New Zealand dismissed for 26 to set unwanted Test cricket record

March 28, 1955 - Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand

In Test cricket, there are collapses, and then there areĀ collapses.

After entering the second innings of the second Test of their 1955 series against England facing a deficit of just 46 only to lose by an innings and 20 runs, New Zealand's feeble copitulation to the Poms in 1955 is, without doubt, within the latter category.

During the series opener in Dunedin the previous fortnight, England was steered to an eight-wicket victory by the ilk of Frank Tyson, Colin Cowdrey and captain Sir Leonard Hutton.

And while their hosts would put 200 on the board during their opening salvo in Auckland -thanks largely to their own skipper Bert Suttcliffe (49 runs) and John Reid (73) firing with the blade - England would answer back with 246 of their own runs, Hutton again the talisman.

While Alex Moir's five-wicket haul would keep the Kiwis within touching distance on the oddly-shaped Eden Park, New Zealand's flickering flame of hope would be snuffed out by the tourists within just 27 overs for the princely sum of 26.

As opener, Sutcliffe managed 11 runs from 33 deliveries faced, however, it was all downhill from there with no other Kiwi batsman proving good enough to nudge or poke themselves into double figures.

By innings' end, five New Zealanders - Matt Poore, Tony Macgibbon, Ian Colquhoun, Johnny Hayes and Moir himself had been dismissed for ducks, with the likes of Gordon Leggat, Noel McGregor, Geoff Rabone, Harry Cave and Reid combining for just 15 runs.

New Zealand's final score of 26 remains the lowest Test innings score ever compiled by a team in history, and has remained relatively unchallenged in the seven decades since.

The closest a Test nation has come to gazumping the Blackcaps came when India was dismissed swiftly for 36 by Australia at the Adelaide Oval in December, 2020.

All is well that ended well for the Indians, though, with Ajinkya Rihane's men going on to eclipse the Aussies 2-1 in a four-Test series for the ages.