South Africa played the shortest ever Test innings : A Test match is played over a period of five days and comprises of four innings. There have been very many Test matches that had got over even in less than 3 days time.
However, the shortest ever Test innings was played by South Africa when they took on England for the First Test in the five-Test series, at Edgbaston, Birmingham, between 14th and 17th June, 1924.
South Africa led by Herbert Wilfred Taylor, won the toss, and elected to field.
England, with good contributions by their batters, (Sir) Jack Hobbs (76), Herbert Sutcliffe (64), Frank Woolley (64), Elias ‘Patsy’ Hendren (74) and a rearguard action by Roy Kilner (59), down the order, were able to put up a good score of 438 runs in their first innings.
For South Africa, George Parker was the most successful bowler picking up 6 wickets, giving away 152 runs in his spell of 37 overs. He was ably supported by Sid Pegler and Jimmy Blanckenberg who claimed 2 wickets each.
Chasing England’s first innings total, the South African first innings lasted only 12.3 overs, with the entire team getting out, scoring only 30 runs.
None of the batters could reach the double digit. ‘Extras’ was the highest contributor with 11 runs. The individual tally of 7,0,3,1,1*,4,2,0,0,1,0 appeared to be more of a telephone number than a cricket score.
England used just two bowlers, Arthur Gilligan (6.3-4-7-6) and Maurice Tate (6-1-12-4) who shared the wickets amongst themselves.
Made to follow-on with a deficit of 408 runs, the visitors ended their second innings pretty much better than their first knock, lasting 143.4 overs and putting up 390 runs on the board.
A major contribution of 120 runs with 15 fours and 2 sixes by Robert Catterall, ably supported by half centuries from the blades of Manfred Susskind (51) and Jimmy Blanckenberg (56), helped them put up a decent total in their second knock.
For England, Arthur Gilligan (28-6-83-5) and Maurice Tate (50.4-19-103-4) continued from where they had left in the first innings and put up a good show.
The improvised performance of South Africa in the second innings was not enough to call England to bat a second time.
Falling short of the first innings deficit by 18 runs, England won the match and went 1-0 up the series.