The Galle Cricket Stadium, home ground of the Galle Cricket Club © Getty Images
The Galle Cricket Stadium, home ground of the Galle Cricket Club © Getty Images

Galle Cricket Club were bowled out for 31 against Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club on April 10, 2015. Bharath Seervi lists the lowest totals in First-class matches in Sri Lanka and in other countries.

In the Premier Championship, the domestic tournament in Sri Lanka, Galle Cricket Club were dismissed for 31 by Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club at the Army Ground in Panagoda. It is the joint lowest total in First-Class matches in Sri Lanka.

It is the Relegation Play-off match of the tournament where Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club won the toss and put Galle Cricket Club to bat first. There was nothing much for the viewers except the falling of wickets. No batsman scored more than seven runs, not even the extras and the team was bundled for 31 runs in 15.1 overs. The top scorer was N Nirmal and there were only two ducks in the team’s scorecard. Seven batsmen were dismissed caught, two LBW and one bowled.

The bowlers who did this damage include Asiri Karunaratne who picked up five wickets for 21 runs in 7.1 overs, S Jayawardene with three for 10 and Tharanga Ravin, who took two wickets conceding no run in two overs.

The total of 31 is in tie with Kurunegala Youth Cricket Club’s 31 as the joint lowest total in all First-class matches in Sri Lanka. Karunegala Youth Club got this distinction against Sinhalese Sports Club in 1993/94.

Lowest totals in First-Class matches in Sri Lanka

Total For Against Venue Season Result
31 Kurunegala Youth Cricket Club Sinhalese Sports Club Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo 1993/94 Lost
31 Galle Cricket Club Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club Army Ground, Panagoda 2014/15 -
36 Singha Sports Club Sinhalese Sports Club Thurstan College Ground, Colombo 2005/06 Lost
36 Moors Sports Club Nondescripts Cricket Club Nondescripts Cricket Club Ground, Colombo 2008/09 Drawn
41 Kurunegala Youth Cricket Club Sebastianites Cricket and Athletic Club Welagedara Stadium, Kurunegala 1999/00 Drawn

Let us also see the lowest totals in First-class matches in other countries.

Lowest team total in First-class matches in the Test playing countries

Country Total Innings For Against Venue Season
Australia 15 3 Victoria Marylebone Cricket Club Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne 1903/04
Bangladesh 48 2 Dhaka Metropolis Rangpur Division Shaheed Chandu Stadium, Bogra 2013/14
England 6 3 The Bs England Lord’s Old Ground, Marylebone 1810
India 21 1 Muslims Europeans Deccan Gymkhana Ground, Poona 1915/16
21 1 Hyderabad Rajasthan SawaiMansingh Stadium, Jaipur 2010/11
New Zealand 13 4 Auckland Canterbury Auckland Domain, Auckland 1877/78
Pakistan 20 1 National Bank of Pakistan Pakistan Customs United Bank Limited Sports Complex, Karachi 1998/99
South Africa 16 2 Border Natal Jan Smuts Ground, East London 1959/60
Sri Lanka 31 1 Kurunegala Youth Cricket Club Sinhalese Sports Club Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo 1993/94
31 1 Galle Cricket Club Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club Army Ground, Panagoda 2014/15
West Indies 16 2 Trinidad Barbados Kensington Oval, Bridgetown 1942
Zimbabwe 19 4 Matabeleland Mashonaland Harare Sports Club, Harare 2000/01

Apart from Asian countries, the other countries have a First-class cricket history way back from the 19th century and earlier.

The lowest total since World War II in Australia is 27 for South Australia against New South Wales in 1955/56, in England is 14 for Surrey against Sussex in 1983, in New Zealand is 26 for New Zealand against England in 1954/55 (Test match) and in West Indies is 39 for Leeward Islands against Combined Campuses and Colleges in 2011/12.

The totals in above table all came on losing cause. The lowest first innings total that resulted in a team’s victory is 27 for England against Sussex in 1827 where England won by 24 runs in the end.

Let’s also see the lowest total in Test matches in each country as well

Lowest totals in Tests in each country

Country Total Innings For Against Venue Season
Australia 36 2 South Africa Australia Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne 1931/32
Bangladesh 87 3 Bangladesh West Indies Dhaka 2002/03
England 30 2 South Africa England Edgbaston, Birmingham 1924
India 75 1 India West Indies Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi 1987/88
New Zealand 26 3 New Zealand England Eden Park, Auckland 1954/55
Pakistan 53 4 West Indies Pakistan Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad 1986/87
South Africa 30 4 South Africa England St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth 1895/96
Sri Lanka 62 1 Bangladesh Sri Lanka P Saravanamuttu Stadium, Colombo 2007
West Indies 46 4 England West Indies Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain 1993/94
Zimbabwe 59 2 Zimbabwe New Zealand Harare Sports Club, Harare 2005/06

The lowest total in the first innings for a team that resulted in a victory is 45 for England against Australia in 1886-87.

Footnote trivia:

The highest first innings total to lose a First-class match is 642 for Essex against Glamorgan in 2004. Essex lost by four wickets.

The highest first innings total to lose a Test match is 586 for Australia against England in 1894-95. Australia lost by a margin of 10 runs. It was the first occasion of a team losing after imposing follow-on to the opponents.

(Bharath Seervi is a cricket statistician who is obsessed with digging numbers, facts and records related to the game. An active member of Society of Cricket Statisticians of India, he blogs at www.cricketseervistats.blogspot.com. He can be followed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SeerviBharath and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SeerviCricket)