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Ten classic Australia versus New Zealand Test moments

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9th December, 2019
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All of the Australia and New Zealand Test series have had some great moments. Australia has a great record against New Zealand.

The results heavily favour Australia as they were the top side in cricket for quite some time. However, it doesn’t mean there were no great moments from times gone by.

Here are my top ten favourite Australia versus New Zealand Test series moments from previous. Here they are:

1) Hadlee’s 15-wicket haul at the Gabba
One of the all-time fast bowling greats, this was one of Sir Richard Hadlee finest moments. The Kiwi legend bowled one of the greatest spells of fast bowling all time in the 1985-86 Trans-Tasman series.

Hadlee’s accuracy and skill-set were on display that day. In the first innings, Hadlee picked up 9/52, and he took a catch off the one wicket he did not pick up.

He bowled brilliantly in the second innings as well picking up 6/71. Overall, Hadlee, picked up 15/123 as match figures, bowled 52.3 overs, bowled 13 maidens with a match economy rate of 2.23.

The short-run up, economical bowling action and the astonishing accuracy with Hadlee bowled in both innings was too much for the Australian batsmen to handle.

Hadlee could have ended up with ten wickets for the innings but he ended up taking the catch to dismiss Aussie pacer, Geoff Lawson.

New Zealand won the Test by an innings and 41 runs. Hadlee showed his brilliant all-round prowess in this match with a belligerent 54 off 45 balls spanking four fours and three sixes Martin Crowe and John Reid scored beautiful centuries for the New Zealanders in the Test.

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Hadlee is a man of stats, and his match figures are stats that signify serious importance in Hadlee’s legendary career.

2) Warne’s 99
This was one of cricketing great Shane Warne’s more unfortunate moments. Warne made two first class hundreds, but he came so agonisingly close to scoring a maiden Test hundred.

In the Perth Test of the 2001 Trans-Tasman series, Shane Warne helped save Australia from following on. Nathan Astle and Chris Cairns dropped two catches during Warne’s innings.

Warne scored 99 off 157 balls with ten boundaries to his name. On 99, Shane Warne skied a Daniel Vettori delivery in the air and Mark Richardson took a wonderful diving catch.

Richardson took off his hat and bowed to the crowd. Warne was distraught and to add further salt into the wound, the umpire missed Daniel Vettori overstepping the line.

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A young Warnie fan’s reaction to Warne’s dismissal summed up everything. The young fan had a shirt with the words ‘Warnie’s Grouse at Cricket’ on it.

After Warnie was dismissed, the young fan kept furiously smacking his hat on the fence. Fun fact is that there were 49 no-balls bowled in the match. New Zealand spinner, Daniel Vettori bowled 16 of them.

3) The Hobart Test 2011
This Test was a classic. It finished in four days and was tense all the way through.

Batting was extremely difficult at the now Blundstone Arena in Hobart in the second Test of the 2011 Trans-Tasman trophy.

Perth-born Kiwi Batsman Dean Brownlie, top scored for New Zealand in the first innings with 56 off 84 balls. Brownlie’s knock was brilliant considering the next best score in the New Zealand innings was 19 by young gun, Kane Williamson.

The Aussies bowled New Zealand out for only 150 with the innings lasting 45.5 overs. James Pattinson destroyed the Kiwis with his pace and swing.

The Aussie quick picked up 5/51 off his 13.5 overs with three maidens and an economy rate of 3.68 to his name. Australia’s innings didn’t fare much better.

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The Kiwis bowled Australia out for a lowly 136. Doug Bracewell, Chris Martin and a young Trent Boult, who was on debut, all picked up three wickets for the innings. Peter Siddle top scored for the Australians with 36 off 58 balls.

Trent Boult bowls the ball.

Trent Boult (Photo: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

New Zealand went into the second innings with a small, but valuable lead of 14 runs. That small lead would prove instrumental in the latter the stages of the game. New Zealand scored 226 in the second innings with captain Ross Taylor scoring 56 off 169 balls.

