NEW ZEALAND v ENGLAND - The 1980s
by Lynn McConnell
New Zealand batted first in the opening Test of this series at the Basin Reserve. But the increased experience of the home side was still not as the side slumped to 71/4 as Ian Botham and Bob Willis got among the top order. Jeff Crowe managed the only sizeable score with 52 and New Zealand were dismissed for 219. Botham had five for 59 and Willis three for 37.
Botham and Derek Randall then pulled England out of a similar hole to that inflicted on the New Zealand top order when scoring 138 and 164 respectively in a sixth wicket stand of 232. By the time England were all out, they had scored 463, and the only satisfaction for New Zealand was that Lance Cairns, who took seven for 143, had achieved his 100th Test wicket.
Batting again, New Zealand were much more solid although still far enough behind on the first innings to need to be 250/300 in front of the English to be safe. That goal was achieved thanks to Martin Crowe's maiden Test century and the 174 not out scored by Jeremy Coney. An innings of 64 from No 10 Lance Cairns also helped as New Zealand were all out for 537.
England were 69/0 when play finished.
The second Test was always going to be a lively affair due to the pitch at Lancaster Park. New Zealand won the toss and the first ball from Bob Willis exploded off the pitch and went for four byes over the head of John Wright and wicket-keeper Bob Taylor.
An innings of 99 by Hadlee proved crucial in New Zealand reaching 307. England lost their first wicket before stumps to be one for seven. Rain on the second day threatened to wipe out the entire day's play. But it cleared sufficiently later in the afternoon for 90 minutes of play and the English journalists who opted to go to the movies for the afternoon arrived back at the ground to find carnage had occurred. At one stage England were 47/7 and they were ultimately all out on the third morning for 82. Chatfield had three for 10, Hadlee three for 16 and Cairns three for 35.
England followed on, a famous first against New Zealand. They scored 15 before the first wicket fell and by the end of the innings 10 wickets were to fall for 78 runs. Hadlee had five for 28, Boock three for 25 and Chatfield one for 14 and New Zealand won by an innings and 132 runs.
There was only ever going to be one outcome once New Zealand won the toss in Auckland. New Zealand were going to bat England out of the game, and they did. John Wright, Jeff Crowe and Ian Smith each scored centuries, the latter two their maiden Test tons, and New Zealand totalled 496/9 declared.
England responded with 439 and New Zealand were 11/0 when the Test ended, a series victory to New Zealand 1-0.
In contrast to recent English tours, the side led by Mike Gatting on this occasion were involved in three of the most forgettable Test matches in history.
Both sides were to blame. They couldn't bowl each other out. New Zealand suffered the loss of Richard Hadlee on the first day to a calf strain when everybody in New Zealand was waiting for him to take the Test bowling record from Ian Botham. Hadlee strained a leg muscle and played no further part in the series.
It was left to Chatfield and Martin Snedden to carry the workload by bowling 42 and 33 overs respectively while Danny Morrison took five for 69 from 21.1 overs. England were all out for 319. Graham Dilley got amongst the New Zealand batsmen to take six for 38 as New Zealand were all out for 168.
Chatfield and Snedden proved much more effective in England's second innings to dismiss England for 152 while taking four wickets each.
New Zealand batted again but had not enough time for the chase and the only feature was 54 not out scored by Andrew Jones who was batting with a broken bone in his wrist. The game was drawn.
In the second Test in Auckland New Zealand totalled 301 with John Wright scoring his seventh Test century and Dilley picking up another five New Zealand wickets. England scored 323 in reply with Martyn Moxon joining the 'dismissed on 99' club. Chatfield took four for 37 and John Bracewell three for 88.
New Zealand's second innings was notable for the maiden Test century, scored on debut, by Mark Greatbatch, He finished 107 not out but when the game finished with New Zealand 350/7, the real fireworks were off the field when captain Jeff Crowe was dropped after a horror run of form. His place as captain was taken by John Wright for the third Test in Wellington.
This was a rain-affected affair notable for New Zealand reaching 512/6 before declaring. Martin Crowe scored 143 and Ken Rutherford a maiden Test century of 107 not out.
England were 183/2 when Cyclone Bola which caused severe damage over a wide area of New Zealand forced the abandonment of the last two days.