286 Runs Scored in 1 Ball

Historical Cricket

The history of cricket is filled with timid and sweet incidents. Some of them are amusing and few of them can never re-occur. One of them is this narration:

The above title could make you feel a bit unusual. How can a team defeat the other team just by playing 1 ball? How is this possible? But this is a bewildering truth, 286 runs in 1 ball and they won the match.

It was the year 1893-94 when a home tournament was played in Australia between Victoria & Scorch XI. The occurrence of this match was published in the then leading Magazine of England. In the olden days the rules were such that a batsman can take as many runs as possible in 1 ball. According to the magazine, the Victorian batsman played a swashbuckling shot on the very first ball of the innings into the boughs of a huge tree present in the ground. Thereafter, both the batsman on the crease began running between the wickets. Since the ball was struck in the tree, the opposition captain appealed the umpire to stop the batsman from taking the runs, to which the umpire refrained the appeal because as per as Rule 20 ‘stopping the batsman from running’ wasn’t existing in the rules.

All the efforts to get the ball seemed to be going in vain. Later on the umpire asked the grounds-man to chop down the tree and eventually even this ploy failed. The ball was clearly visible on the tree, finally they brought the riffle and after a long struggle the ball bounced on the ground. Since none of the fielder could catch the ball, the batsman was not out and they ran 286 runs.

Victoria declared their innings on 286 runs which were scored in just 1 ball and eventually the opponents Scorch XI couldn’t chase the target and they lost the match.

This is a incident which took place for the very first time in the history of cricket and perhaps for the last time as the rules are now changed.

Rule 20:  Rule 20 of cricket says that, ‘the ball will be considered as lost only when if it is invisible to the naked eyes’. Taking the advantage of Rule 20, they scored a huge pile of 286 runs in 1 ball in that match.

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