Taylor formed a partnership with future superstar, Kane Williamson (34 off 48 balls) of 66 for the fourth wicket.

Some lower order hitting from Trent Boult (21 off 13 balls) proved vital in New Zealand setting up a formidable target of 241 for the Australians to win.

Australia started the chase brilliantly with a 72-run opening stand and a 50-run stand for the second wicket.

At 2/159, with plenty of time left in the game, Australia would have been the odds on favourites to win the Test. What happened next was a batting collapse of epic proportions. Australia lost their last eight wickets for just 74 runs.

The Kiwis bowled Australia out for 233. David Warner played a brilliant innings of 123 from 170 balls. Warner became only the fourth opener to carry his bat through the fourth innings of a Test match.

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The chief destroyer with the ball was Doug Bracewell, who picked up 6/40 off his 16.4 overs. Bracewell bowled brilliantly throughout the match and made life hard for the Aussies. Bracewell picked up match figures of 9/60 off 26.4 overs.

Bracewell bowled seven maidens and went at an economy rate of less than 2.5 for the match. New Zealand went through multiple DRS reviews. The finish was tense.

New Zealand ended up winning a cliffhanger by seven runs. This was the first time New Zealand beat Australia in 18 years and the first time the Kiwis won a Test on Aussie soil since 1985-86.

4) McGrath’s highest score
Glenn McGrath is well-known for his exploits with the ball rather than the bat. However, in the Gabba Test in 2004, Glenn McGrath played his greatest knock.

He scored 61 not out against the Blackcaps. McGrath took his batting seriously during his career. There were reports going around that McGrath was taking batting lessons from Steve Waugh.

McGrath ended up not out on 61 off 92 balls in an innings that lasted 139 minutes. McGrath hit 5 fours and 1 six. McGrath smacked one big six into the Gabba stands off Daniel Vettori much to the astonishment and humour of his teammates.

McGrath built a brilliant partnership with fellow pace bowler, Jason Gillespie. After the match, McGrath got a bat with the words ’61 not out’ written on it.

Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne leave the MCG

Oooh-aaah, nice 61 mate! (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

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5) The first pink ball Test
The location was the Adelaide Oval in November 2015. Kiwi skipper, Brendon McCullum, won the toss and elected to bat first.

New Zealand could only muster 202 and opener Tom Latham, top scored with 50.

Mitchell Starc shared three wickets a piece while Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon bagged two wickets each. On the first day alone, 12 wickets fell, and both teams scored a combined 256 runs from 87.2 overs.

The game was a fast-paced and tense game finishing within three days. Batting was difficult and the top score for the match was 66 from the bat of Peter Nevill in the first innings.

The Australians’ first innings total of 224 was the highest for the match.

A lame Mitchell Starc spanked three fours and two big sixes to give Australia a small but valuable lead of 22 runs heading into New Zealand’s second innings.

The Australian innings had a moment of controversy with Nathan Lyon controversially surviving a Nigel Llong DRS Review.

Nathan Lyon then stitched a valuable ninth wicket partnership with Peter Nevill worth 74 runs. At one stage, Australia was 8-116.

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After Australia were bundled out for 224, New Zealand came for their second innings and never really looked comfortable. Mitchell Santner who was on debut, scored a gallant 45. Other than that innings, the rest of the Kiwi batsmen struggled to deal with the Aussie bowling line-up.

Josh Hazlewood picked up 6-70 and ended up with match figures of 9/136 with seven maidens from 32.1 overs.

Josh Hazlewood of Australia

Josh Hazlewood (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

Australia chasing 187, were in trouble at one stage when David Warner and Steve Smith fell in the space of seven balls. Australia still required a further 120 runs with only six wickets left.

The much maligned Shaun Marsh formed two crucial partnerships of 49 and 46 with Western Australia teammate Adam Voges and younger brother Mitchell Marsh, respectively.

There was a late flurry of wickets as Kiwi left-armer, Trent Boult picked up 5/60.

