Test Match

England v New Zealand 1946-47

For the first time in the history of cricket an extra day was added to a Test when rain prevented any play on the third day. The weather, however, never improved, and the additional day, like the third, was quite blank. While cricket lasted New Zealand established a definite superiority, thanks mainly to the excellent pace bowling of Cowie, who in 30 overs took six of the seven English wickets that fell, and to a fine century by Hadlee - his first in Test cricket. Even on the first two days the weather generally was dull and encouraged swing bowlers. Again a great deal of work fell on Bedser when New Zealand, after being sent in by Hammond, were given a sound start by their opening pair, Hadlee the captain, and Sutcliffe, the left-hander. Their partnership realised 133 before a smart catch by Evans sent back Sutcliffe, who hit six 4's. Having broken that stand, the bowlers took charge. A fine catch at forward short leg accounted for Hadlee, who was second to leave at 195. If not chanceless, his innings, which lasted two and a half hours, was full of enterprising strokes. After the heat of Australia, the cold was a handicap to the fielding side, but Hammond made one very fine right-handed slip catch. Wright and Smith could find neither steady length nor accurate direction and both received considerable punishment.

Cowie took a wicket for New Zealand in his first over when Smith at long leg held a big hit by Washbrook. After lunch 20,000 people saw Yardley play on and Edrich caught in the gully. Hammond, playing in his 85th and last Test, was cheered all the way to the wicket, where the New Zealand team gathered round and gave him three cheers. This welcome seemed to inspire Hammond, who, besides driving powerfully, often stole impudent singles. He soon lost Compton, playing on, but Ikin shaped well and with his captain added 97 before Hammond, who hit ten 4's, was caught at mid-on while forcing the game. In perhaps his last innings in first-class cricket Hammond played grandly. England still went for runs, and at the close of play, although the side were 80 runs behind, Hammond stated he would declare so that a good finish would be possible on the third day; but after glorious weather on the Sunday, rain set in and nothing more could be done.

© John Wisden & Co