Test Match


At Perth, November 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. Drawn. Toss: New Zealand. Wright had no hesitation in putting Australia in to bat on a good, bouncy pitch, but with the temperature near the century mark, his fast bowlers were made to toil by Australian batsmen determined to extend their record of first-innings totals over 400 to nine consecutive matches. After the early loss of Taylor, Boon and Moody, playing in his first Test, added 149 in 192 minutes for the second wicket. The next day saw Boon record his first Test double-hundred, and also the first in seventeen Test matches at Perth. Opening the innings again because Marsh had a broken toe, he batted for 7 hours 31 minutes, faced 327 balls and hit 28 fours. Jones continued the assault on the visiting attack, which never gave up despite being weakened by the absence of New Zealand's own newcomer, Cairns, with a back strain after the first day. Border declared on Jones's dismissal for 99 immediately after a drinks break late on the second day, giving his bowlers three days in which to dismiss New Zealand twice. They almost succeeded and were thwarted only by one of the most valiant rearguard actions in Test history.

Although Wright batted for two and a quarter hours when New Zealand began their reply, the only stand of substance in the first innings was between the left-handed Greatbatch and Martin Crowe, who put on 89 for the third wicket. Greatbatch was three and threequarter hours scoring 76 and Crowe slightly less over his 62, which included ten fours. Hughes, with four for 6 in 24 balls either side of tea, began New Zealand's slump, and from the relative security of 173 for two, they found themselves following on early on the fourth morning. Jeff Crowe had batted 90 minutes for his 7.

In their second innings, New Zealand lost two wickets for 11 runs, Border taking an excellent catch at gully to remove Wright, and at 107 for four a few minutes after the tea interval, they appeared to be heading for defeat. Instead, Greatbatch, in only his seventh Test, saved them. His battling, unbeaten 146 took five minutes under eleven hours, and his stands with Jeff Crowe (155 minutes), Cairns (93 minutes) and finally Snedden (202 minutes) ensured that New Zealand escaped without defeat from a match they had never looked likely to win. Greatbatch was 462 minutes reaching his second Test century, which at the time was the slowest first-class hundred in Australia, and his unbroken partnership of 88 with Snedden was a record for New Zealand's eighth wicket against Australia.

Man of the Match: M. J. Greatbatch. Attendance: 29,607.

Close of play: First day, Australia 296-2 (D. C. Boon 169*, A. R. Border 45*); Second day, New Zealand 25-0 (J. G. Wright 12*. R. H. Vance 4*); Third day, New Zealand 218-8 (M. C. Snedden 7*, D. K. Morrison 0*); Fourth day, New Zealand 168-4 (M. J. Greatbatch 69*, J. J. Crowe 42*).

© John Wisden & Co