First Test Match

NEW ZEALAND v WEST INDIES 1951-52

At Christchurch, February 8, 9, 11, 12. West Indies won by five wickets. Slight superiority all round gave them the advantage in the first Test played between the two countries. Ramadhin lived up to his English reputation, and even Scott and the New Zealand captain, Sutcliffe, the highest scorers in the first innings, did not face him with complete confidence.

A record crowd of 18,000 saw the second day's play in which a fourth-wicket partnership of 129 between Worrell and Walcott was primarily responsible for West Indies leading by 51. Hayes caused a breakdown in the middle of the innings by dismissing three men rapidly with the new ball, but the aggression of Goddard and Guillen, who made his biggest score in first-class cricket, brought a recovery.

With Ramadhin, who took his match analysis to nine wickets for 125, again the chief obstacle by sharp spin on an impeccable length, New Zealand struggled a second time. Following an opening stand of 44, three wickets fell for five runs before Scott and Sutcliffe retrieved the position. Despite a strained leg muscle, Smith mixed vigour with patience for over an hour.

Although they adopted forcing tactics, West Indies were made to fight hard for the 139 they required to win. Five of their best batsmen went for 99, but Worrell and Gomez saw them to safety. For New Zealand, Burtt, the left-arm slow bowler, combined his customary accuracy with mixed flight and spin. Weekes was again troubled by the leg injury which worried him through most of the Australian tour.

© John Wisden & Co
 
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