Second Test Match


At Auckland, March 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. New Zealand won by five wickets. Howarth won the toss and sent Australia in, but it was no more the pitch than a couple of poor shots and two suicidal attempts at quick runs that led to Australia being dismissed for 210. Laird batted briskly, Dyson watchfully, Chappell extravagantly. Australia regained some ground by taking two wickets for 35 late on the first day, but on the second Edgar batted with certainty, his innings lasting more than eight and a half hours in all; because of intervals and stoppages for bad light, he had to start and restart nine times. His concentration was admirable, and he played many attractive strokes, passing 1,000 runs in Tests. An aggressive Howarth helped him add 87 for the third wicket, and Coney joined him in a partnership of 154 in 217 minutes for the fourth. Edgar was seventh out after Hadlee had hit two 6s off Yardley, the second one thought to be the longest drive seen at Eden Park.

An opening stand of 106 between Wood and Laird - the first century opening partnership by Australia against New Zealand - put Australia back in the game when they batted again 177 behind. With nothing in the pitch for the faster bowlers, they had reached 167 before losing their second wicket. Wood scored his century in 260 minutes, and at the end of the fourth day Australia were 64 ahead on 241 for four.

On the final morning, Chappell was out first ball, checking a drive at Hadlee and being taken at cover-point. This success so inspired the New Zealanders, particularly Hadlee, that the eighth wicket fell at 260 and the home side were left needing only 104 to win. At 17 for two a close finish was in prospect, but Cairns, promoted to No. 5, hit out successfully, adding 53 in 32 minutes with Edgar. Cairns hit two 6s and Hadlee finished the match with another one. It was New Zealand's thirteenth Test victory, their second over Australia.

Attendance: 49,000. Takings:£55,000.

© John Wisden & Co