When did each Test playing nation get their first ever innings victory?

Deepak Panda

England team during the Lords Test against India

Test cricket, the traditional form of cricket, is now played by 12 nations, with Afghanistan and Ireland being the newest entrants. Barring the two newbies who have played a single Test each, all other Test playing nations have achieved innings victories, with Bangladesh being the latest to achieve the feat. England were the first to register an innings victory, followed by Australia and South Africa. Pakistan have been the fastest to achieve the feat while New Zealand are the slowest.

Here we look at the first ever innings victory for each nation:

England - 11th Test (Melbourne, 1882-83)

The first team to register an innings victory, England achieved the feat in their 11th Test at Melbourne. It was the second Test of the first ever Ashes series. England scored 294 in the first innings, with the help of 3 fifties. In reply, Australia got bowled out for 114 and were asked to follow on. Billy Bates, who scored a fifty with the bat, picked up 7 wickets.

In the second innings, Bates ran through the Australian line up again, picking up 7 more wickets as England won the game by an innings and 27 runs, thus recording the first ever innings victory in the history of the game.

Australia - 42nd Test (Sydney, 1894-95)

During the fourth Test of the Ashes in 1894-95 in Sydney, Australia became the second team to register an innings victory, beating England by an innings and 147 runs. On the first morning, Australia were 51/6, but Harry Graham's 105 and Albert Trott's 85 stabilized the innings as Australia finished with 284 on the board.

England had a miserable first innings, and were all out for 65. In the second innings, George Giffen with 5 wickets and Charlie Turner with 4 wickets wreaked havoc on the English side, bundling them out for a paltry 72.

West Indies after winning the first Test against England in 2019

West Indies - 19th Test (Kingston, 1934-35) 

West Indies registered their first ever innings victory in a home series in 1934-35 against England in their 19th Test. Going into the last Test of a four-match series, the series was locked at 1-1 as West Indies looked to get their first ever series victory.

West Indies put on a mammoth total on the board, with the help of a brilliant 270* from George Headley, finally declaring the innings at 535/7. In response, England managed to reach 271, courtesy a knock of 126 by Les Ames.

The second innings was even worse for England as they were bundled out for a paltry 103. West Indies achieved their first ever innings victory and also registered their first series victory.

Sri Lanka - 67th Test (Colombo, 1996)

Sri Lanka registered their first innings victory in their 67th Test in Colombo in 1996, which was Zimbabwe's first ever Test in the island nation. Batting first, Sri Lanka recovered from 128/5 to 349, courtesy a 142-run stand between Ranatunga and Kaluwitharana. In reply, Zimbabwe skittled out for 145.

In the second innings, Muralitharan returned with figures 5/33 as Zimbabwe were all out for 127. Sri Lanka won by an innings and 77 runs.

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South Africa - 16th Test (Cape Town, 1905-06)

South Africa became the third team to register an innings victory, beating England by an innings and 16 runs at Cape Town in 1905-06. It was the 16th Test for South Africa. England slipped from 137/4 to 187 all out. South Africa, in reply, revived from 87/5 to 333, courtesy a 94-run tenth wicket stand.

In the second innings, England could manage only 130, handing South Africa their first innings victory. The series was won 4-1 by South Africa.

Pakistan - 2nd Test (Lucknow, 1952-53)

Pakistan registered their first innings victory in their second Test, against arch rivals India at Lucknow in 1952-53. In doing so, they became the fastest team to achieve the feat. Facing an innings defeat in their very first match, Pakistan bounced back in style, getting India all out for 106. All Indian wickets fell to pace bowling.

Pakistan responded with 331, courtesy Nazar Mohammad's 124. In the second innings, India's innings folded for 182, handing Pakistan a historic win by an innings and 43 runs. Fazal Mahmood, who picked 5 wickets in the first innings, added 7 more in the second innings.

Bangladesh - 112th Test (Dhaka, 2018-19)

Bangladesh are the latest to achieve the feat, registering their first ever innings victory in their 112th Test against West Indies at Dhaka in 2018. They became the second slowest to achieve the feat after New Zealand, beating West Indies by an innings and 184 runs. . Batting first, Bangladesh reached 508, helped by Mahmudullah's 136 and handy contributions by others.

West Indies had a terrible time with the bat, getting all out for 111 in the first innings, with Mehedi Hasan picked 7 wickets. The second innings saw West Indies put up a slightly better effort with the bat, but they managed to score only 213, with Mehedi picking 5 wickets again.

New Zealand are the slowest to achieve their first innings victory

New Zealand - 119th Test (Wellington, 1975-76)

Achieving their maiden Test win in their 45th match, New Zealand registered their maiden innings victory in their 119th match, becoming the slowest to achieve the feat. They did so when they beat India at Wellington in 1975-76 in the third match of the 3-match series. Going into the match, India were leading the series 1-0. In the first innings, India got all out for 220.

In reply, Mark Burgess' 95 helped New Zealand post a total of 334. Trailing by 114, India could put up only 81, handing New Zealand a win by an innings and 33 runs. Richard Hadlee picked 7 wickets in the second innings, and had 11 wickets to his name in the match.

Zimbabwe - 11th Test (Harare, 1994-95)

Zimbabwe became the joint third fastest to achieve an innings victory, doing so in their 11th Test, when they beat Pakistan at Harare in 1994-95. It was also Pakistan's first Test in Zimbabwe. The home side, despite being 3 down for 42, declared for 544/4. Grant Flower (201*), Guy Whittall (113*) and Andy Flower (156) were the three centurions.

Pakistan got all out for 322, with Inzamam's 71 reviving them from 151/6. Heath Streak picked up 6 wickets. Following on, Pakistan were bowled out for 158, despite Inzamam's 65, handing Zimbabwe a win by an innings and 34 runs.

India, the top ranked side, with the Test side

India - 25th Test (Madras, 1951-52) 

India won their first Test almost two decades after their first Test appearance in their 25th match. Their first Test win was also their first innings victory where they beat England by an innings and eight runs. In the five match series, England were 1-0 up going into the fifth Test at Chepauk.

The wrecker-in-chief was Vinoo Mankad with figures 8/55 in the first innings as England were all out for 266. Centuries from opener Pankaj Roy and Polly Umrigar, who batted at 7, gave India the edge in the first innings. India finally declared at 457/9 after a superb team effort. The second essay saw Vinoo Mankad and Ghulam Ahmed pick 4 wickets each as England were skittled out for 183.

India managed to draw the series after enjoying their first ever innings victory, which was also their first ever victory in Test cricket.