First Test Match

Australia v New Zealand

At Melbourne, December 29, 30, January 1, 2. Australia won by an innings and 25 runs.

New Zealand chose their vice-captain and opening batsman Turner after a three-week absence with a broken right finger without benefit of match practice, an enforced selection after a calamitous run of three defeats before the Test.

Australia won the toss and batted. New Zealand had a cruel setback when Shrimpton and Hastings collided attempting to catch Stackpole from the sixth ball of the game. Stackpole was dropped four times before he reached 50 and went on to hit his seventh Test century.

G.S. Chappell batted magnificently and strong innings by I.M. Chappell, Walters and Gilmour in stifling heat allowed Australia to take a secure grasp of the game.

Turner was struck a glancing blow on his injured hand by Dell and with his team-mates adopting defensive measures, the tourists were soon in difficulties. Only the resourceful Wadsworth attempted to wrest the advantage from Australia with glorious driving.

Young Gilmour, appearing in his first Test for the injured M.H.N. Walker, showed that he could become a Test all-rounder of considerable worth with his valuable contributions.

New Zealand followed on without Turner, whose hand was in a splint again, and they gave a dispirited performance to lose the game with a day and a half remaining.

© John Wisden & Co