Second Test Match

New Zealand v India

At Christchurch, February 22, 23, 24, 26, 27. New Zealand won by six wickets.

Deceived by the appearance of the pitch, which hinted strongly at assistance for the fast bowlers, Pataudi sent New Zealand in and at the end of the first day they were 273 for three: Murray and Dowling scored 126 for the first wicket and Congdon helped Dowling to add 82 for the second wicket. Although failing to take a wicket on a very easy pitch, Nadkarni bowled 41 overs for 54 runs. Prasanna, however, was punished severely.

Dowling, 135 overnight, went on to a New Zealand Test record of 239, Burgess and Thomson - in his first Test-sharing three-figure partnerships. Dowling, dropped at 61 and 122, hit twenty-eight 4's and five 6's in an innings of just over nine hours. New Zealand reached 500 for the second time in Test Matches.

Then steady bowling and India's inability to sustain concentration saw the touring team out, on the third day, for 288. There was much speculation as to whether Dowling, with a lead of 214, would enforce the follow-on, and thus risk last use of a pitch taking spin.

He asked India to bat again and there was a time when New Zealand were in danger of defeat. A brilliant 63 by Engineer, and resolute batting by Surti, Pataudi and Borde took India to 230 for four, but Bartlett, in one over, bowled Pataudi and Borde, so that New Zealand, in the end, needed only 88.

By that time the Indian slow bowlers were able to turn the ball sharply, and New Zealand might have been in difficulties had Congdon not played a sensibly aggressive innings, with nine 4's in his 61.

© John Wisden & Co