New Zealand Cricket powered by
England tour of New Zealand

Front Page
England Squad
Fantasy Game
Series History
Talking Point

Send to a friend

by Lynn McConnell

New Zealand's achievements on the 1949 tour to England were reflected in the decision that the Test matches on this tour would be four-day affairs. The English had been beaten 4-1 in their Ashes series en route.

Attrition rates through injury meant that Brian Statham flew out to New Zealand to start his Test career and he had his first Test wicket when bowling Bert Sutcliffe for 116 to end a New Zealand second-wicket record partnership with John Reid of 131 runs. Reid scored 50, his third half-century in five Test innings, but his last score above 11 for his next 12 Test innings. Merv Wallace scored 66 which was to be his highest Test score and Hadlee scored 50 with the declaration made at 417/8.

England replied with 550. Trevor Bailey made 134 not out and leg spinner Alex Moir marked his Test debut with six for 155 from 56.3 overs. New Zealand, opening the second innings with Tony MacGibbon and Johnny Hayes were 46 for three when the game ended.

In the second Test, at the Basin Reserve, the New Zealand batsmen had trouble dealing with Doug Wright's brisk leg-spin on a wet track and were all out for 125. Wright's five for 48 included his 100th Test wicket. Only Len Hutton (57) and Freddie Brown (47) made a significant impression on the scoreboard as England made 227.

A middle-order collapse had New Zealand reeling at 105/8 but a solid 60 from Verdun Scott, batting at No 7 and supported by Tom Burtt (31) and Alex Moir (26) saw the side to 189. Roy Tattersall taking six for 44 for England was the pick of the bowlers. Eighty-eight was the target for England, a mark it reached for the loss of four wickets.


New Zealand's cricketers came up against the typhoon that was Frank Tyson in this two Test series against the Ashes-winning Len Hutton-led England side. The first Test was played at Carisbrook in Dunedin and the unfamiliarity of the New Zealanders with a bowler of Tyson's pace was soon obvious.

Geoff Rabone and Bert Sutcliffe proved the only two home batsmen to reach double figures in the first innings, while sharing a second-wicket stand of 60 runs.

Rabone was eventually stumped from Johnny Wardle's bowling for 18 while Sutcliffe went on to score 74 of New Zealand's 125 runs, a graphic example of his dominance of New Zealand's batting at the time.

Tony MacGibbon, John Reid and Harry Cave tied down the English batsmen to have them 209/8 when the declaration was made. Reid took four for 46.

But New Zealand again struggled and when Sutcliffe, who opened the innings this time, was run out for 35, the chances of scoring more were lost. All out for 132, New Zealand had lost nine wickets for 64 runs. England only needed to score 49, a mark it achieved for the loss of Hutton and Peter May's wickets.

New Zealand attempted to strengthen its batting by including Gordon Leggat and Matt Poore, but they departed in Tyson's second over of the first innings. However, Sutcliffe, opening again, and Reid added 63 for the third wicket and then Rabone joined Reid to add 78 runs for the fourth wicket. Reid was eventually out for 73 but again, New Zealand's last five wickets fell for 11 runs.

Johnny Hayes picked up the wickets of Tom Graveney and Peter May while Reid and Cave pinned down the middle-order before Alex Moir did a fine mopping up job to take five for 62 as England were all out for 246. Hopes that New Zealand might yet set a high enough total for England to chase were confounded by the worst of all collapses in New Zealand Test history. The side was dismissed for 26, the lowest score in Test history. Tyson took two for 10, Statham three for nine, Bob Appleyard four for seven and Wardle one for none. And New Zealanders have been waiting ever since for someone to relieve them of the record.


Reeling from a 4-0 loss to Australia in the Ashes, despite having one of the better rated English teams, the side arrived in New Zealand having achieved an outstanding success rate against the 1958 New Zealand team only months before.

Tony Lock who had taken 34 wickets in the five-Test 1958 series at 7.47 loomed as a tough proposition, a fact that was soon borne out, while Tyson was back to add to his earlier successes. Fred Trueman was also along to add to his haul of Test wickets.

At Lancaster Park, Jack Cowie and Eric Tindill achieved the feat of having played and umpired in Test matches while for Tindill he completed the full house having also played Test rugby and refereed it. Peter May dominated the early England scoring with 71 but it was Ted Dexter's 141 that helped the tourists to 374.

New Zealand relied on Bruce Bolton (33) and Reid (40) to get their innings underway but there was only fleeting last wicket support from Ken Hough (31 not out) as New Zealand reached 142. Lock did even better than his average of the home series by taking five 31 while Tyson took three for 23.

Following on, Bolton added another 26 but the main contribution was 56 from John Guy as Lock did the damage again with six for 53. New Zealand was all out for 133, a loss by an innings and 99 runs.

The portents for the second Test, at Eden Park, were not good. A cyclone was forecast for the Auckland area. New Zealand fared better than in the first Test, although only to the tune of 181 runs, including a dominating innings of 61 by Sutcliffe who had said he would be retiring after the match. Ken Hough and Alex Moir picked up three wickets each before rain put an end to the game with England 311/7, Peter May being 124 not out.