Tests: England 3 New Zealand 0, ODIs: England 2 New Zealand 0

New Zealand in England, 1978

Norman Preston

On their eighth tour of the United Kingdom, under the captaincy of Mark Burgess, the New Zealanders failed in their main objective, which was to record their first Test victory in this country. Only a few months earlier, at Wellington, they beat England for the first time, and they arrived in June hoping to repeat that success.

In the event they failed quite badly, for they lost all three Tests by wide margins. Injuries to their pace bowlers, Richard and Dayle Hadlee, Brendon Bracewell and Graeme Thomson, caused early problems and they were glad to recruit G. B. Troup from the Bradford League for their second first-class match of the tour against Sussex at Hove, where they gained the first of only five victories.

Dayle Hadlee appeared in only one match - his fitness was suspect when the selectors chose him - but the others soon recovered, although Richard Hadlee at one period was under treatment for a back strain. Earlier in the season, on signing for Nottinghamshire, he had accomplished great things for the county, including a century against Derbyshire. He was seen at his best in the second and third Tests when he was just as aggressive as Bob Willis was for England, and in all first-class engagements he easily headed the bowling with 41 wickets at 17.41 runs apiece.

Supporting Hadlee was the eighteen-year-old Brendon Bracewell who, at The Oval, took a wicket with his third ball in Test cricket, getting Graham Gooch leg-before, and almost immediately afterwards had Mike Brearly taken by the wicket-keeper, the first two England wickets falling for 7 runs. Lance Cairns put in some long spells at his medium pace in the county matches, but he was ineffective in the Tests, as were Congdon and Collinge, the latter hurriedly called from home to replace Dayle Hadlee. At the Oval, Congdon made a record 59th appearance for New Zealand; he was also the only New Zealander to make a fourth tour of England.

Most of the slow bowling fell on Stephen Boock, a tall left-armer, who commanded respect in the Tests and showed much promise against the counties without matching the skill of his predecessor, Hedley Howarth.

The absence of Glenn Turner, who preferred to stay with his county, Worcestershire, in his benefit year, was a severe loss to the side, particularly under English conditions. This was emphasised by the performance of Geoffrey Howarth, of Surrey, whose magnificent 123 at Lord's was the only century hit for New Zealand in the Tests.

The 21-year-old Bruce Edgar proved to be the find of the tour. Like Bracewell, he was new to Test cricket. A left-hander, he possessed the right technique as well as a good temperament, and he also did well as the emergency wicket-keeper when preferred to Graham Edwards, whose poor display at Trent Bridge led to him being dropped from the third Test. A throat infection kept John Wright, the tall Derbyshire left-hander, out of the second Test and he accomplished little afterwards, although he began the tour well and scored 111 against Yorkshire at Leeds.

Two of the biggest disappointments in the Tests were John Parker and Robert Anderson. Each hit two hundreds in county matches, but in the big games they were upset by the pace and swing of Willis, Old, Hendrick and Botham.

The tour was also a nightmare for the captain, Burgess. He began with three fifties in the first three matches and then deteriorated so much that he reached fifty only twice more, once with a noble 68 in a memorable stand of 130 with Howarth in the final Test at Lord's. A pleasant personality, Burgess never complained, but he must have been disappointed with much of the fielding. Never again should New Zealand come to England without a recognised wicket-keeper.

Match reports for

Tour Match: Duchess of Norfolk's Invitation XI v New Zealanders at Arundel, Jun 18, 1978
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Tour Match: DH Robins' XI v New Zealanders at Eastbourne, Jun 21-23, 1978
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Tour Match: Sussex v New Zealanders at Hove, Jun 24-27, 1978
Scorecard

Tour Match: Gloucestershire v New Zealanders at Bristol, Jun 28-30, 1978
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Tour Match: Somerset v New Zealanders at Taunton, Jul 1-3, 1978
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Tour Match: Middlesex v New Zealanders at Lord's, Jul 8-11, 1978
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Tour Match: Warwickshire v New Zealanders at Birmingham, Jul 12-14, 1978
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1st ODI: England v New Zealand at Scarborough, Jul 15, 1978
Report | Scorecard

2nd ODI: England v New Zealand at Manchester, Jul 17, 1978
Report | Scorecard

Tour Match: Scotland v New Zealanders at Dundee, Jul 19-21, 1978
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Tour Match: Yorkshire v New Zealanders at Leeds, Jul 22-25, 1978
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1st Test: England v New Zealand at The Oval, Jul 27-Aug 1, 1978
Report | Scorecard

Tour Match: Minor Counties v New Zealanders at Torquay, Aug 2-3, 1978
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Tour Match: Lancashire v New Zealanders at Manchester, Aug 5-8, 1978
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2nd Test: England v New Zealand at Nottingham, Aug 10-14, 1978
Report | Scorecard

Tour Match: Young England v New Zealanders at Leicester, Aug 16-18, 1978
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Tour Match: Worcestershire v New Zealanders at Worcester, Aug 19-21, 1978
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3rd Test: England v New Zealand at Lord's, Aug 24-28, 1978
Report | Scorecard

Tour Match: TN Pearce's XI v New Zealanders at Scarborough, Sep 2-5, 1978
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Tour Match: TN Pearce's XI v New Zealanders at Scarborough, Sep 3, 1978
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Tour Match: Netherlands v New Zealanders at Amstelveen, Sep 9, 1978
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Tour Match: Netherlands v New Zealanders at Amstelveen, Sep 10, 1978
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