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List of highest first innings scores to end up losing a Test match



Last Updated on 1 year by Charbel Coorey

Cricket News: List of highest first innings scores to end up losing a Test match | Highest first innings scores to end up in a defeat in Tests

The Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes era is in full swing. A little over a year after England refused to try chasing 273 in 75 overs against the same opponent, Jonny Bairstow and Stokes masterminded an incredible victory in the second Test against New Zealand at Trent Bridge.

It’s time for Bairstow to enjoy his time in the spotlight, especially given he was having a difficult run so far in the series. His 136 will be remembered for a long while to come.

In this Test, New Zealand ammassed 553 and lost. This is the highest ever first innings score New Zealand have made in a defeat and the fourth-largest in Test history. Just over a week ago at Lord’s, England achieved the third-highest chase at the Home of Cricket courtesy of Joe Root’s brilliant hundred. Now, they can enjoy another brilliant win.

Here are the top five biggest first innings scores that ended up in a defeat.

Biggest first innings scores to end up in a Test defeat

Bangladesh 595/8 vs New Zealand, 2017

Shakib Al Hasan (217) and Mushfiqur Rahim (159) plundered the New Zealand bowling attack to all parts of the Basin Reserve. In the process, Bangladesh reached their highest total and were on track to avoiding defeat in New Zealand in any format for the first time.

But, disaster struck after New Zealand responded with 539. The Tigers then lost four quick wickets on the fourth evening, and it didn’t get better from there as they were rolled for 160, similar to the 148 all-out in the famous Fatullah Test of 2006 against Australia.

New Zealand chased down the 217-run target in just 39.4 overs, with Kane Williamson notching 104* off just 90 balls.

Australia 586 vs England, 1894

England’s highest first innings total conceded in a win was way back in 1894. Incredibly, England had to follow on after scoring 325 in response to Australia’s 586 and still managed to win.

Led by Albert Ward’s 117, England struck 437 in their second innings, leaving Australia a target of 177. Robert Peel then took 6/67 to bowl Australia out for 166 in what remains one of Test cricket’s greatest wins.

Australia 556 vs India, 2003

One of India’s famous Test wins. Just over two years after their miraculous win at Eden Gardens against Australia, India were back producing the goods this time in Adelaide.

India responded to Australia’s 556 with 523 thanks to the duo of Rahul Dravid (233) and VVS Laxman (148) once again. Ajit Agarkar then produced arguably the greatest spell of his career (6/41) to bowl a great Australia team that included Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist for just 196, leaving India 230 to win.

Led by Rahul Dravid’s 72, India won with four wickets to spare.

New Zealand 553 vs England, 2022

A win that is written in England cricket’s folklore. Even after New Zealand pummelled 553, England only had a win on their minds. The home side responded with 539 at a run rate of 4.20 that kept the match well and truly alive. From there, they displayed the kind of attacking cricket everyone expected to see under McCullum and Stokes.

It is a far cry from their mindset last year. On that occasion, Kane Williamson gave England a target of 273 in 75 overs. However, England didn’t attempt to chase it down, eventually shaking hands at 170/3 after 70 overs.

England 551/6 vs Australia, 2006

Famous Amazing Adelaide. The late, great Shane Warne masterminded a win for the ages as he pounced on a defensive England on the fifth morning. He and McGrath ripped through England in the second innings to bowl them out for 129, and when Justin Langer belted Matthew Hoggard through midwicket in the first over, Australia’s intentions were clear.

After the joy of Paul Collingwood’s double ton in a score of 551/6, Andrew Flintoff’s team were then never able to recover and eventually lost the 2006/07 Ashes 5-0.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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