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Match reports

WEST INDIES v. NEW ZEALAND

An astonishing innings of 223 not out by Turner saved New Zealand from an overwhelming defeat which had seemed a certainty since just before lunch on the third day when New Zealand were 108 for five in reply to West Indies' 508 for four declared

15-Apr-1973
An astonishing innings of 223 not out by Turner saved New Zealand from an overwhelming defeat which had seemed a certainty since just before lunch on the third day when New Zealand were 108 for five in reply to West Indies' 508 for four declared. Turner was then helped in a sixth-wicket stand of 220 by Wadsworth whose previous highest Test score had been 21. Statistically Turner was overshadowed by Rowe, who in his first Test made 214 and 100 not out, becoming the first batsman ever to score two separate hundreds in his first Test match. Rowe continued where he had left off for Jamaica against the New Zealanders. His was a phenomenal performance and he did not appear to have any technical weaknesses. His subsequent failures in the next three Test matches were more than anything a question of temperament. Rowe is a stockily built right hander who is a more compact batsman than most instinctive West Indian stroke players in that he seldom plays with his bat far from his pad.
In the final analysis the West Indies had only themselves to blame for not winning as Turner was badly dropped by Carew at extra cover off Gibbs when he had made 47. Sobers's captaincy also helped the New Zealanders, for when Wadsworth joined Turner, Sobers made no attempt to keep Turner away from the strike and so he was able to shield his partner with impunity. Later Sobers gave Holford, whose leg spin had caused the New Zealand batsmen a lot of trouble, surprisingly little bowling.
On another very easy paced wicket Rowe and Fredericks put the game out of New Zealand's reach on the first day after Sobers had won the toss. While Rowe batted faultlessly, Fredericks survived three difficult catches, but he hit the ball tremendously hard, particularly square on the off side, and he completed his first Test century in four and three-quarter hours. These two added 269 for the second wicket. The New Zealand selectors had left out Taylor and their attack looked sadly below standard, although Howarth was impressive.
The West Indies fast bowlers made the initial breakthrough when New Zealand went in and then Holford went through the middle order, but after surviving the catch to extra cover off Gibbs, Turner took complete charge and batted magnificently. In spite of the desperate situation he was always on the look out for runs. He took as much pressure as he could off Wadsworth and showed an impeccable technique against both pace and spin. No praise was too high either for Wadsworth who showed great guts and a beautifully straight bat. Their stand of 220 came against nine bowlers.
The West Indies lead was kept to 122 and they then tried to increase it as fast as possible to enable Sobers to declare. When the last day began Rowe was 67 not out and Sobers probably delayed his declaration to allow him to reach his second hundred. Even so New Zealand had an anxious afternoon. Holford removed Dowling and Turner immediately after lunch and only a fighting hundred by Burgess enabled them to survive an amazing game of cricket.