First Test Match

New Zealand v West Indies 1999-2000

At Hamilton, December 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. New Zealand won by nine wickets. Toss: West Indies. Test debut: R. L. Powell.

That West Indies lost this match after being 276 without loss shortly before the close of the first day will long haunt them. From that seemingly impregnable position, they batted so poorly on a docile pitch that they managed only 186 more runs in the match for the loss of 20 wickets. The transformation in New Zealand's bowling, which had been so disappointing on the first day, was equally marked. Their batsmen all made useful contributions against indifferent West Indian bowling, but it was a magnificent all-round effort from Cairns that was primarily responsible for this extraordinary victory. Coming to the wicket at 258 for six, he played some superb attacking shots in a belligerent 72 that gave his side an unexpected first-innings lead of 28. Then he demolished West Indies' second innings, ending with seven for 27, his best figures in Test cricket. In all, he claimed ten for 100, meaning that he and Lance Cairns became the first father and son each to take ten wickets in a Test. Campbell, hitting his third hundred in successive first-class innings, and Griffith, who made a maiden Test century off 261 balls, had dominated the first day with a West Indian all-wicket record against New Zealand. Sixteen of Campbell's 23 fours were struck behind square on the off side, mostly from cuts, an indication of the width he was given. He also pulled two sixes off McMillan before he was out for 170 from 262 balls, trying to hook the second new ball.

On the second day, Cairns, by going round the wicket to the left-handers, was much more effective, taking three for 14 from 15 overs - compared to none for 59 from 16 on the first. But Vettori played the key role, dismissing Lara and Griffith with successive balls; his second-day figures were four for 27 in 13.1 overs. Lara, caught at mid-off from a leading edge, was one of several batsmen to gift his wicket.

New Zealand owed much to Fleming for holding their innings together with a responsible 66 in three and three-quarter hours. They were fortunate, too, that Cairns, apparently run out off his first ball by a direct hit from Chanderpaul at cover, was given the benefit of the doubt - when none seemed to exist - by the third umpire, Dave Quested. Cairns went on to bludgeon nine fours and two sixes, one an enormous blow over wide long-on off Rose, and passed 2,000 Test runs.

West Indies, batting again, lost their first three wickets for one run, including Lara when he drove recklessly at a half-volley without moving his feet. Ricardo Powell, who collected a duck in his debut innings, tried to hit his way out of trouble and found the boundary with his first six scoring shots in Test cricket before a wild heave cost him his wicket. Almost all the last two sessions of the fourth day were washed out, and, next morning, resuming 38 ahead, West Indies surrendered their last six wickets in 100 minutes. Cairns ended Griffith's two-and-a-half-hour stay when he went round the wicket and, after Jacobs was needlessly run out, his change of pace confounded the tail. Vettori kept the other end tight by bowling into the bowlers' footmarks. Adams was last out, top-edging a hook to give Cairns the third-best Test figures for New Zealand after Sir Richard Hadlee's nine for 52 against Australia at Brisbane in 1985-86 and seven for 23 against India at Wellington in 1975-76. New Zealand needed only 15 overs to reach their target, though Horne had a finger broken by Rose in that time.

Lara confessed afterwards that his side had been complacent after the first day. "We came out on the second day and took things for granted. We sat back on our laurels and just waited for the Test to take its course. I take full responsibility for what happened out there and was very disappointed in myself." Coach Richards admitted that the New Zealand bowlers used the pitch conditions much better than the West Indians.

Man of the Match: C. L. Cairns.

© John Wisden & Co