Hardus Viljoen © Getty Images
Hardus Viljoen © Getty Images

South Africa‘s debutant bowler Hardus Viljoen on Friday created history when he became the 20th bowler in the history of Test cricket, and the third bowler from his country to take a wicket off his first ball of the career. Viljoen claimed the crucial wicket of the English captain Alastair Cook in the first session of the second day’s play in the third Test. Viljoen’s first ball in Test cricket — off which he got the wicket — was not a special one as it was peppered down the leg, and Cook paid the price of nudging it and getting an edge. A special mention must be made of the South African wicketkeeper Dane Vilas who took a splendid catch behind the wickets. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: South Africa vs England 2015-16, 3rd Test at Johannesburg, Day 2

Cook’s dismissal reduced England to 27 for 2 at lunch as they were trailing by 286 runs in the first innings. Earlier in the first session, South Africa were bowled out for 313 runs in their first innings. This was the very first instance in Test cricket when all of their 11 batsmen reached double figures but none of them recorded a half-century.

Bowler Batsman Team Opposition Venue Season
Tom Horan Walter Read Australia England SCG 1882-83
Arthur Coningham Archie MacLaren Australia England MCG 1894-95
Bill Bradley Frank Laver England Australia Old Trafford 1899
Ted Arnold Victor Trumper England Australia SCG 1903-04
Bert Vogler Ernie Hayes South Africa England Old Wanderers 1905-06
Jack Crawford Bert Vogler England South Africa Old Wanderers 1905-06
George Macaulay George Hearne England South Africa Newlands 1922-23
Maurice Tate Fred Susskind England South Africa Edgbaston 1924
Matt Henderson Eddie Dawson New Zealand England Lancaster Park 1929-30
Dennis Smith Eddie Paynter New Zealand England Lancaster Park 1932-33
Tyrell Johnson Walter Keeton West Indies England The Oval 1939
Dick Howorth Dennis Dyer England South Africa The Oval 1947
Intikhab Alam Colin McDonald Pakistan Australia Karachi 1959-60
Richard Illingworth Phil Simmons England West Indies Trent Bridge 1991
Nilesh Kulkarni Marvan Atapattu India Sri Lanka Premadasa 1997
Chamila Gamage Mohammad Ashraful Sri Lanka Bangladesh Premadasa 2002
Nathan Lyon Kumar Sangakkara Australia Sri Lanka Galle 2011
Shaminda Eranga Shane Watson Sri Lanka Australia SSC 2011
Dane Piedt Mark Vermeulen South Africa Zimbabwe Harare 2014
Hardus Viljoen Alastair Cook South Africa England New Wanderers 2015-16

The very first time when this was seen in Test cricket was way back in 1882-83, when Australia’s Tom Horan claimed the wicket of England’s Walter Read, at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in Sydney. Arthur Conningham was the second and the last Australian do repeat the achivement, when he claimed England’s Archie MacLaren at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in 1894-95. The Australian to achieve the feat was Nathan Lyon, when he claimed Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara at Galle in 2011.

As many as seven English bowlers have taken wickets on their first deliveries on Test debuts. These seven bowlers are Bill Bradley, Ted Arnold, Jack Crawford, George Macaulay, Maurice Tate, Dick Howorth and Richard Illingworth.

The only Indian to have taken a wicket on his first ball in Test cricket was Nilesh Kulkarni, when he dismissed Sri Lanka’s marvan Atapattu at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo in 1997. The list contains two from New Zealand, one from Pakistan, three from South Africa, one from Sri Lanka as well as one from West Indies.