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
It was possibly the most confident of all English sides who arrived in New Zealand for their two-Test tour in the aftermath of their famous Ashes series victory in Australia. The side were without fast bowler Jeff Snow and batsman Geoff Boycott. But they were still one of the strongest sides to visit.

That was borne out in the first Test in Christchurch when the team had the rare occurrence of playing the Test with one English umpire, Charlie Elliott who was on a Churchill Fellowship in New Zealand.

New Zealand captain Graham Dowling won the toss at Christchurch in the first Test and decided to bat first. Sixty-five runs later New Zealand's innings was over as Derek Underwood ended up with six for 12 off 11.6 overs. Underwood was a bowler New Zealand was rarely able to fathom and he ended up with six in each innings in this match.

England could score only 231 in their first innings, thanks mainly to a century by Basi; D'Oliveira.

New Zealand's spinners, Hedley Howarth (four for 46) and Mike Shrimpton (three for 35) did best.

New Zealand did better in the second innings by scoring 254, but it wasn't enough to put the pressure back on England. Glenn Turner batted at No 6 in the first innings and No 4 in the second and scored 76 while Bevan Congdon hit 55 and Vic Pollard 34, Bob Cunis 35 and Howarth 25.

Underwood at least had to pay a little more dearly for his six wickets this time, costing 85.

Richard Collinge took two quick wickets, but England were untroubled to take an eight wicket victory.

The second Test, on Eden Park saw England helped significantly by wicket-keeper Alan Knott's for the first Test century of his career. England were all out for 321 and Bob Cunis' tireless bowling effort produced the best figures of his career with six for 76.

Turner and Dowling put on 91 for the opening wicket in New Zealand's reply but lost Congdon on the same score. However, down the order Mark Burgess scored 104 as New Zealand declared at 313/7.

New Zealand rattled the tourists in their second innings as Murray Webb and Collinge got among the top order. It took a defiant innings of 96 by Knott to deny New Zealand the time they needed to seriously challenge for a win in the game. Collinge ended with four for 41 and Cunis three for 52, including bowling Knott four short of a century in each innings.

The game ended in a draw when bad light stopped play on the last afternoon.


Mike Denness' team had walked slap bang into Hurricane Lillee/Thomson before they came to New Zealand but a featherbed pitch greeted them in Auckland and the Englishmen, and one Scotsman, took out all their Australian frustrations on the hapless Kiwis.

Denness scored 181 and Keith Fletcher 216 as the base for a total of 593/6 before the declaration was made. John Parker scored 121, John Morrison and Ken Wadsworth 58 each but New Zealand were unable to avoid the follow on when all out for 326. And in the follow on, Tony Greig took five for 51 although the end of the match is more often recalled for the death of Ewen Chatfield when a bouncer from Peter Lever rebounded off his bat and into his face. However, the New Zealander was revived by English physiotherapist Bernard Thomas and recovered to become a key player for New Zealand over the next 15 years.

The second Test at Lancaster Park was rain affected, although New Zealand did have time to score 342, with Turner out leg before wicket for 98. England replied with 272/2 with Dennis Amiss 164 not out before the end came.


England were suffering in the throes of the reaction to the Packer Circus when arriving for their tour of 1978, but they still had some useful players in their side, including a young all rounder who was sporting a big reputation in Ian Botham. Geoff Boycott captained the side and managed to endear himself with people all around the country for his gauche behaviour.

New Zealand had been untouched by the Packer furore and also had several players in the side who had been making their way through English county cricket. John Wright, Geoff Howarth and John Parker had all played on the county scene. Richard Hadlee was developing greater consistency and the older warhorses Bevan Congdon and Richard Collinge were still going strong.

The first Test at the Basin Reserve saw England ask New Zealand to bat first. They scored 228, thanks mainly to Wright's 55 and Congdon's 44. Chris Old found the wind at the Basin was great for his method of bowling and he took six for 54,

Boycott scored a painstaking 77 as England totalled 215. Bob Willis got right into his work and helped New Zealand to a paltry score of 123. His five for 32, Botham's two for 13 and Hendrick's two for 16, gave England every chance of wrapping up a good victory as they needed only 137 to win.

But then one of the more memorable sessions in New Zealand cricket history occurred as Collinge unleashed a superb ball to bowl Boycott for one. Brian Rose had his arm broken and Hadlee joined Collinge to have England reeling at 38/6. By stumps England were 53/8 and the great day when New Zealand would finally beat England was near. Once early morning drizzle cleared the next day, Hadlee proved the man for the moment and finished with six for 26 and Collinge three for 35 as England were all out for 64 - a figure which remains their lowest against New Zealand.

England batted first in the second Test in Christchurch and must have been wondering if they would ever get on top of the bowling attack when 26/3. However, Graham Roope (50) and Geoff Miller (89) righted the ship and set up Ian Botham for the first of his 14 Test centuries. England totalled 418 to which New Zealand could only reply with 235. Botham achieved the milestone of a century and a five-wicket bag in the same Test when taking five for 73 while Phil Edmonds' left-arm slows resulted in four for 38 from 34 overs.

England rattled on 96/4 before declaring although two famous incidents occurred, firstly the Boycott run out by Botham when Boycott was scoring too slowly, and the Ewen Chatfield run out of Derek Randall at the bowlers' end.

New Zealand were set a target of 280 to win but Willis cut loose and at one stage the home side were 25/5. Some Richard Hadlee defiance in an innings of 39 saw the side up to 105. Willis took four for 14 in seven overs. New Zealand were all out in only 27 overs.

By comparison to the first two Tests, the third, played over six days, was a much more subdued affair. New Zealand scored 315, with Geoff Howard scoring 122 and Botham taking five for 109. England responded with 429 with Clive Radley scoring 158 and Stephen Boock taking five for 67.

New Zealand batted again and when the end came they were 382/8 with Howarth having his second century with 102.