December 16, 2001

Bangladesh the newest of New Zealand's Test rivals

New Zealand cricket enters new territory with the opening Test of the National Bank series with Bangladesh at Hamilton's WestpacTrust Park on Tuesday.

While the Test is the first between the two nations, New Zealand has played Test matches on Bangladeshi soil, although it was in the days before Bangladeshi independence when it was known as East Pakistan.

New Zealand played in Dacca in 1955/56 and in 1969, the latter occasion being famous for a fine eighth wicket stand of 96 runs between Mark Burgess and Bob Cunis to get New Zealand into a position where it could not lose the Test series, and the occasion was New Zealand's first Test series victory.

It was 26 years, and 45 Test matches before New Zealand claimed its famous first victory when it beat the West Indies at Eden Park by 190 runs.

New Zealand's first Test matches against all Test playing nations are listed below:

1929/30 v England, Lancaster Park, Christchurch, 10-13 January 1930. New Zealand lost by eight wickets.

New Zealand's long awaited arrival as a fully-fledged member of the Test cricket community almost turned to disaster before it had started. Despite the MCC team being a below strength side, as another MCC side was touring the West Indies at the same time, New Zealand found itself seven wickets down for 21 runs before Roger Blunt managed to effect a minor recovery while scoring 45 not out to allow New Zealand to reach 112.

Blunt was again in the action when the MCC batted as he took three wickets for 17 runs as the visitors were dismissed for 181. Duleepsinhji scored 49 to head the English scoring. Batting a second time, New Zealand fared better with Stewie Dempster scoring 25 and skipper Tom Lowry 40. But Ted Badcock and Ken James could not avoid becoming the first New Zealand batsmen to be dismissed for pairs in Tests. They were the first of 50, to date, to have fallen that way.

New Zealand scored 131 which left the MCC needing to score only 64 to win, a feat they achieved for the loss of two wickets, both of them taken by Blunt.

1931/32 v South Africa, Lancaster Park, Christchurch, 27 February-1 March 1932. New Zealand lost by an innings and 12 runs.

New Zealand had the benefit of their 1931 tour of England to call on when lining up against a South African team that had been beaten 5-0 during a tough tour of Australia. New Zealand decided to bat first but despite several batsmen getting good starts, they failed to do better than score 293. Badcock hit 64, Alby Roberts 54 and Lindsay 'Dad' Weir 46 but Quintin McMillan with four for 61 kept the pressure on the New Zealanders.

A superb opening stand of 196 by Bruce Mitchell and Jim Christy, who each scored centuries, proved the foundation for South Africa's innings of 451. All the New Zealand bowlers were punished and what Neville Quinn didn't finish in the first innings, he did in the second as he took five for 65 as New Zealand were all out for 146.

Weir scored 74 unbeaten runs for New Zealand, the only significant score of the innings.

1945/46 v Australia, Basin Reserve, Wellington, 29-30 March 1946. New Zealand lost by an innings and 103 runs.

If ever there was a disappointing performance, with lingering consequences it was this match. It wasn't awarded Test status until nearly three years after the event, and it was a tough call for New Zealand in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.

Clearly, New Zealand was not ready for one of the most formidable rivals in the world, many of whom had prepared for the resumption of cricket with a string of top-level games in England in the northern summer.

But having decided to bat first on a soft pitch, New Zealand were all out for 42. Having gone to lunch at 37 for four, New Zealand lost their last eight wickets for five runs. Bill O'Reilly mesmerised the Kiwis by taking five for 14 while Ernie Toshack took four for 12.

Bill Brown and Sid Barnes added 109 for the second wicket scoring 67 and 54 respectively and Australia eventually declared at 199/8. Jack Cowie had a rare chance at home to show his skills as he took six for 40.

Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller knocked the top off the New Zealand order then Toshack (two for six) and O'Reilly (three for 19) did the damage as New Zealand was all out for 54, beaten by an innings and 103.

1951/52 v West Indies, Lancaster Park, Christchurch, 8-12 February 1952. New Zealand lost by five wickets.

John Goddard's West Indians proved a huge hit when making their first Test appearance in New Zealand in 1952. Eighteen thousand people turned up to watch the second day of play knowing the West Indians would be batting having seen New Zealand out just before stumps on the first day for 236. Verdun Scott and Bert Sutcliffe each scored 45 while Frank Mooney scored 34 not out during a 50-run ninth wicket stand with Don Beard.

Frank Worrell (71) and Clyde Walcott (65) did not disappoint as they battled against the left-arm spin of Tom Burtt, who finished the innings with five for 69. Johnnie Hayes took three for 52 as the visitors were all out for 287.