Eventually, Australia got over the line with Peter Siddle and an injured, Mitchell Starc ensuring Australia won the match. Australia won the match by three wickets and took out the Trans-Tasman Trophy, 2-0.

6) The MCG Test 1987
Possibly, the greatest Test played between the two neighbours and one of the all-time greatest Test matches ever.

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This was the last time New Zealand ever played a Boxing Day or any Test for that matter at the MCG. 32 years on, and the match is remembered fondly by cricket fans.

Australia didn’t win a home series for four Summers and were facing the Kiwis who had the likes of Martin Crowe and Sir Richard Hadlee in their team.

Australia won the first Test at the Gabba by a comfortable nine wickets and the second Test was a draw at Adelaide.

New Zealand had to win to draw the series. Australia just had to make sure they didn’t lose the match. New Zealand made 317 batting first, largely thanks to John Wright’s 99 and Martin Crowe’s 82.

Craig McDermott picked up 5/97. Australia ended up with a 40-run lead after Tony Dodemaide and Peter Sleep scored 50 and 90, respectively.

Sir Richard Hadlee, picked up 5/109 in the first innings and New Zealand replied in the second innings with 286.

Martin Crowe top scored with an exquisite innings of 79. Dodemaide picked up 6/58. Australia came within 17 runs of winning the Test.

David Boon scored a gritty 54. Australia went from 5/209 to 9/230. Sir Richard Hadlee and co. were causing the Aussies serious strife.

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Hadlee bowled the last over and had to either get Mike Whitney or Craig McDermott’s wicket for a Kiwi victory. Mike Whitney, who was a classic no.11 batsman. Craig McDermott was at the non-striker’s end. When Whitney arrived to the crease, Australia needed 20 runs off 18 balls.

Hadlee was desperate to win another match for his country and also overtake Ian Botham’ world record tally for the most wickets in Tests.

Whitney faced the last over of Hadlee and miraculously survived it. Before the last over, there was a moment of controversy when the newcomer, Danny Morrison, trapped Craig McDermott in front. It looked out and the man who mattered the most, umpire Dick French, gave it not out.

This moment happened in the penultimate over. Hadlee bowled a staggering 75 overs in the match and used everything he had to try to dismiss Whitney.

The Kiwi great was agonisingly close to sealing the deal for his team. Whitney blocked out the final ball which was a classic Hadlee yorker and there were scenes of jubilation across the MCG. Whitney and McDermott were pumping their fists in relief.

Australia drew the match and won their first home series in four summers. This match was the beginning of Australia’s re-ascendance to becoming one of cricket’s best teams.

7) Sir Richard Hadlee helps the Kiwis win their first Test series in Australia
This series was Richard Hadlee’s series. The great fast bowler bowled New Zealand to a massive innings and 41 run victory over the Aussies.

Richard Hadlee

Richard Hadlee of New Zealand Credit: Simon Bruty /Allsport

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Australia won the next Test at Sydney by four wickets and New Zealand won the decider by six wickets. The Kiwis made history and won their first and only Test series in Australia.

Hadlee bowled 169.3 overs, 42 maidens and picked up 33 wickets from three Tests at an average of 12.52. Hadlee had a strike rate of 30.82 and an economy rate of 2.37 for the series. He picked up five 5fers and two 10-wicket match hauls in the series.

He also scored a half-century in the first Test at Brisbane. The person with the second-highest number of wickets for the series was Australian leg-spinner, Bob Holland, with 13 wickets. The 20 wicket difference shows how brilliant Hadlee was in that series.

The late New Zealand great, Martin Crowe, led the run-scorers list for the series with 309 runs from five innings at an average of 77.25. Jeremy Coney did a great job captaining New Zealand in that series. Jeremy Coney is the only Kiwi captain to have a winning percentage of 50 per cent against Australia.

Coney has won three Tests, lost one and drew two out of the six Tests that he captained the Kiwis against Australia.

