First Test Match

NEW ZEALAND v AUSTRALIA 1981-82

At Wellington, February 26, 27, 28, March 1, 2. Drawn. Rain restricted play to less than eleven hours with no play on the first day, only four hours on the second, 51 minutes on the third, none on the fourth, and a full six hours on the last day. The covers, quite inadequate for a Test ground, had been blown off by a typically vigorous Wellington wind the night before the match was due to begin, and the pitch was saturated.

When, eventually, the Australians won their sixth successive toss of the tour and sent New Zealand in, the pitch played more easily than expected, and there was some inaccurate bowling and sloppy fielding from the Australians. The New Zealand left-hand opening combination of Edgar and Wright seemed to put Lillee and Thomson out of their stride, both of them bowling very wide of the off stump. By the close of this second day New Zealand were 107 for one from 60 overs; on the third, 20 runs were added for the loss of Morrison; and on the fifth, Edgar went to a self-denying half-century in 310 minutes - one of the slowest fifties in Test history. Howarth, missed twice, played some pleasant shots.

For Australia, Thomson produced occasional bursts of great pace but Lillee retired with a back injury after one over on the third day.

By the time New Zealand declared and Australia began their first innings, it was nearly three o'clock on the final day. The Australian batsmen were seldom in trouble.

Attendance: 22,000. Takings:£18,340.

© John Wisden & Co