The shortest test in cricketing history in terms of minutes played and balls bowled took place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during the 1932 South African tour of Australia. The South African captain, ‘Jock’ Cameron, won the toss and elected to bat as the clouds gathered. The South Africans only managed to score 36 before being bowled out just after the lunch break with Bert Ironmonger, who had been dropped for the previous test, taking five wickets for only six runs.

The Australian team [pictured] went out to bat without the great Donald Bradman who had badly twisted his ankle in the dressing room before the start of the match. Nevertheless, they managed to score 153 runs on a particularly sticky wicket. Alan Kippax was the top scorer, accumulating 42 runs before being caught by Syd Curnow. The first day’s play ended with the South Africans on five runs for the cost of one wicket.

Rain prevented any play on the second day and continued during the rest day. Play finally resumed on the 15th February at 2:15. The South Africans continued to struggle with the wet pitch, being bowled out for only 45 runs with Ironmonger adding another seven wickets to his first innings haul. Australia won the match by an innings and 72 runs after only five and a half hours play in which only 656 balls were bowled.

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