New Zealand scored 44 before losing the first wicket, and then lost two more by the time the score reached 49. Sutcliffe again stood firm with 36 while Brun Smith hit 37. The lower order couldn't really come through however and New Zealand scored only 189. Sonny Ramadhin backed his first innings five for 86 with four for 39.

Needing 139 to win, the West Indies overcame some jitters to get home by five wickets, Worrell being 62 not out at the end.

1955/56 v Pakistan, National Stadium, Karachi, 13-17 October 1955. New Zealand lost by an innings and one run.

Conditions totally foreign to anything New Zealand had previously experienced in their Test history greeted the side in Karachi. As well as having to cope with matting covered pitches, illness was a big factor in selection. Jack Alabaster, a leg-spinner was included for what was his second first-class match, he didn't bowl but did hang around with the bat.

New Zealand was all out for 164 having batted first. Matt Poore did best in the top order with 43 while Tony MacGibbon hit 33 from No 9 in the order.

Off-spinner Zulfiqar Ahmed proved New Zealand's nemesis, as he was to be throughout the three-Test series, by taking five for 37 in New Zealand's 164. Pakistan replied with 289 as MacGibbon took four for 98 and captain Harry Cave took three for 56.

Gordon Leggat top scored with 39 when opening the second innings but with the last five wickets falling for 15 runs, New Zealand was all out for 124, one run short of avoiding an innings defeat. Zulfiqar took six for 42.

1955/56 v India, Fateh Maidan, Hyderabad, 19-24 November 1955. Drawn.

With India 48/2, New Zealand must have felt they were off to a good start. But they ran slap bang into Polly Umrigar in full cry during an innings of 223 with Vijay Manjrekar and AG Kripal Singh, on debut, also scoring centuries. India declared at 498/4, Hayes having taking three for 91.

John Guy scored 102, in 435 minutes, with 54 from John Reid with 59 from MacGibbon as New Zealand reached 326 which wasn't enough to avoid the follow-on. Subhash Gupte's leg-spinners were the undoing of the New Zealanders as he finished with seven for 128 from 76.4 overs of bowling.

Any hopes India had of taking a victory from the game foundered on Sutcliffe's batting. He scored 137 not out and added 108 for the third wicket with Reid, who was 45 not out, as the game ended in a draw with New Zealand 212/2.

1982/83 v Sri Lanka, Lancaster Park, Christchurch, 4-6 March 1983. New Zealand won by an innings and 25 runs.

Sri Lanka struck New Zealand after the home team had played 15 One-Day Internationals in succession, so they should not have been surprised that the New Zealand batsmen went like a bull at a gate when opening their innings. Wickets tumbled regularly until Jeremy Coney and Warren Lees, who scored 84 and 89 respectively, gave New Zealand what proved a winning advantage.

Richard Hadlee and Lance Cairns took four wickets each as Sri Lanka was out for 144 in its first innings, exactly 200 runs short of New Zealand's first innings total. Batting a second time Susil Fernando managed 46 and Somachandra de Silva hit 52 before he was bowled by Ewen Chatfield who took three for 40. Cairns took four for 47 and Martin Snedden three for 48 as Sri Lanka were all out for 175.

1992/93 v Zimbabwe, Bulawayo Athletic Club, 1-5 November 1992. Drawn.

New Zealand had played Zimbabwe before, on tours of South Africa in 1953/54 and 1961/62, when the country was known as Rhodesia and its capital Salisbury, and had later sent Young New Zealand teams there during the 1980s. The 1992/93 tour was the first outing by the New Zealanders since their exceptional effort at home in the 1992 World Cup.

The first Test was also notable for the fact that English umpire Harold "Dicky" Bird stood in the match, while home umpires Ian Robinson and Kantilal Kanjee stood on alternate days.

New Zealand batted first with Rod Latham scoring his only Test century during a 116-run opening stand. Mark Greatbatch scored 87 off 79 balls while Andrew Jones was 67 not out when the declaration was made at 325/3.

Zimbabwe struggled, especially against the off-spin of Dipak Patel who took six for 113, in Zimbabwe's total of 219.

Another century opening stand was managed by Greatbatch and Latham. Greatbatch scored 88 this time and Latham 48. Theirs was the first time New Zealand batsmen achieved a century opening stand in both innings of a Test.

New Zealand set Zimbabwe 329 to win in 75 overs, a target it never chased, although it did see Kevin Arnott score an unbeaten maiden Test century as the total reached 197/1.