New Zealand's tightest test cricket victories

Doug Bracewell celebrates taking the wicket of Nathan Lyon to complete the Black Caps' dramatic 7-run victory over ...
REUTERS

Doug Bracewell celebrates taking the wicket of Nathan Lyon to complete the Black Caps' dramatic 7-run victory over Australia in Hobart in 2011.

   

 

In summers to come a cursory glance at the Black Caps 138-run winning margin in the second and final test victory over Pakistan at Seddon Park on Tuesday probably masks the dramatic closing session on day five when nine wickets tumbled, the last with dark clouds threatening.

Michael Holding splays the stumps, though not in his usual manner, after a debatable umpiring decision goes against the ...
SOUTHLAND TIMES

Michael Holding splays the stumps, though not in his usual manner, after a debatable umpiring decision goes against the West Indies at Carisbrook in 1980.

Pakistan were nine overs from salvaging a draw and avoiding a series sweep, although they were destined to drop to No.4 on the test rankings regardless.

Understandably there were joyous scenes in the middle as the Black Caps celebrated en masse and a smattering of supporters in the stands or on and the grassed embankments reflected on an unlikely sequence of events.

But, where does New Zealand's 87th test victory rate in comparison to other spine-tingling marches - or stumbles - to glory?

Man of the match Shane Bond leads the Blacks Caps from Eden Park after 5-69 was instrumental in New Zealand beating the ...
NZPA

Man of the match Shane Bond leads the Blacks Caps from Eden Park after 5-69 was instrumental in New Zealand beating the West Indies by 27 runs in 2006.

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* Black Caps beat Australia by 7 runs in Hobart, December 2011

Unbelievable scenes at Bellerive Oval as Doug Bracewell propels the Black Caps to their narrowest winning margin - by way of runs - on a dramatic day four in Tasmania. Set at 72-0 chasing 241 when play resumed, Australia comfortably advanced to 159-2 before Bracewell changed the course of the match when he removed Ricky Ponting [16], Michael Clarke [0] and Michael Hussey, also without scoring. Tim Southee chimed in with two wickets but when David Warner - who carried his bat with an unbeaten 123 - and tailender Nathan Lyon added 34 for the last wicket, an Australian escape appeared possible.

Jeremy Coney and Ewen Chatfield combined to build an unlikely match-winning partnership against Pakistan in Dunedin in 1985.
FAIRFAX NZ

Jeremy Coney and Ewen Chatfield combined to build an unlikely match-winning partnership against Pakistan in Dunedin in 1985.

Southee thought he had Lyon lbw when the spinner was on 2, but the dismissal was overturned when replays revealed the ball pitched outside leg. Bracewell ultimately breached Lyon's defences to finish with a career-best 6-40, Warner had to settle for the man of the match award voted on - for the last time - by the Australian public. It was New Zealand's first test victory in Australia for 26 years.

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* Black Caps beat the West Indies by 1 wicket, Dunedin February 1980

An ugly win, and not because the winning run came via a scrambled leg bye by Stephen Boock and fellow tailender Gary Troup. Requiring 104 for victory in the first test of a fractious series, the feared West Indies pace attack had the hosts languishing at 54-7 at Carisbrook before Lance Cairns and Troup added a vital 27. Despite the frantic climax, the contest and remainder of the tour was dominated by the Calypso Kings anger and bewilderment with the local umpires. Michael Holding set the tone when he kicked over the stumps when John Hastie rejected a caught behind appeal against an unruffled John Parker.

Glenn Turner scored a century in each innings to help guide New Zealand to their inaugural test victory over Australia ...
FAIRFAX NZ

Glenn Turner scored a century in each innings to help guide New Zealand to their inaugural test victory over Australia at Lancaster Park in 1974.

* Black Caps beat Pakistan by 2 wickets, Dunedin February 1985.

