Test cricket is all about persistence and patience. It's a day where you need to keep your cool and stay on the crease as long as you can as a batsman, while for a bowler it's about getting rid of the batsmen at the earliest or committing to bowling the wicket-taking line and lengths.
However, there are days when out of the usual 4-5 bowlers team prefer to play, only one or a couple of them manage to take all the wickets. Today, we will discuss those games where we witnessed only two bowlers taking all the wickets in both innings.
1) Australia vs England (Melbourne)
It was New Year's day (1902) and it was the second Test. England had won the toss and elected to bowl first. Australia's first innings was summed up for just 112. England had a chance to make the most of such a low total but England were stunned by Australia's bowling, specifically Hugh Trumble and Monty Noble as they picked three and seven wickets respectively.
After that Australia batted again and handed England a target of 405 which England couldn't score, courtesy of Trumble and Monty again, picking four and six wickets respectively. Both bowlers picked all the wickets in both innings and thus, they become the first entries on our list.
2) Australia vs England (Birmingham)
The year was 1909, and this time the venue was Birmingham where the two played the first Test of Australia's tour of England. Australia were batting first after winning the toss and managed to score just 74.
George Hirst and Colin Blythe were the responsible parties for all wickets as they picked four and six respectively (4/28, 6/44). England didn't score much and replied with just a 50-run lead. However, when Australia were out to bat again, Hirst and Blythe ran riot again as they both accounted for 10 wickets in the second innings too (5/58 each).
3) South Africa vs England (Johannesburg)
The year is 1910 and the place is Johannesburg and once again, it was a Test match on New Year's day when South Africa hosted England in what was the first between them.
The hosts had won the toss and were batting first. After getting all out on 208, England responded with a solid 310 that saw wickets from only two Proteas bowlers Bert Vogler and Aubrey Faulkner, both picking five wickets each.
South Africa then scored 345 posting a target of 224 runs to the English and won the match by just 19 runs. It was possible due to the two bowlers who were exceptional in the first innings as well. However, this time Bert Vogler picked 7 wickets (7/94) and Faulkner picked 3 (3/40).
4) Australia vs England (Manchester)
The year is 1956 and the Test match was played in Manchester. The fourth Test saw England winning the toss and electing to bat first. England scored a mammoth total of 459 and Australia were already under pressure.
In response, Australia managed to score only 84, with Jim Laker and Tony Lock picking 9 and a wicket respectively (9/37, 1/37). Australia were under a follow-on and did better than the first innings but still succumbed after scoring 205. Again, it was Laker who picked all the wickets in the second innings to become the first person to achieve the feat, Australia won by an innings and 170 runs.
Pakistan vs Australia (Karachi)
Just three months later, we saw the feat being repeated in the same year for the first time. The venue was Karachi and it was the only Test between Pakistan and Australia.
Australia were batting first after winning the toss and scored 80, courtesy of Fazal Mahmood and Khan Mohammad who picked six and four wickets respectively (6/34, 4/43).
After Pakistan scored 199, it was Australia's turn to bat again and even this time the same two Pakistani bowlers dismantled the Australian batting as they were all out for 187. Fazal Mahmood (7/80) and Khan Mohammad (3/69) and Pakistan won the zest by 9 wickets.
Australia vs England (Lord's)
Well, it's the fourth time that these two teams have witnessed a Test match where two bowlers dominated throughout. England won the toss at Lords (1972) and elected to bat first.
England scored 272 and this was possible due to some fantastic bowling from Dennis Lillee and Bob Massie. Lillee picked 2/90, while Massie picked 8/84.
Australia scored 308 in response and it was England's turn now to set a target. However, the Lillee-Massie duo were rampant again as England were all out for just 116. Australia required 81 to win and they won comfortably by eight wickets. Lillee and Massie picked two and eight wickets respectively again but this time giving 50 and 53 runs respectively.
It's almost 50 years and we haven't seen any bowling duo repeating the feat. The Ashes have begun. What do you think? Will we see an Australia-England entry to the list again?
Cover Credits: Wisden