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Classic World Cup Moments

Martin Crowe knocks Australia flat with a hundred

New Zealand's captain brought out his A game against the old enemy in the opening match of the 1992 World Cup

The 1992 World Cup was kicked off by the two hosts on an Eden Park pitch that got slower and lower as the game went along. The game was supposed to be Australia's first step in their defence of the 1987 title. By the end of it, Martin Crowe had a nagging knee injury and Australia had picked up a limp that would hobble them throughout the event.
Martin Crowe opted to bat, and when Allan Border was asked what would be a good total, he said "about 100" and laughed it off.
New Zealand stuttered at the start: John Wright was bowled off the first ball of the tournament, and they were soon 13 for 2 in the fourth over. Then Crowe stabilised the innings with Rod Latham and laid a platform with Ken Rutherford, compiling 118 runs for the fourth wicket. "The Australians started to bowl shorter," he wrote in Crowe on Crowe. "That was the innings that changed the game." Crowe gave the supporters 11 opportunities to shake their cardboard flyers and timed his finish perfectly, bringing up his century from the second-last ball. The knee had become a problem but there was no doubt about the strength of his stomach.
The highlight of his innings was his nimble footwork, against both the spinners and the fast men. "A batsman's footwork needs to be like a boxer's," Crowe maintained - a principle he observed to perfection in this innings. He went on the back foot for the short-of-length deliveries from Tom Moody and Peter Taylor with one eye on the leg side. He employed the pull the most, mistiming two for catches, but Australia spilled both.
Australia had to chase 249 and Crowe then donned the captain's hat. He had Dipak Patel open the bowling to stifle Australia's openers. David Boon equalled Crowe's score before he was run-out but no other batter could make over 40. New Zealand won by 37 runs and Crowe's terrific journey in the 1992 World Cup had only started.