English cricket team in Australia and New Zealand in 1878–79

An English cricket team captained by Lord Harris toured Australia and New Zealand in 1878–79 in a private tour organised by the Melbourne Cricket Club. The team's match against Australia in January 1879 was retrospectively given Test match status, making it the third Test ever and the third between Australia and England, though it was not part of The Ashes which began in 1882.

1878-79 Australia v England Series
Date2 January 1879 – 4 January 1879
ResultThe one match Test series was won by Australia
 Australia  England
Dave Gregory Lord Harris
Most runs
Alick Bannerman (73)
Fred Spofforth (39)
Lord Harris (69)
Charlie Absolom (58)
Most wickets
Fred Spofforth (13)
Frank Allan (4)
Tom Emmett (7)

Harris' tour party arrived in Australia just two months after the touring Australians had returned from England. They were scheduled to play five tour matches, two each against New South Wales and Victoria and one against the combined Australians. Whilst in Sydney, the notorious Sydney Riot of 1879 occurred as a result of the tourists match against New South Wales. The English team, which is sometimes referred to as Lord Harris' XI, also visited New Zealand where they played a single match in Christchurch. From there, they travelled home via the Pacific and the US, stopping in Hoboken en route to play one further match there.[1]

The touring team


Henry Maul (1850–1940), a batsman, played in eight of the minor matches on the tour, and later had a long career with Warwickshire in their pre-first-class days, but never played first-class cricket.[2] Frank Penn, the only other tourist not to play in the Test, played in the one-off Test against Australia in 1880.

The Test teams

  Australia   England



Only Test

2–4 January 1879
(Timeless Test)
113 (54 overs)
Charlie Absolom 52
Fred Spofforth 6/48 (25 overs)
256 (159.3 overs)
Alick Bannerman 73
Tom Emmett 7/68 (59 overs)
160 (68 overs)
Lord Harris 36
Fred Spofforth 7/62 (35 overs)
0/19 (2.3 overs)
Charles Bannerman 15*
Australia won by 10 wickets
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Umpires: P. Coady (Aus) and George Coulthard (Aus)



Individual records

Most runs Alick Bannerman 73
Most wickets Fred Spofforth 13
Most catches (excluding wicket-keepers) A. J. Webbe /
Vernon Royle /
Tom Horan
Highest individual innings Alick Bannerman 73
Best innings bowling Fred Spofforth 7/62
Highest match total Alick Bannerman 73
Best match bowling Fred Spofforth 13

Team records

Best innings Australia 256 (first innings)
Worst innings England 113 (first innings)
Tosses won Australia 1 (of 1)


  1. ^ CricketArchive – tour itinerary. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Miscellaneous Matches played by Henry Maul". CricketArchive. Retrieved 9 September 2018.