8) The last-wicket partnership at the Gabba
Back in 2004, Australia was at their peak. Ricky Ponting took over the captaincy from the legendary Steve Waugh early in the year.

2004 was the same year when Australia beat India in India for the first time in 35 years. New Zealand came to Australia for a 2-match Test series and three ODIs.

They were without their injury-prone star paceman, Shane Bond. The Blackcaps missed Bond as Australia won the first Test by an innings and 156 runs.

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The Kiwis started off well as they reached 353 batting first, largely thanks to a brilliant 126 not out of 178 balls by the tall, 6 ft. 8 all-rounder, Jacob Oram.

Besides Oram’s knock and a 69 from opening batsman, Matthew Sinclair, there wasn’t much to write about for the Kiwis. Australia hammered the Blackcaps bowlers to all parts.

Michael Clarke joined a rare list of players to have scored tons in their first Test innings both home-and-away with a classy 141 off 200 balls.

Adam Gilchrist scored a brilliant 126 off 151 balls. In typical Gilchrist fashion, he spanked 13 fours and four sixes during his belligerent knock.

Damien Martyn and Ricky Ponting both scored half-centuries, but it was the last wicket pair of Jason Gillespie and Glenn McGrath who stole the show.

As embarrassing as it was for the Kiwis, it was total fun for the viewers at home that day. Jason Gillespie scored 54 off 155 balls and McGrath scored 61 not out.

Both Mark Richardson and Brendon McCullum dropped McGrath. Jason Gillespie did a celebration similar to that of Adam Sandler in Happy Gilmore. This quote from Adam Gilchrist sums up how the Kiwis felt after that innings.

“I asked Stephen Fleming and Daniel Vettori how they felt about McGrath’s innings. Fleming said that they felt exactly as I would have felt if McGrath had done that to me. ‘It doesn’t get any worse’.”

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9) The 2001 Trans-Tasman series
This series ended up being a 0-0 draw, but it was one of the best series I saw as a kid. It had it all. Some brief brilliance with the ball, amazing fielding, wonderful batting, big hitting, drama, close finishes, humour, and intensity.

New Zealand were close to winning the first Test at the Gabba.

Justin Langer had a brilliant run and won the man of the series.

Langer scored 320 runs at an average of 80 throughout the series, including two tons and a fifty all from five innings.

Ricky Ponting had the highest average for the Aussies with an average of 83.67. Other Aussie batsmen to average over 50 for this series were Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Shane Warne.

Ricky Ponting of Australia works the ball to leg

Ricky Ponting. (James Knowler/Getty Images)

Bowling-wise, Brett Lee was the pick of the Aussie bowlers with 14 wickets from three matches including figures of 5/67.

Jason Gillespie was the only other Aussie bowler to average below 30, otherwise the rest of the Aussie bowling attack went at over 60 per wicket.

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For the Kiwis, Nathan Astle had a super series with the bat. Astle scored 322 runs at an average of 80.50 with a ton and a fifty to his name from 5 innings.

Astle scored 20 per cent of the team’s runs during the series. Stephen Fleming, Lou Vincent, and Adam Parore were the only other Kiwi batsmen to average above 45 for the series.

Bowling wise, Dan Vettori was the only bowler for New Zealand to average below 40, picking up 13 wickets at an average of 33.85.

Vettori’s best figures for the series was 6/87 at the WACA. The first Test was entertaining. It did get affected by rain, but the Blackcaps nearly stole a victory at the end of the fifth day’s play.

After Australia posted 486/9 declared, New Zealand Captain Stephen Fleming declared the New Zealand innings after reaching the follow-on target.

Australian captain accepted the challenge and declared the score at 2/84 in Australia’s second innings. New Zealand needed 284 to win. Once the day ended New Zealand were only ten runs away from pulling off an improbable win.

Chris Cairns, Craig McMillan, Nathan Astle, Stephen Fleming and Mark Richardson all played a big part in New Zealand getting close to the target of 284.

If it wasn’t for Brett Lee dismissing Cairns in the penultimate over, New Zealand might have won the match.

