First Test Match


At Brisbane, December 4, 5, 6, 7. Australia won by nine wickets with a day to spare. Border, playing on his home ground, had no hesitation in fielding when he won the toss. On a pitch slightly under-prepared owing to torrential rain, the New Zealanders lost Rutherford to the fourth ball of the match, Veletta marking his début with a catch at forward short leg from his first touch of the ball. They crawled to 48 for two by lunch, and only Martin Crowe, with 67 from 163 balls, held an end up as all crashed around him. The innings finished a quarter of an hour into the second morning, whereupon Boon took his first chance in what was to be a golden season for him. As Australia totalled 305, he made 143 in 342 minutes from 255 deliveries, hitting fifteen fours. The New Zealand fast bowler, Morrison, a product of D. K. Lillee's personal coaching scheme and the game's other Test newcomer, returned a respectable four for 86 from 28 overs, while Hadlee moved ahead of Lillee as the second-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket when he dismissed Marsh.

In reply, New Zealand had only a sparking cameo innings, by Patel, to save them from a worse defeat. Jones batted for two hours twenty minutes for 45, but Patel's ninth-wicket partnership of 52 in an hour with Morrison gave the crowd a modicum of fun of the fourth day. Requiring less than 100 for victory, Australia won with ease at 3.47 p.m. to claim two Test wins in succession for the first time in four years and avenge the innings defeat by New Zealand at Brisbane two years earlier. The attendance of 28,153 for the four days was nearly double that at the corresponding match in 1985.

Man of the Match: D. C. Boon.

Close of play: First day, New Zealand 181-9 (J. G. Bracewell 6*); Second day, Australia 219-6 (P. R. Sleep 0*); Third day, New Zealand 131-5 (D. N. Patel 8*, R. J. Hadlee 17*).

© John Wisden & Co