The Oval in Kennington, London is one of the most famous international cricket grounds in England.
The stadium has a capacity of 27,500 and was established in 1845. The first ground in England to host an international Test match in September 1880 between the Three Lions and Australia, the final Test of the English cricket season is also generally played here.
This stadium hosted the final of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy as well and has played host to other sports like football, hockey, and rugby, including an FA Cup final.
It is home to the Surrey County Cricket Club and has witnessed quite a few historic cricketing events such as the first double Test century scored in cricket by Australia’s Billy Murdoch.
After England lost a Test by seven runs within two days in 1882, The Sporting Times printed a mocking obituary notice for English cricket, which led to the birth of the Ashes.
The average first innings score at The Oval is 343, followed by 304, 238, and 156 in the second, third, and fourth innings.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the interesting records and stats at The Oval cricket ground in Kennington.
The Oval Test records
Highest total: The highest total by a team in a Test on this ground was made by England in 1938. Up against Australia, the Englishmen scored 903/7 before declaring thanks to Leonard Hutton’s 364 as well as hundreds from Maurice Leyland and Joe Hardstaff. They won the match by an innings and 579 runs to draw the four-match series 1-1.
Lowest total: The lowest team total at this venue was made by Australia in 1896. Playing against England in a low-scoring Test, the Australians were bundled out for just 44 runs while chasing a target of 111. England’s Bobby Peel and Jack Hearne took six and four wickets respectively in the fourth innings of the game as Australia lost the match by 66 runs as well as the three-match series by a 1-2 margin.
Most runs: Leonard Hutton scored 1,521 runs at The Oval and it is the most runs scored at this venue by any batter in Test cricket history. Hutton scored his 1,521 runs at an average of 89.47 and notched up four centuries and five fifties on the ground.
Most wickets: England’s legendary all-rounder Ian Botham has claimed the most wickets in Tests on this ground. He took 52 Test wickets in 11 matches at an average of 26.51 and an economy of 3.61. Botham took three four-fers, and two five-fers besides also claiming 10 wickets in a Test match once on this ground.
Highest individual score: Leonard Hutton’s 364 for England in the first innings of the Test in which England posted the highest-ever total on this ground is the highest individual score on this ground. Hutton’s knock helped England beat Australia by an innings and 579 runs.
Best bowling figures: England bowler Devon Malcolm registered the best bowling figures in an inning on this ground when he helped the Three Lions beat South Africa by eight wickets in a Test in 1994. His bowling figures of 9/57 in the second innings helped bundle out the Proteas for just 175 in the third innings of the match and set up an eight-wicket win against England. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Muthiah Muralidaran holds the record for most wickets in a Test match after claiming 16/220 against England in 1998. He took 7/155 in the first inning and 9/65 in the second to help the Lankans beat England by 10 wickets.
Highest partnership: The highest partnership on this ground was made by Australia’s Bill Ponsford and Sir Donald Bradman against England in 1934. The former made 266 and the latter scored 244 as Australia posted 701 in the first inning. Their partnership helped Australia beat England by 562 runs and guided the Aussies to a 2-1 series victory.
Photo credit: Alamy