Third Test Match

New Zealand v West Indies 1968-69

Only one change was made in the teams, Burgess coming back into the New Zealand eleven for Morgan. Sobers won the toss and the West Indies batted on a pitch which was slow and low of bounce on the first day. The innings was dominated to an extraordinary extent by Nurse, who made his highest Test score. In very poor light, he batted far better than at Auckland, and punished the New Zealand pace bowlers with superb drives off the back foot. In four hours twenty-five minutes, before rain ended play, the West Indies scored 203 for one and next morning Carew went to a painstaking 91 in five hours, seven minutes before being beautifully caught by Turner at slip. The score was 326 before the third wicket fell, but in mid-afternoon Motz, in a very aggressive spell, took four for 7 in 27 balls and Nurse alone looked like staying. He spent three and a quarter hours over his first century, over six and a half hours reaching his second, and in all batted eight hours for 258, with one 6 and thirty-five 4's. It was the highest Test score made at Christchurch, and it was a magnificent display of aggressive but responsible batting.

New Zealand reached 55 before Dowling was out in the last over, but on the third day Holford and Gibbs assumed command on a pitch which took spin readily. The New Zealanders fought right down the line, but were in slow retreat all day and had to follow on 200 behind. This time Dowling and Turner shared an opening partnership of 115, an all-wicket New Zealand record against the West Indies and New Zealand knocked off their arrears with only two wickets down. There was still much turn in the pitch, but the home country, with Hastings batting particularly well, gave their most convincing display for a long time and easily saved the match. Hastings, in for four hours, forty-one minutes, deserved his first Test century. Bad light ended play forty minutes early.

© John Wisden & Co