At Melbourne, January 23 (day/night). New Zealand won by five wickets. The match produced the closest finish of the series, the winning run coming off the penultimate ball. India, put in, were in low spirits after two consecutive defeats and also because of the absence of Gavaskar, troubled by an injured back. They were slow to find momentum but Amarnath and Vengsarkar shored up the innings and a late sally by Binny and Chetan Sharma (16 off Hadlee's last over) was invaluable. Indeed, the Indian score might have sufficed had their bowling been tighter. Starting well, New Zealand sailed a smooth course until Martin Crowe (93 balls) was fourth out at 185, with 44 balls remaining, whereupon the batsmen laboured a little. However, Coney, cool-headed, saw them home.
Man of the Match: M. D. Crowe. Attendance: 13,864.