Top 5 biggest first-innings leads in women’s Test Cricket history

The highest innings lead after the conclusion of both teams’ first innings not only showcases the batting strength of the leading team but also reflects the effectiveness of their bowling attack in restricting the opposition. Throughout the history of women’s Test cricket, there have been several instances where teams have established substantial first-innings leads, setting the stage for potential victories or putting immense pressure on their opponents to save the match. These remarkable leads often become talking points in cricket history, as they often decide the result of the match, and below are the biggest leads in women’s Test history.

Top 5 biggest first-innings leads in women's Test Cricket history
Top 5 biggest first-innings leads in women’s Test Cricket history

1) Australia led by 499 runs vs South Africa, Perth 2024

In the only Test of the series, South Africa played against Australia during their tour of Australia in Perth between 15 to 17 February 2024, while batting first, South Africa managed to score only 76 runs in the first innings and got all out. Darcie Brown did the job for the Australian team by taking 5 wickets in 9.2 overs. Then, in the second innings, Australia declared posting 575 runs for the loss of 9 wickets, taking a lead of 499 runs. Annabel Sutherland scored an impressive 210 runs off 256 balls at a strike rate of 82.03. In the second innings, South Africa was bundled out for just 215 runs, and Australia defeated South Africa by an innings and 284 runs.

2) England led by 459 runs vs New Zealand, Christchurch 1935

In the only Test of the series, England played against New Zealand during their tour of New Zealand in Christchurch between 16 to 18 February 1935. While batting first, England managed to score 44 runs in the first innings and got all out. Myrtle Maclagan did the job for England by taking 5 wickets in 14.2 overs. In the second innings, England put up a huge score of 503/5d on the scoreboard and declared the innings, taking a lead of 459 runs. Betty Snowball made an impressive 189 runs, and Molly Hide also contributed 110 runs. In the second innings, New Zealand was all out for just 122 runs, and England defeated New Zealand by an innings and 337 runs.

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3) India led by 337 runs vs South Africa, Chennai 2024

In the only Test between South Africa and India during South Africa’s tour of India in Chennai between 28 June to 01 July 2024, India won the toss and chose to bat first. The Indian batters thrashed the South African bowlers all over the ground and made 603/6d, declaring the innings, posting the highest total in women’s Test cricket history. Shafali scored her first international double century, making 205 runs off 197 balls at a strike rate of 104.06, and Smriti Mandhana also scored 149 runs off 161 balls at a strike rate of 92.54. When South Africa came to bat, they only managed to score 266 runs. Sneh Rana then cast her bowling magic and took 8 wickets in 25.3 overs, giving India a lead of 337 runs.

4) England led by 325 runs vs South Africa, Taunton 2003

In the second Test of the series, South Africa played against England during South Africa women’s tour of England in Taunton between 20 to 22 August 2003. While batting first, South Africa managed to score 130 runs in the first innings and got all out. Lucy Pearson did the job for England by taking 4 wickets in 16 overs. In the second innings, England put up a huge score of 455 on the scoreboard and got all out, taking a lead of 325 runs. Claire Taylor made an impressive 131 runs off 179 balls at a strike rate of 73.18, while Lydia Greenway and Rosalie Birch both scored half-centuries, helping England reach this target. In the second innings, South Africa got all out for 229 runs, as England registered an innings and 96 runs wins.

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5) Australia led by 245 runs vs England, Oval 1976

In the third Test of the series, Australia played against England during Australia women’s tour of England at The Oval between 24 to 27 February 1976. While batting first, England managed to score only 134 runs in the first innings and got all out. Raelee Thompson and Karen Price both took 3 wickets for Australia. In the second innings, Australia put up 379 on the scoreboard and then got all out, taking a lead of 245 runs. Jan Lumsden made an impressive century, scoring 123 runs. In the second innings, England got all out for 326 runs, but this match ended in a draw.

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