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Steve Waugh mentioned that the Chris Cairns mis-hit was the difference between Australia losing and drawing the game. The second Test at Hobart was a rain-affected draw.

The Third Test was a run-fest. It also contained a lot of eff-bombs from players from both sides. For proof fast-forward to 5:30 on Robelinda’s video of the Partnership between Adam Parore and Nathan Astle, where you can hear Parore swearing at someone.

Also, there’s a video of Adam Gilchrist telling Chris Cairns to eff off, much to Cairns’ amusement. New Zealand declared at 534/9.

Nathan Astle and Adam Parore put on a then New Zealand record of 253 runs for the eighth wicket. New Zealand had four centurions including a brilliant ton from debutant Lou Vincent, Stephen Fleming, wicketkeeper, Adam Parore and a classy 156 not out from Astle.

Australia’s bowler’s got pummelled all over the WACA for all 162.5 overs of the New Zealand innings.

Australia were bowled out for 351 with Daniel Vettori picking up six wickets. Vettori bowled beautifully on the WACA and was the pick of the bowlers from both sides for the match.

New Zealand declared their second innings at 256/9 giving Australia a target of 439 to win. Australia ended up being 58 runs short and New Zealand were three wickets away from winning the Test and their first Test series in Australia since 1985.

Half-centuries to Mark Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Australian captain Steve Waugh kept Australia in the chase and helped them salvage a draw.

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The umpires made a few errors through the Test match that went against both sides and there was one decision that went against the Kiwis.

Jason Gillespie was controversially not given out by Zimbabwean umpire, Iain Robinson. Robinson failed to detect a glove down leg side with seven overs left.

Gillespie ended up not out facing 24 balls for just the solitary run. The match ended in a draw and the series a nil-all draw.

The series was entertaining and full of drama. Hopefully this summer’s three-match series will be another entertaining and dramatic series.

10) Eden Park seesaw
In the year 2000, Australia were in the middle of a dominant 16 Test-winning streak. The Eden Park Test of March 2000 between Australia and New Zealand was the closest in terms of runs between the two sides. The match ended in three days, but it was mainly tense for the most of the match.

Australia ended up winning the match by 62 runs but not before a big scare by the Kiwi line up. In a low-scoring affair at, New Zealand bowled Australia out for 214 in the first innings thanks to some brilliant left-arm spin from Daniel Vettori.

The Kiwi left-arm orthodox spinner picked up 5/62 in the first innings. Mark Waugh’s innings of 72 not out ensured Australia at least had a score of over 200 on an Eden Park dust-bowl.

Australia bowled New Zealand out for 163 in their first innings. Glenn McGrath picked up 4/33 off his 11.1 overs.

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New Zealand was 26/4 after the departure of the night watchman, Paul Wiseman, but thanks to the lower order wagging, New Zealand reached 163.

The last four Kiwi batsman scored 73 of the Kiwis 163 first innings runs. New Zealand bowled Australia out for 229 in the third innings of the match.

Daniel Vettori again troubled the Aussies with his flight and spin. Vettori picked up 7/87 and match haul of 12/149. Adam Gilchrist made a valuable 59, and Justin Langer played a gritty knock off 47 to back up his first innings score of 45.

Australia set New Zealand a tricky target of 281. At 4/42, New Zealand was on the brink of a humiliating batting capitulation, when Craig McMillan counter-attacked the Aussies with a brilliant knock of 78.

He had support from Nathan Astle, Chris Cairns and Adam Parore, who scored 35, 20 andamp; 26, respectively. However, once all three of them and McMillan departed with the score at 204/8, the Aussies had the game in the bag and bowled the Kiwis out for 218.

Australian Test Cricketer of the Year for 2001, Colin ‘Funky’ Miller picked up 5/55. When Shane Warne who was struggling to bowl in the second innings, got the last man, Paul Wiseman.

Warne went past the Australian fast bowling great, Dennis Lillee for most Test wickets by an Australian bowler in the last innings.