Second Test Match


Morgan replaced Burgess,injured, in the New Zealand team and Hall, also unfit, was replaced by Griffith. Dowling did as Sobers had done at Auckland; he won the toss and the West Indies batted first on a lively pitch. Motz, responding to this invitation, bowled extremely well, and at lunch had taking the three wickets that had fallen. Although Butcher batted soundly, the West Indies had lost seven for 181 before Hendriks, Griffith and Edwards effected a substantial recovery.

Turner and Congdon, with 96 for the second wicket, put their side in a good position, but there was some most effective medium-pace bowling by Edwards, who cut the ball sharply. This time Taylor had reached only 17 when he had been at the wicket for eighty-six minutes, his century time at Auckland. The West Indies, leading by 15, appeared to have New Zealand in trouble, but the tourists failed to recover after a bad start, although Butcher and Sobers were a threat for an hour. The New Zealand bowling was very steady on a pitch still yielding lift and it was strongly supported in the field.

New Zealand needed no more than 164 to win but circumstances conspired to make it a desperate battle. Just before the West Indies innings ended the West Indies team to tour England was announced, and when New Zealand began, Griffith and Edwards were clearly determined to demonstrate that they had their own views on the selection. They gave the batsmen a very difficult hour, bowling many bouncers and balls which lifted venomously from just short of a length. At close of play, New Zealand were 40 for three and struggling; but on the final morning the pitch lost a little of its life and so, after a while, did the bowling. Hastings, surviving a very anxious first hour, made some handsome strokes to take New Zealand to their fifth victory in Test cricket and also defeat the threat of rain, as black clouds banked up over the ground.

© John Wisden & Co