The buzz around the Indian team's first day-night Test match is quite palpable. BCCI’s reluctance to hold night games were greatly influenced by conditions of the ball and the opinion of the incumbent captain. However, new BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly, along with Virat Kohli, has taken a huge step forward and possibly created history by scheduling a day-night Test at Eden gardens against Bangladesh from November 22.
It took time for BCCI to get convinced over the DRS, and similar was the case with day-night Tests. India were close to playing one against Australia down under but the team management along with the players wasn’t too convinced about the fixture.
A total of 12 day-night Test matches have been played in total - 11 men’s and one women’s. In an interesting read, all 11 men’s day-night fixtures have yielded results and going by the current crisis in Bangladesh cricket, we can expect a 12th.
Here’s looking at all the day-night Test matches played till date in the International arena.
#1 New Zealand versus Australia at Adelaide - 3rd Test, November 27, 2015
Brendon McCullum and Steve Smith became part of cricketing history when they came out for the toss in the third Test at the Adelaide Oval. This was the first time that Test cricket was going to be played under lights.
New Zealand elected to bat first in what turned out to be a low-scoring thriller. Tom Latham survived an attacking spell of play and raced to a fifty but found no other partner to carry on alongside him. The pace trio of Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, and Peter Siddle shared eight wickets between them to bowl out New Zealand for 202 runs. Half-centuries from Peter Nevill and Steve Smith helped Australia get to 224 in their first innings.
The second innings saw Josh Hazlewood come into his own as he took six Kiwi wickets to bundle them out for 208 runs. In reply, the partnership between Shaun and Mitch Marsh lower down the order helped Australia win by three wickets. Josh Hazlewood was adjudged the Player of the Match for his nine wickets, which included a herculean effort of six for 70 runs in the second innings.
Also see – World Test Championship points table
#2 Pakistan versus West Indies at Dubai - 1st Test, October 13, 2016
The first Test match between Pakistan and West Indies at the DSC stadium in Dubai hosted the second day-night Test match. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq decided to bat on a flat deck and soon enough Pakistan got their fourth triple centurion in Azhar Ali. Ali and Sami Islam shared a 215-run opening stand to lay a solid foundation for their team. The top-four batsmen all scored half-centuries as Pakistan declared their innings at 579 for three.
In reply, Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo saved West Indies the blushes and helped the score past 300 runs. Yasir Shah bowled impressively for his five wickets.
In the second innings, Pakistan lived up to their 'unpredictable' reputation as Devendra Bishoo’s eight-for helped bowl them out for 123 runs. A second-innings Darren Bravo century brought the West Indies closer to the target but that wasn't enough as Pakistan won by 56 runs. Azhar Ali was selected as the Player of the Match.
#3 Australia versus South Africa at Adelaide - 3rd Test, November 24, 2016
In the third Test of the series, South African captain Faf du Plessis decided to bat first. He scored a brilliant unbeaten century (118 runs off 164 balls) to put the Proteas in a respectable position while other batsmen were troubled by the Aussie bowlers. Josh Hazlewood was the most successful bowler with four wickets.
A majestic 145-run knock from Usman Khawaja and important contributions from Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb, and Mitchell Starc (all scoring fifties) helped the host nation reach 383 runs.
A Stephen Cook century in the second innings couldn’t save the Proteas as they were bowled out for just 250 runs. Starc and Nathan Lyon bowled well in tandem to share seven wickets and hand an easy target of 127 runs to the Australian batsman, which they chased down with seven wickets to spare. Khawaja was named the Player of the Match.
#4 Australia versus Pakistan at Brisbane - 1st Test, December 15, 2016
The opening Test match between Australia and Pakistan was played under lights and was won by the host nation. Electing to bat first, Australia posted 429 runs in the first innings with Steve Smith and Peter Handscomb both scoring centuries. Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir took two wickets each.
Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Jackson Bird haunted Pakistan with pace and bounce as they were bundled out for 142 runs. Khawaja and skipper Steve Smith batted well together and scored half-centuries as Australia declared at 202 for five wickets.
Chasing a record-total of 490, Pakistan replied with a strong batting performance in the second innings, thanks to a century by Asad Shafiq. In an exciting finish to the Test match, Pakistan lost the game by only 39 runs. Shafiq was chosen as the Player of the Match for his brilliant counter-attacking knock of 137 runs.
#5 England versus West Indies at Birmingham - 1st Test, August 17, 2017
Alastair Cook’s double-century helped England win their first-ever day-night Test match by an innings and 209 runs. Batting first, captain Joe Root complemented Cook in their 248-run partnership for the third wicket. Root scored 136 runs before being clean bowled by Kemar Roach. Roston Chase bowled well for his four wickets but couldn't extract much turn from the surface.
In reply, West Indies were bundled out for just 168 and 137 runs in their two innings. The swing trio of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Toby Roland-Jones claimed 14 West Indian wickets as the Caribbean batsmen found it hard to negotiate the swing in the overcast conditions.
Jermaine Blackwood was the only Windies player who managed to score a fifty in the game. Alaister Cook's patient 243 runs in 407 balls was a herculean 588 minute-effort which earned him the Player of the Match award.
#6 Sri Lanka versus Pakistan at Dubai - 2nd Test, October 6, 2017
Sri Lanka started their day-night Test journey on a positive note as they defeated Pakistan by 68 runs. An astonishing 196 runs by Dimuth Karunaratne in the first innings helped Sri Lanka post 482 runs in the first innings. Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, and Dilruwan Perera all scored half-centuries. Yasir Shah was the best Pakistani bowler as he took six wickets in his 55.5 overs. Haris Sohail and Azhar Ali started rebuilding Pakistan's innings after early blows and scored a half-century each. But experienced bowler Rangana Herath got the priced wicket of Azhar Ali to start a collapse.
