First Test Match

England v New Zealand

At Christchurch, February 27, 28, March 2. England won by an innings and 99 runs. New Zealand, who were outplayed, were unfortunate to lose the toss on a pitch which took spin on the first day and became increasingly responsive for Lock who finished with the remarkable analysis of eleven wickets for 84 and also caught four other batsmen. Dexter hit his first Test century.

England's start was none too good. The left-handed openers, Watson and Richardson, were out to the combination of Blair and the capable Petrie behind the wicket before the England captain, with delightful strokes which brought him eleven boundaries, and Graveney redeemed the situation.

May, with a big responsibility, was still not at his best and five men were out for 171 in three and a half hours before Dexter put England on top. He drove straight and through the covers in fine style and took out his bat at the close for 123 out of 210 in three and a half hours, including twenty-one 4's and one 5. Trueman helped him in a partnership of 81 in an hour and brought the day's total to 336 for eight. Petrie, who did not concede and extra until the score was 233, retired for a time after receiving a blow near the eye from a ball by Moir, and Reid kept wicket. Sparling, the off-spinner, was handicapped by a finger bruised while fielding.

Next day England carried their score to 374 in fifty minutes, Dexter, last out, beaten by a good ball from Reid who varied his pace cleverly, having increased his boundaries to twenty-four in his praiseworthy innings which lasted altogether four and a quarter hours. New Zealand lost Harris and Guy cheaply before Reid, with bold strokes, restored the balance, but after tea Lock, spinning the ball considerably, sent back four men for one run in seventeen deliveries.

The innings ended in remarkable manner for Hough, the last man -- an Australian-born medium-pace bowler of powerful physique -- hit Trueman, who had been brought back in search of his 100th Test wicket, for 22 in nine balls, including three 4's and one 6. After Petrie had become Trueman's needed victim Hough took out his bat for 31 out of 40 to the delight of the 20,000 crowd, a record attendance for the ground. Tyson bowled well and broke the back of the New Zealand batting by disposing of Reid and Sutcliffe in one over.

New Zealand, with forty minutes left, followed on 232 behind and Bolton, a new young opening batsman who had withstood the fast and spin bowlers for over three hours in the first innings, defied them again while 28 runs came without loss before the close.

Play lasted only three and a quarter hours on the third day. Harris resisted for half an hour and Bolton again demonstrated his sound defence, but only Guy, a left-hander, was capable of punishing Lock who once more puzzled his opponents by spinning the ball off loosely knit top soil. Guy hit nine 4's, driving particularly well in a stay of over two hours. Lock, at square-leg, brilliantly caught him, making half the side out for 117, then in enthusiastic vein the left-arm spinner ran through the rest of the team.

After lunch New Zealand lost their last seven wickets for 32 and in this period Lock took five for 14 in 11.2 overs, five maidens. Reid and Sutcliffe, caught smartly at slip and leg-slip respectively, were among his victims, as was Hough who this time amused the crowd by snatching impudent singles with Petrie. Lock appropriately ended the match by spreadeagling Hough's stumps. Attendance 33,500; receipts £7,591.

© John Wisden & Co