The first officially recognised Test match took place between 15 and 19 March 1877 and was played between England and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), where Australia won by 45 runs. A Test match to celebrate 100 years of Test cricket was held in Melbourne between 12 and 17 March 1977, in which Australia beat England by 45 runs—the same margin as that first Test. In October 2012, the ICC recast the playing conditions for Test matches, permitting day/night Test matches. The first day/night game took place between Australia and New Zealand at the Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, on 27 November – 1 December 2015.
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Each Test-playing country often hosts triangular tournaments, between the host nation and two touring sides. There is usually a round-robin group stage, and then the leading two teams play each other in a final, or sometimes a best-of-three final. When there is only one touring side, there is still often a best-of-five or best-of-seven series of limited overs matches.
Star player: Marnus Labuschagne — The right-hander returns to his state an international star having struck four gutsy half-centuries at the Ashes to become a Test lock. He’ll forgo a break to jump straight back into things with the Bulls. No guarantees that his red-ball form will convert to the white-ball, but Labuschagne is in career-best touch and will fancy his chances of improving on his List A batting average of 32.36.
Twenty20, a curtailed form of one-day cricket with 20 overs per side, was first played in England in 2003. It has proven very popular, and several Twenty20 matches have been played between national teams. It makes several changes to the usual laws of cricket, including the addition of a "bowl-out" (similar to a penalty shoot-out in football) to decide the result of tied matches, which was subsequently dispensed in favour of a Super Over.
Things could have been far worse for the tourists too, had rain not washed away 17 overs for the day in a two-hour delay either side of the tea break. The pair’s stand was the highest in pink-ball history, overtaking the 248 runs Englishmen Joe Root and Alastair Cook combined for against West Indies in 2017. It was also the highest second-wicket stand of all time for Australia against Pakistan, surpassing Mark Taylor and Justin Langer’s 279 in Peshawar in 1998.
Test cricket is almost always played as a series of matches between two countries, with all matches in the series taking place in the same country (the host). Often there is a perpetual trophy that is awarded to the winner, the most famous of which is the Ashes contested between England and Australia. There have been two exceptions to the bilateral nature of Test cricket: the 1912 Triangular Tournament, a three-way competition between England, Australia and South Africa (hosted by England), and the Asian Test Championship, an event held in 1998–99 and 2001–02.
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A standard day of Test cricket consists of three sessions of two hours each, the breaks between sessions being 40 minutes for lunch and 20 minutes for tea. However, the times of sessions and intervals may be altered in certain circumstances: if bad weather or a change of innings occurs close to a scheduled break, the break may be taken immediately; if there has been a loss of playing time, for example because of bad weather, the session times may be adjusted to make up the lost time; if the batting side is nine wickets down at the scheduled tea break, then the interval may be delayed until either 30 minutes has elapsed or the team is all out; the final session may be extended by up to 30 minutes if 90 or more overs have not been bowled in that day's play (subject to any reduction for adverse weather); the final session may be extended by 30 minutes (except on the 5th day) if the umpires believe the result can be decided within that time.
The first Limited Overs International (LOI) or One-Day International (ODI) match was played in Melbourne in 1971, and the quadrennial cricket World Cup began in 1975. Many of the "packaging" innovations, such as coloured clothing, were as a result of World Series Cricket, a "rebel" series set up outside the cricketing establishment by Australian entrepreneur Kerry Packer. For more details, see History of cricket.
The world record for the highest innings total in any List A limited overs match is 496 for 4 by Surrey against Gloucestershire in their Friends Provident Trophy 50-overs match at the Oval, London on 29 April 2007. That surpassed the 443 for nine by Sri Lanka against the Netherlands in their One Day International 50-overs match at Amstelveen on 4 July 2006, which was the record ODI score at the time. On 19 June 2018, England set a new international record, totalling 481 for 6 against Australia at Trent Bridge. The lowest ever total is 23 by Yorkshire against Middlesex at Headingley in 1974 in a 40-overs match. The record low score in ODIs was set by Zimbabwe, who managed just 35 against Sri Lanka in Harare on 25 April 2004.
Usually the teams will alternate at the completion of each innings. Thus, Team A will bat (and Team B will bowl) until its innings ends, and then Team B will bat and Team A will bowl. When Team B's innings ends, Team A begin their second innings, and this is followed by Team B's second innings. The winning team is the one that scores more runs in their two innings.