The Lords cricket ground as we know today as the Home of Cricket staged it’s first Test Match on this day in 1884.As England was hosting the first Ashes series, following the publication of the mock "ashes" obituary after the 1882 Test, Lords Cricket Ground got the opportunity to host its first test match in this series.
We take you back in time to the first test match between the “Fourth Australians” and England at the Mecca of Cricket, the Lords Cricket Ground.The Australian team was officially termed as the Fourth Australians as it was the fourth tour by the Australian team to England after the 1878, 1880 and 1882 seasons.
This series was historic as it witnessed a lot of first’s in the history of Cricket.
This series was the first English Season for any team to feature more than one Test Match, it was a three match series which included the Inaugural tests at both Old Trafford and Lord’s.
First Test Match
After the first test at Old Trafford ended in a draw, the focus shifted to Lord’s which hosted its first match in the three-day test match era between July 21-23. The Australian team was led by the batting great Billy Murdoch while the English team was led by Lord Harris.
Having won the toss Billy decided to bat first but they were in for a surprise as Edmund Peate, the fiery leg spinner ripped through the Australian batting line up to reduce the visiting team to 160 for 9. Scott and Boyle displayed some tooth and put on a 69 runs stand for the final wicket to take the Australian side to a respectable score of 229.
The home team also got off to a shaky start and at the end of the first day’s play England had 90 runs on the board with 3 of their main batsmen back in the pavilion including the legendary WG Grace.
The Allan Gibson Show
The second day saw the most remarkable show of batting skills as Allan Gibson Steel joined the overnight not out batsman George Ulyett to steer the English team to a comfortable score of 379 which also saw Steel scoring his first Test match century.
Another unique record that this test witnessed was when Murdoch volunteered to be fielded as a substitute for the opposition (Blackham had received a blow on the finger which compelled his retirement from the game) and claimed the first substitute catch in Test cricket history.
Before the time was called for the end of day two Australians had lost 4 wickets in their second innings for a measly score of 73 runs.
Final Day at Lords cricket ground
On the final day of play Henry Scott made a gallant effort to save the game for Australia but his fine show was eclipse by a spirited performance by a fine spell by George Ulyett, taking 7 wickets for just 36 runs to finish the game just after lunch on day 3 with England emerging victorious by an innings and 5 runs.
This was the only match that ended with a result and gave England its first Ashes Series as the next match at The Oval ended in a draw. Thus began the journey for Lord’s Cricket Ground and over the years it has witnessed some of the most memorable moments that the game of Cricket had to offer to be rightly crowned the title of being the Mecca of Cricket.