Flashback: When a team won the game despite not scoring any run in their first innings

The game happened way back in 1977.

John Emburey of Middlesex
John Emburey of Middlesex. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Cricket is the game of uncertainties and it never ceases to amaze everyone. Similarly, in 1977, the match was won by a team after declaring their first innings only after a single ball was bowled. The total is the lowest ever to date when a team is declared their first innings. What is even more interesting is the team won that match comfortably by nine wickets.

The incident happened way back in 1977 in the month of August during the County Championship match between Middlesex and Surrey. The match was played at the home of cricket in London and it was a three-day game between the two sides. Middlesex skipper Mike Brearley won the toss and invited Surrey to bat first under overcast conditions. But the first day was completely washed out due to rain and even on the second day, only a few overs were possible as Surrey scored 8/1 before the play was stopped.

How did Middlesex win the match?

The third day saw one of the most historic turnarounds in the game of cricket ever. When the play resumed, the bowlers of Middlesex wreaked havoc and bundled the opposition out for just 49 runs in less than 23 overs. Wayne Daniel scalped a five-wicket haul along with Mike Selvey and the former England cricketer Mike Gatting who picked 3 and 2 wickets respectively. However, Brearley declared their first innings just after the first ball was bowled and conceded the lead of 49 to the opposition.

The decision left everyone shocked but what happened next was even more shocking. The trio of Daniel, Selvey and Gatting once again skittled out the batting line-up of Surrey for a paltry total of 89 in 50.3 overs. Daniel once again picked up four wickets and justified the decision of his captain to declare their first innings. Now there was a realistic chance for Middlesex to win the game and they did it with ease. They chased the target of 139 in just 25.1 overs and won the match by 9 wickets.

The skipper opened the innings and smashed an unbeaten half-century along with Mike Smith who was dismissed for 51. This was the first and only time in the history when a team won the match without scoring a single run in their first innings.

Brief scores:

Surrey 49/10 after 22.5 overs (W Daniel 5/16) & 89/10  after 50.3 overs (W Daniel 4/23) v Middlesex 0/0d & 142/1 after 25.1 overs (M Smith 51, J Brearley 66*)