Second Test Match


At Christchurch, February 28, March 1, 2, 3, 4. Drawn. Although Hadlee produced another outstanding effort, the match belonged to Border. He propped up a calamitous decline in Australia's fortunes with his 140 in the first innings, and when his side was in danger of defeat on the last day, he hit an unbeaten 114, so joining G. S. Chappell, S. M. Gavaskar, G. A. Headley and C. L. Walcott in scoring two hundreds in a Test match twice.

Coney put Australia in on a pitch which had a distinctly green look about it, but they were only one down, for 58, at lunch. In the 40 minutes after, however, Hadlee took three wickets in his six-over spell, Chatfield claimed one, and Australia were 74 for five. Border found in Waugh an able lieutenant. He scored his first Test fifty stylishly, and at the close Australia were 224 for five, Border 84 not out, having just passed 6,000 runs in Tests. Next morning, a period of indecision with runs coming off inadvertent edges, the Australian captain was dropped in the slips off Hadlee before reaching his seventeenth Test hundred.

New Zealand lost ground rapidly, being 48 for three at the close of the second day and then 48 for four. Coney led a remarkable recovery, and Crowe, eight 4s in his 50, displayed a mastery which matched his performance at Brisbane before, mistiming a hook from Reid, he was struck on the jaw and had to be assisted from the field to receive ten stitches. Returning after Coney and Smith had added a half-century he immediately counter-attacked, 29 runs coming from three overs. He went to his century from 156 balls (eighteen 4s) and kept attacking until he was caught in the deep, last out within seconds of the close of play, for 137, which included 21 4s. It was a display which drew comparisons with Sutcliffe's epic innings for New Zealand at Johannesburg in 1953-54.

Only 48 minutes' play was possible on the fourth day (Australia 49 for two) but on the last day Australia, with six wickets gone, led by only 155. However, Border, the Man of the Match, went phlegmatically on, moving up the Australian Test aggregates behind G. S. Chappell and Sir Donald Bradman and ending New Zealand's prospects of victory.

© John Wisden & Co