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.
In 1970, a series of five "Test matches" was played in England between England and a Rest of the World XI. These matches, originally scheduled between England and South Africa, were amended after South Africa was suspended from international cricket because of their government's policy of apartheid. Although initially given Test status (and included as Test matches in some record books, including Wisden Cricketers' Almanack), this was later withdrawn and a principle was established that official Test matches can only be between nations (although the geographically and demographically small countries of the West Indies have since 1928 been permitted to field a coalition side). Despite this, in 2005, the ICC ruled that the six-day Super Series match that took place in October 2005, between Australia and a World XI, was an official Test match. Some cricket writers and statisticians, including Bill Frindall, ignored the ICC's ruling and excluded the 2005 match from their records. The series of "Test matches" played in Australia between Australia and a World XI in 1971–72 do not have Test status. The commercial "Supertests" organised by Kerry Packer as part of his World Series Cricket enterprise and played between "WSC Australia", "WSC World XI" and "WSC West Indies" from 1977 to 1979 have never been regarded as official Test matches.
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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.
Test cricket is the form of the sport of cricket with the longest match duration, and is considered the game's highest standard. Test matches are played between national representative teams that have been granted ‘Test status’, as determined and conferred by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The term Test stems from the fact that the long, gruelling matches are mentally and physically testing. Two teams of 11 players each play a four-innings match, which may last up to five days (or longer in some historical cases). It is generally considered the most complete examination of a team's endurance and ability.
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Test cricket is played in innings (the word denotes both the singular and the plural). In each innings, one team bats and the other bowls (or fields). Ordinarily four innings are played in a Test match, and each team bats twice and bowls twice. Before the start of play on the first day, the two team captains and the match referee toss a coin; the captain who wins the toss decides whether his team will bat or bowl first.
Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat first under dark, grey skies – which his opposing skipper Azhar Ali was content with. The alarm bells started ringing for Australia early when opener Joe Burns (4) was caught behind off Shaheen Afridi in just the fourth over. Labuschagne was then a whisker away from following Burns into the sheds the very next ball after another strong appeal for caught behind. The umpire – despite the rapturous celebration – was unmoved.
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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.