bowled out for just 26 runs against England in 1955. 

This list features teams that have faced spectacular collapses, including cricketing giants like India, who were dismissed for 36 runs by Australia in 2020. South Africa find themselves on the list four times, followed by New Zealand and Australia with two entries each, and India and Ireland with one entry each.

In this article, we explore the top ten lowest score in Test cricket.

Top 10 Lowest Team Totals in Test Cricket

TeamScoreOversInnsOppositionGroundMatch Date
New Zealand2627.03v EnglandAuckland25 Mar 1955
South Africa3018.44v EnglandGqeberha13 Feb 1896
South Africa3012.32v EnglandBirmingham14 Jun 1924
South Africa3522.44v EnglandCape Town1 Apr 1899
South Africa3623.21v AustraliaMelbourne12 Feb 1932
Australia3623.02v EnglandBirmingham29 May 1902
India3621.23v AustraliaAdelaide17 Dec 2020
Ireland3815.44v EnglandLord’s24 Jul 2019
New Zealand4239.01v AustraliaWellington29 Mar 1946
Australia4237.32v EnglandSydney10 Feb 1888

1. New Zealand – 26 vs. England (1955)

On March 25, 1955, at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand set the record for the lowest total in Test cricket with a dismal 26 runs against England. The third innings of the match saw the Kiwis collapse in just 27 overs with a run rate of 0.96.

England’s fast bowlers, led by Bob Appleyard and Frank Tyson, exploited the conditions perfectly, dismantling the New Zealand batting lineup with unerring precision. Appleyard took 4 wickets for just 7 runs, while Tyson claimed 2 for 10, ensuring a quick end to the innings. This match remains a stark reminder of the unpredictability of Test cricket. Eventually, England won by an innings and 20 runs. 

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2. South Africa – 30 vs. England (1896)

South Africa’s first brush with ignominy in the lowest scores list came on February 13, 1896, against England at St George’s Park, Gqeberha. Batting fourth in the match, South Africa was bowled out for 30 in 18.4 overs, with an economy rate of 1.91.

George Lohmann was the chief architect of the collapse, taking 8 wickets for just 7 runs in a devastating spell of fast bowling. Lohmann’s extraordinary figures remain among the best in Test cricket history. England went on to win the match by 288 runs. 

3. South Africa – 30 vs. England (1924)

Nearly three decades later, on June 14, 1924, South Africa again succumbed to England, this time at Edgbaston, Birmingham. In the second innings, the South African team was dismissed for 30 runs in 12.3 overs at a run rate of 2.40.

Arthur Gilligan wreaked havoc with his pace bowling, capturing 6 wickets for 7 runs. Helping him was Maurice Tate, who finished with 4 wickets for 12 runs. The match was a testament to England’s dominance in that era. They won the match by an innings and 18 runs. 

4. South Africa – 35 vs. England (1899)

South Africa’s early years in Test cricket were fraught with struggles, evidenced by another low total of 35 against England on April 1, 1899, at Newlands, Cape Town. The fourth innings saw South Africa bowled out in 22.4 overs.

The English bowling attack, spearheaded by Schofield Haigh (6 wickets) and Albert Trott (4 wickets), proved too potent for the South African batsmen, who had no answers to the relentless pressure. England won the match by 210 runs. 

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5. South Africa – 36 vs. Australia (1932)

On February 12, 1932, South Africa recorded another infamous low score, this time against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In the first innings, South Africa was dismissed for 36 runs in 23.2 overs with a run rate of 1.54.

Bert Ironmonger, the left-arm orthodox spinner, spun a web around the South African batsmen, taking 5 wickets for 6 runs. His exceptional bowling was complemented by the bowling of Laurie Nash, who picked up 4 wickets for 18 runs. Australia won the match by an innings and 72 runs.

6. Australia – 36 vs. England (1902)

Australia’s inclusion in this list came on May 29, 1902, when they faced England at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Batting second, the Australians were bundled out for 36 in 23 overs.

Wilfred Rhodes and George Hirst were the destroyers-in-chief, with Rhodes taking 7 wickets for 17 runs and Hirst picking up three wickets. This match remains one of the few instances where Australia, a dominant force in cricket, found themselves at the receiving end of a spectacular collapse.

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7. India – 36 vs. Australia (2020)

In one of the most recent instances, India was skittled for 36 runs against Australia on December 19, 2020, at the Adelaide Oval. In the third innings, India could only manage 36 runs in 21.2 overs.

Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins delivered lethal spells of fast bowling, with Hazlewood taking 5 wickets for 8 runs and Cummins claiming 4 for 21. This match was played with the pink ball saw India’s batting line-up crumble under the lights. 

8. Ireland – 38 vs. England (2019)

Ireland, a relative newcomer to Test cricket, experienced one of the lowest totals when they faced England at Lord’s on July 24, 2019. Batting fourth, Ireland was bowled out for 38 runs in 15.4 overs.

Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad spearheaded the English attack, with Woakes taking 6 wickets for 17 runs and Broad picking up the rest of the 4 wickets. England went on to win the match by 143 runs. 

9. New Zealand – 42 vs. Australia (1946)

New Zealand registered one of their lowest totals on March 29, 1946, when they were bowled out for 42 runs against Australia at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. Batting first, New Zealand managed just 42 runs in 39 overs.

Australia’s Bill O’Reilly took 5 wickets for 14 runs, and he was helped by Ernie Toshack, who picked up 4 wickets for 12 runs. Australia won the match by an innings and 103 runs.

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10. Australia – 42 vs. England (1888)

The oldest entry on this list dates back to February 10, 1888, when Australia faced England at the Sydney Cricket Ground. In the second innings, Australia was dismissed for 42 runs in 37.3 overs.

George Lohmann and Bobby Peel picked up five wickets each to cause the collapse. 


The lowest totals in Test cricket serve as stark reminders of the game’s unpredictability. These matches, marked by extraordinary bowling and dramatic collapses, are a testament to the excitement and unpredictability of Test cricket.



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