GABBA TEST HISTORY
Test cricket came to the Gabba for the first time on 27 November 1931. And it took a 23-year-old Don Bradman all of one day to stamp and indelible mark on the occasion which still stands today. Australia, captained by Bill Woodfull (pictured middle right), took on a South African side captained by 'keeper/batsman Jock Cameron and buoyed by a 1-0 win in a home five-Test series against England nine months earlier. It was a timeless match to open a five-Test Australian series, and it went into the seventh day after rain washed out more than two full days. The Aussies triumphed by an innings and 163 runs and Bradman, batting at No.3 for the home side after Woodfull had won the toss, scored a majestic 226. Eighty years on it remains the highest individual Test score at the Gabba.
In an era in which the pitches were not covered in the event of rain, Australia got much the better of the weather, forcing South Africa to bat on a rain-affected pitch. Bradman (pictured top right), too, had his share of good luck when he was dropped at 11 and 15. Thereafter, though, he mastered the bowling in his 15th Test, hitting 22 fours in a stay of 277 minutes. The Australians batted in excellent conditions on days one and two, with Woodfull (76) and Bradman putting on 163 for the second wicket to build the platform for an imposing total of 450. Wicket-keeper Bert Oldfield (56no) chipped in nicely at No.8 as Sandy Bell (4-120 off 42 overs) and Cyril Vincent (3-100 off 34 overs) led the South African attack. Bell bowled splendidly throughout the long innings, while Neville Quinn deserved better than his 2-113 from 38.3 overs. South Africa were 3-126 in reply at stumps on the Saturday night and had shown their intention to fight hard. Bruce Mitchell went 70 minutes without scoring as a reasonable contest beckoned.
Sunday was the designated rest day before rain washed out the scheduled third and fourth day's play. In fact there was no further play until 4pm on the Wednesday, by which time batting had become decidedly more difficult. The South Africans were all out for 170 as Bert Ironmonger (pictured bottom right) returned the astonishing figures of 47-29-42-5. Tim Wall (2-39 off 28 overs) and Clarrie Grimmett (2-49 off 41.1) provided fine support as Mitchell (58) and Herbie Taylor (41) top-scored for the visitors. Asked to follow on 280 runs behind after further overnight rain, they fared even worse on the final day and were rolled for 117 a total which still ranks 10th on the all-time list of lowest completed innings. Wall returned the astonishing second innings figures of 5-14 from 15.1 overs as Taylor (47) top-scored for the visitors. Ironmonger added 4-40 from 30 overs for match figures of 9-86.
Oddly, though, the Gabba wasn't Brisbane's first Test match venue. Two Test matches were played across town at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds. For details of those matches, please click here.
But the Gabba has for a long, long time been the spiritual home of Queensland Cricket, and here, in full detail, we are proud to tell the captivating story that is the history of Test cricket at the Gabba. We list scores, highlights and a quick snapshot of each Gabba Test, together with a full list of statistical records of matches that have been some of Australia's finest and most memorable.