However, Pakistan performed better in the second innings to dismiss Sri Lanka for only 96 runs. Wahab Riaz bowled with pace and accuracy to take four wickets. Asad Shafiq and Sarfaraz Ahmed stitched together a 173-run sixth-wicket partnership, with Shafiq scoring a remarkable 112 runs. But that wasn’t enough as Sri Lanka managed to escape with a 68-run victory at the end. Dimuth Karunaratne was the unanimous choice for the Player of the Match award.
#7 Australia versus England at Adelaide - 2nd Test, December 6, 2017
In 2016, the day-night Test fixture was introduced to the Ashes in the second Test between Australia and England. Put in to bat first, Australia rode on Shaun Marsh’s brilliance (126 not out) and handy contributions from the middle-order batsmen as they put up 442 in the first innings. England were dismissed for 227 as they failed to tackle the spin of Nathan Lyon, who took four wickets.
England returned stronger with the ball in the second innings to dismiss the Aussies for 138 runs. Anderson took a five-for while Chris Woakes complimented him from the other end with four wickets to rattle the Aussie batting line-up.
However, Mitchell Starc’s five wickets in the second innings derailed England's pursuit of the 354-run target as Australia won the match by 120 runs. The only century-maker of the game, Shaun Marsh walked away with the Player of the Match.
#8 South Africa versus Zimbabwe at Port Elizabeth - Only Test, December 26, 2017
After losing their first day-night encounter to Australia, South Africa won the second one comfortably against Zimbabwe by an innings and 120 runs.
After captain AB de Villiers decided to bat first, South African opener Aiden Markram scored 125 runs to help the Proteas to a decent total of 309. Kyle Jarvis and Christopher Mpofu took three wickets each for the tourists.
Morne Morkel and Keshav Maharaj took five-wicket hauls in the first and second innings respectively, to dismiss Zimbabwe for 68 and 121 runs in the match. None of the Zimbabwe batsmen could withstand the pressure put by the Proteas bowlers as they even failed to record a single fifty in both the innings. Aiden Markram was selected as the Man of the Match for his brilliant century.
#9 New Zealand versus England at Auckland - 1st Test, March 22, 2018
In what turned out to be a sheer embarrassment for the visiting team, New Zealand won by an innings and 49 runs. Put in to bat first, England were dismissed for a shocking score of 58 runs in their first innings. Only two bowlers, Trent Boult (six wickets) and Tim Southee (four wickets), were used by captain Kane Williamson in the first innings.
In reply, the Kiwi captain and Henry Nicholls scored brilliant individual centuries to take the score past 400 runs. Stuard Broad and James Anderson came back strongly to take six wickets between them but the damage was already done.
The English batsman batted with much better application in the second innings as four batsmen went past fifty to put up a brave fight and get to 320 runs. Boult, Neil Wagner, and Todd Astle took three wickets each in the second innings. Trent Boult was picked as the Player of the Match for his nine wickets.
#10 West Indies versus Sri Lanka at Bridgetown - 3rd Test, June 23, 2018
The third Test (day-night affair) which was played between Sri Lanka and West Indies, the tourists won by four wickets to level the series at 1-1. The Windies were restricted for 204 runs, thanks to impressive bowling displays by Lahiru Kumara (four wickets) and Kasun Rajitha (three wickets). However, in reply, Sri Lanka soon found themselves in trouble after getting bowled out for only 154 runs. Captain Jason Holder and Shanon Gabriel were the main tormentors as they shared seven wickets between them.
However, the Sri Lankan bowlers, Kumara, Suranga Lakmal and Rajitha brought them back in the game after demolishing the hosts for only 93 runs in the second innings.
Chasing a target of 144, Sri Lanka lost six wickets but ended up on the winning side to level a closely fought series. West Indies captain Jason Holder was named the Player of the Match, despite ending up on the losing side, after taking nine wickets in the match and scoring a fifty.
#11 Australia versus Sri Lanka at Brisbane - 1st Test, January 24, 2019
The last men’s day-night Test which was played and won by Australia comfortably by an innings and 40 runs against Sri Lanka. Pat Cummins proved to be the Australian side’s top wicket-taker as he claimed a 10-wicket haul in the match to walk away with the Player of the Match. He took four wickets in the first innings and six in the second to restrict Sri Lanka to 144 and 139 runs.
For Australia, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head scored fifties to help Australia post 323 runs in the first innings, which later proved too much to handle for the visiting team.
Suranga Lakhmal claimed a five-wicket haul while Niroshan Dickwella was the lone half-centurion for the tourists as the rest found it hard to deal with the pace and bounce from Pat Cummins.
#1 Australia Women versus England Women at Sydney - Only Test, November 9, 2017
History was made when the English and Aussie women’s teams staged the first day-night Ashes Test at Sydney. England captain Heather Knight won the toss and decided to bat first. Apart from her and Tammy Beaumont, no other player crossed the fifty mark as they were all out for 280 in the first innings.
Ellyse Perry was the most successful bowler with three wickets and returned to score a fabulous double-century (213 runs off 374 balls) to take the score to 448. Heather Knight scored another half-century but the four-day game ended in a tame draw. However, Perry stole the limelight with a magnificent all-round performance and claimed the Player of the Match award.
Ellyse Perry's knock was the third-highest women's Test score, falling behind only to Kiran Baluch's 242 runs against the Windies women in 2004 and 214 runs by India's Mithali Raj against England women in 2002. Perry's previous highest score was 95 not out. This was also the highest individual score in a women's Ashes Test, eclipsing 209 runs by Karen Rolton in 2001.