Test cricket has witnessed some truly unbelievable bowling performances over the years, as per the latest cricket sports update. Bowlers have demolished the opposition with their sheer skills and guile, producing remarkable analysis that seems almost unreal. Let’s revisit the 10 best bowling figures ever recorded in the history of Test cricket.
Jim Laker (England) – 19 wickets for 90 runs vs Australia, 1956
England off-spinner Jim Laker delivered the greatest bowling performance of all time at Old Trafford in 1956 against arch rivals Australia. After England scored 459 in the first innings, Laker ran through the mighty Australians and picked up 9 wickets for 37 runs. With England enforcing the follow-on, Laker proved unplayable yet again, claiming all 10 wickets in the second innings while conceding only 53 runs. His match figures of 19 wickets for 90 runs are a record that is unlikely to ever be broken. Laker bowled with immaculate control and sharp spin to decimate the Aussie batting line-up.
Anil Kumble (India) – 10 wickets for 74 runs vs Pakistan, 1999
Legendary Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble became only the second bowler after Laker to take 10 wickets in a Test innings when he achieved the feat against Pakistan at Delhi in 1999. After Pakistan notched up a sizable first innings score of 428, Kumble single-handedly brought India back into the match by taking all 10 wickets, conceding just 74 runs. His accurately flighted deliveries and subtle variations in pace flummoxed the Pakistani batsmen who had no answer to Kumble’s mastery. It was a spinner’s clinic as Kumble delivered ball after unplayable ball.
Alec Bedser (England) – 14 wickets for 99 runs vs Australia, 1953
Pace spearhead Alec Bedser produced a match-winning bowling performance for England against Australia at Lord’s in 1953. After England posted a modest total of 344 in their first innings, Bedser ripped through the Aussie batting order with 7 wickets for just 44 runs. When Australia followed on, Bedser was unstoppable yet again, snaring 7 more wickets while giving away only 57 runs this time. His remarkable match figures of 14/99 enabled England to win by 8 wickets.
Geoff Griffin (South Africa) – 14 wickets for 123 runs vs England, 1960
In only his second Test match, South African fast bowler Geoff Griffin put on an incredible bowling display against England at Lord’s in 1960. South Africa batted first and put up a total of 417, thanks largely to Graeme Pollock’s century. When England began their first innings, Griffin ran riot and picked up 9 wickets while conceding a miserly 37 runs. Though England avoided the follow-on, Griffin took 4 more wickets in the next innings to finish with match figures of 14/123.
Fred Trueman (England) – 12 wickets for 119 runs vs West Indies, 1963
Fiery English pacer Fred Trueman produced one of the most memorable fast bowling spells against the mighty West Indies at Lord’s in 1963. Trueman first dismissed the last 5 West Indian batsmen for just 3 runs to bowl them out for 301. When West Indies followed on, Trueman was lethal again, this time taking 8 wickets for only 31 runs to dismantle the star-studded Caribbean batting line-up. England went on to win the match by 10 wickets thanks largely to Trueman’s 12-wicket haul.
Hedley Verity (England) – 10 wickets for 10 runs vs Nottinghamshire, 1932
England’s left-arm orthodox spinner Hedley Verity created history in 1932 by taking all 10 wickets in an innings against Nottinghamshire, and that too at the expense of only 10 runs. This sensational bowling performance for Yorkshire remains the best bowling analysis ever in the history of first-class cricket. Verity’s accuracy, subtle variations and ability to exploit helpful conditions make him one of the greatest spinners of all time.
Narendra Hirwani (India) – 16 wickets for 136 runs vs West Indies, 1988
Indian leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani had a dream debut when he bamboozled the mighty West Indies batting line-up in Chennai in 1988. In West Indies’ first innings total of 382, Hirwani picked up 8 wickets for just 61 runs. When West Indies batted again, Hirwani weaved his magic to claim 8 more wickets for 75 runs, finishing with incredible match figures of 16/136. It remains the best bowling performance by a debutant in Test cricket history.
Ian Botham (England) – 13 wickets for 106 runs vs Pakistan, 1978
The legendary all-rounder Ian Botham produced a sensational display of swing and seam bowling against Pakistan at Lord’s in 1978. After posting a solid first innings total of 364, Botham sliced through the Pakistani top order taking 8 wickets for only 34 runs. Forced to follow on, Pakistan fared no better in the second innings as Botham grabbed 5 more wickets to finish with match figures of 13/106 and propel England to victory.
Sydney Barnes (England) – 17 wickets for 159 runs vs South Africa, 1913
Temperamental genius Sydney Barnes was perhaps the greatest fast bowler of all time. At Johannesburg in 1913, he single-handedly demolished South Africa with an incredible bowling performance. After taking 9 wickets for 103 runs in the first innings, Barnes proved unplayable again in the second innings, snaring 8 wickets for 56 runs this time around. His phenomenal match figures of 17/159 are among the best in Tests.
Richard Hadlee (New Zealand) – 15 wickets for 123 runs vs Australia, 1985
Legendary Kiwi pacer Richard Hadlee produced an outstanding all-round display at Brisbane in 1985 to script a remarkable Test victory for New Zealand over Australia. Hadlee first scored a patient half-century to take New Zealand to 289. He then terrorized the Aussie batsmen with fast, swinging deliveries to take 9 wickets for only 52 runs. Enforcing follow on, Hadlee claimed 6 more wickets as Australia capitulated for 179 to lose by an innings and 41 runs. Hadlee’s 15 wickets remains a record in Tests between Australia and New Zealand.
Taking 10 wickets in innings or 15-16 wickets in a Test match requires incredible skill and consistency. These bowling masters dismantled even the greatest batting line-ups through a combination of talent and perseverance. Cricket taja update record-shattering Test performances continue to amaze cricket fans decades later.