Noel McGregor, one of the members of the first New Zealand team to win a Test match, died in Christchurch on Wednesday from a heart attack. He was 75.
McGregor, a right-hand batsman, played 25 Tests, including the historic Eden Park Test, where New Zealand defeated West Indies by 190 runs in 1956. He scored 892 runs at 19.82, with his highest-score being a five-and-a-half hour 111 against Pakistan in Lahore. McGregor played 148 first-class games in his 21-year career, scoring 6573 runs at 25.47.
One of the most significant moments of McGregor's career came in the Eden Park Test, when he caught Everton Weekes at deep square leg off legspinner Jack Alabaster.
McGregor made his debut in the first Test against England in Dunedin in 1955, when as a 23-year old, he had to contend with the fearsome fast bowling of Frank Tyson. Batting at No. 5, McGregor could only manage scores of 2 and 8. His next Test was even more ignominious - New Zealand were bowled out for 26 (the lowest score in Test cricket) in their second innings during the second Test against England in Auckland.
He performed better during New Zealand's inaugural tours of Pakistan and India in 1956, where he scored 608 runs at 28.95. He was then picked for the four home Tests against the West Indies, but was dropped for the 1958 Test series in England. He made his comeback in the 1961-62 tour to South Africa, before playing his last Test against Pakistan in Auckland in 1965.
McGregor's last sporting tryst was with lawn bowls, going on to become a regional bowls administrator.