First test

NEW ZEALAND v WEST INDIES 1994-95

At Christchurch, February 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Drawn. Toss: West Indies. Test debut: S. L. Campbell.

New Zealand had the better of a Test heavily abbreviated by rain, though they depended too much on Parore and Morrison. Parore rescued them from a precarious 128 for five, with a brave maiden Test hundred; Morrison cleaned out West Indies' top four and might have made them follow on.

The pitch helped the quicker bowlers by taking a long time to dry out under heavy cloud cover. Walsh put New Zealand in, but only 11.4 overs were possible on the first day. Murray batted doggedly for three hours, until Ambrose, returning after a shoulder injury but still the most awkward of the attack, dismissed him and Rutherford after lunch on the second. Thomson lasted an hour, but Fleming found his best ally in Parore. Seeing the ball earlier than other batsmen, Fleming stroked some stylish boundaries while maintaining the evasion necessary for survival. Meanwhile Parore, consistently right in behind the ball, collected several bruises but began to hook as he gained confidence. Walsh, surprisingly, often left the third-man boundary vacant, which provided a useful source of runs. Though he lost Fleming, Parore was joined by Hart, a youth international opener, who looked the part as they took the seventh-wicket stand to 118 after the third day was washed out. On Waitangi Day, Parore became the first Maori to score a Test century; he batted for five hours and hit nine fours in 249 balls.

Rutherford immediately declared and Morrison raced in against the West Indian batsmen. He looked the best bowler in the match, fast and mostly on-target; he bowled Lara with his slower ball, had Williams and Adams caught hooking and, after Rutherford threw out Arthurton, trapped the debutant Campbell for fifty. At 98 for five, West Indies were still in danger of the follow-on. But Nash's return after his suspension ended when he broke a finger fielding, and Chanderpaul, who played the best-timed strokes in the innings, and Murray vigorously eliminated that risk on the final morning. With the pressure off, the last five wickets added 214, reducing New Zealand's lead to 29 and giving the match a misleadingly even look. Winston Benjamin hit 85 from 87 balls and Ambrose also laid about him. When Morrison returned to finish off the innings, his sixth wicket took him past Lance Cairns to be New Zealand's second-highest wicket-taker with 131 - a mere 300 behind Sir Richard Hadlee. There was time for New Zealand to play a nominal second innings, in which Murray was controversially given out by ICC umpire Nigel Plews, caught behind off his glove. Television suggested that Murray's hand was not on the bat when the ball made contact.

Man of the Match: A. C. Parore.

Close of play: First day, New Zealand 24-0 (B. A. Young 16*, D. J. Murray 4*); Second day, New Zealand 221-6 (A. C. Parore 34*, M. N. Hart 2*); Third day, No play; Fourth day, West Indies 102-5 (S. Chanderpaul 18*, J. R. Murray 3*).

© John Wisden & Co