Benson & Hedges World Cup 1991-92, qualifying match


Toss: New Zealand.

An unexpected result thrilled the home crowd and threw the Cup favourites into consternation. The Australians had reckoned on a sluggish pitch favouring New Zealand, but not on Crowe's sharp thinking: he gave the new ball to Patel, an off-spinner, and then juggled his attack so frequently that the batsmen never settled.

Yet the home team had struggled in the morning, when the pitch retained its bounce. After two wides, McDermott bowled Wright with his first legitimate ball; Reid had Latham dropped, then trapped Jones; and Healy took a low, one-handed catch. But Rutherford added 118 in 25 overs with Crowe, who ignored a knee injury to reach his century (11 fours) with one ball to spare. Next came his gambit with the ball. New Zealand's fastest bowler, Morrison, had been omitted, and the strategy soon seemed justified; while Cairns conceded 30 from four overs, at the other end Patel unnerved Boon and Marsh so much that they took only 19 from his first seven. Constant bowling changes maintained the Australians' uncertainty, and though Boon pushed doggedly on to his hundred, the asking rate crept towards double figures, Steve Waugh's attempts to hit out were cut short with 50 needed from less than five overs. When Boon was run out, the Australians disintegrated. Their last five wickets were captured for 12 runs in 17 balls.

Man of the Match: M. D. Crowe. Attendance: 22,262.

© John Wisden & Co