The first ever Test century was scored in 1877: The first-ever Test match in the history of cricket was played between England and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, between 15th and 19th March, 1877, with 18th March being termed as ‘Rest Day’.
The match was played with 4-deliveries an over.
Winning the toss Australia, led by David William ‘Dave’ Gregory elected to bat.
Opening the batting alongwith Nathenel Frampton Davis ‘Nat’ Thomson, Charles Bannerman scored the very first run in the history of Test cricket. The duo stayed together for just 2 runs when Thomson was bowled by the England Allen Hill, who claimed the first ever Test wicket.
Thomas Patric Horan joined Bannerman in the middle and went on to score 12 runs before he was caught by Allen Hill of the bowling of Alfred Shaw. Thus Hill took the first ever Test catch. Horan departed at the team score of 40/2.
The Aussie skipper, Dave Gregory, who then walked in to give company to Bannerman became the first ever victim of ‘run out’ in a Test match, after scoring just 1 run.
The fourth wicket partnership between Bannerman and Bransby Beauchamp Cooper realised 77 runs (the best partnership for any wicket in the match). Cooper’s contribution was only 15 runs while bulk of the scoring was done by Bannerman, who incidentally completed his century and became the first ever centurion in Test cricket. Cooper left with the team score at 118/4.
Cooper had an Indian connection, being born in Dhaka, the then an India cty.
Bannerman kept one end going and the scoreboard ticking along while batsman after batsman ‘walked in’ and ‘walked out’ without making any significant contribution.
Another 54-runs partnership for the seventh wicket between Bannerman and the wicket-keeper, John McCarthy ‘Jack’ Blackham (17) took the team’s tally to 197/7.
While batting alongwith Thomas William ‘Tom’ Garrett for the eighth wicket, Bannerman split his right hand index finger while facing the medium pacer, George Ulyett, and retired hurt, the first ever such an incident in Test cricket.
Bannerman scored 165 runs in an innings that lasted for 285 minutes and had 18 hits to the fence. He departed leaving the team at 240 runs. 5 more runs later the Aussies first innings got over after 169.3 overs.