Third Test Match

AUSTRALIA v NEW ZEALAND 1987-88

The 24th Test between these two countries contained all the ingredients of a classic match, including not just exciting performances but also controversy and a heroic finish. The 127,184 spectators could not have wished for more. Put in to bat, the New Zealanders had reached 119 for one when, half an hour before tea, Jones edged a delivery from McDermott and watched as the Australian wicket-keeper, Dyer, rolled over then showed the ball in his raised right hand, indicating a clean catch. Umpire Crafter, sensing something was amiss, delayed his decision until umpire French at square leg indicated that the ball had carried. But television replays showed the ball bouncing out of Dyer's gloves and on to the ground, with the wicket-keeper scooping the ball back into his gloves before appealing. Wright, the New Zealand vice-captain, batted for 310 minutes before flashing outside off-stump, having hit ten fours in his 99, He thus became the third New Zealander to fall 1 run short of a Test hundred, following J. E. F. Beck (v South Africa, 1953-54) and R. J. Hadlee (v England, 1983-84).

Continuing from their overnight 242 for five, the tourists soon lost Martin Crowe for 82, from 147 deliveries, and needed Smith's 44 to see them to 317. Then it was the turn of Hadlee to show his skills. He took four for 62 in three spells which left Australia precariously placed at 170 for five at the end of the second day. Waugh fell without addition on the third morning; but Sleep, win 90 in 310 minutes (256 balls) and Dodemaide, who was to follow his début half-century with six wickets, put on a record 61 for the ninth wicket to give Australia a first-innings lead of 40 runs. New Zealand's openers remained unbeaten for almost two hours, but once Dodemaide had effected a breakthrough, only Martin Crowe, with a fine 79 in just under two hours, including twelve fours, seemed able to guide his country's batting. When he reached 34, he became only the seventh player, and the first since L. Hutton in 1948, to score 4,000 first-class runs in a calendar year, while the catch that ended his innings was Border's 100th in Tests.

By dismissing New Zealand for 286 from the third ball of the final day, Australia had allowed themselves a minimum of 92 overs to score 247 for victory. At 176 for four, with Waugh and Veletta looking confident, they needed only 71 to win with 28 overs left. But at 5.17 p.m. when the score was 199 for five, Hadlee was brought back into the attack. Until the finish at 6.49 p.m., he gave his all for his country as 23,859 spectators watched in suspense. Elsewhere Australians were glued to their television sets; even the high-rating quiz shows were cancelled for the evening.

The wickets fell: Sleep at 209, Veletta at 209, Dyer at 216, and Dodemaide at 227. Hadlee had taken ten wickets in a Test match for a record eighth time, passing S. F. Barnes, C. V. Grimmett and D. K. Lillee, all with seven, and needed just one more wicket to pass I. T. Botham's record of 373 wickets in Tests. However, the last Australian pair, McDermott and Whitney, held out for 4.5 overs to claim a draw and give Australia the Trans-Tasman Trophy for the first time. When Whitney, playing in his first Test since 1981, dug out Hadlee's final ball of the match, the New Zealand fast bowler walked down the pitch to the exuberant batsman, put an arm around his shoulder and shook his hand. It was a sporting gesture of the highest order, and Hadlee's nomination as both Man of the Match and Man of the Series was greeted with spontaneous applause from an emotionally drained crowd.

Close of play: First day, New Zealand 242-5 (M. D. Crowe 76*, J. G. Bracewell 4*); Second day, Australia 170-5 (S. R. Waugh 55*, P. R. Sleep 16*); Third day, New Zealand 0-0 (P. A. Horne 0*, J. G. Wright 0*); Fourth day, New Zealand 285-9 (I. D. S. Smith 12*, E. J. Chatfield 0*).

© John Wisden & Co