Yet more anxious moments at Carisbrook as Jeremy Coney and Ewen Chatfield defied a raw Wasim Akram to conjure up a match-winning 50-run stand for what was effectively the last wicket. Tasked with making 278, defeat loomed when the Black Caps were 228-8 after Lance Cairns retired hurt after being sconed by an Akram bumper. Coney and Chatfield then combined to build a remarkable partnership. The future captain was unbeaten on 111 - the most notable of his trio of test hundreds - while Chatfield managed a heroic 21 from 84 deliveries. Akram, two tests into his 104-cap career, fashioned a match analysis of 10-128 - a haul that signalled as arrival as a world-class quick.

* Black Caps beat Zimbabwe by 34 runs, Bulawayo November 2011

The Black Caps lurched perilously close to losing a test to Zimbabwe for the first time before Daniel Vettori and debutant Doug Bracewell came to the rescue and the hosts folded when history beckoned at the Queens Sports Club. New Zealand lost their last five first innings wickets for 26 but still posted 426, a total beyond Zimbabwe. Ross Taylor then declared at 252-8 to set Zimbabwe 331 for victory. Worryingly Zimbabwe were 265-3 at tea on day five but Bracewell's 5-85 and Vettori [3-81] avoided a humiliating experience as Zimbabwe lost 7-66 to negate captain Brendan Taylor's defiant 117.

* Black Caps beat South Africa by 40 runs, Port Elizabeth February 1962

New Zealand were 2-1 down heading into the final match of a five-test series and managed to square the ledger at St George's Park as South Africa regrouped from a collapse to almost cling on for a draw.

Graham Dowling [78] and John Reid [69] helped set South Africa 314 for victory, an assignment that looked beyond the hosts after they crumbled to 193-7. However, the last three wickets added a niggardly 83. Frank Cameron eventually sealed the win with 21 minutes left on the fourth and final afternoon when he had No.11 Harry Bromfield caught by Noel McGregor. Reid also contributed with the outstanding figures of 45-27-44-4.

New Zealand would not win two tests in a series again until they beat test newcomers Sri Lanka 2-0 in 1982-83.

* Black Caps beat West Indies by 27 runs, Auckland March 2006

A Chris Gayle six ultimately counted against the West Indies as they butchered a chase for 291 after the aggressive opener and Daren Ganga produced 148 for the first wicket at Eden Park.

Gayle plonked a Daniel Vettori delivery onto the roof and luckily for New Zealand the replacement was newer than the original and started to reverse swing. Shane Bond removed the middle order with a four-wicket burst after Gayle [82] and Ganga [95] were undone by Nathan Astle's medium pacers.

Bond ended with 5-69 from 27.3 overs; Vettori claimed 3-92 from 35. New Zealand's 60th test victory occurred 50 years to the day after their first - against the West Indies on the same ground.

* Black Caps beat Australia by 5 wickets, Christchurch March 1974

New Zealand's maiden test victory over Australia was inevitably tense, given the history attached to the fixture. Glenn Turner orchestrated the ground-breaking outcome at Lancaster Park by crafting a century in each innings - the first Kiwi batsman to do so. The resilient Turner, who made 101 in the first innings [the next highest score was Ken Wadsworth's 24], then anchored the chase for 228 with an unbeaten 110 from 355 balls.

* Black Caps beat Pakistan by 5 wickets, Christchurch February 1994

Pakistan appeared poised for a 3-0 series sweep when challenging the Black Caps to compile 324 runs to secure a consolation victory at Lancaster Park. New Zealand had never scored more than 278 [ironically against Pakistan in Dunedin in 1985] in the fourth innings to win a test and at 133-4 a new benchmark looked unlikely. However, a 154-run stand between Bryan Young [120] and Shane Thomson - who made an unbeaten 120 - turned the match in New Zealand's favour. Although it was a dramatic transformation, unfortunately four years later the result was tarnished with a Pakistani probe into match fixing determined some players underperformed on that tour. Captain Salim Malik was banned for life, though he successfully appealed. Pace duo Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram were fined.

Is the order right? Any glaring selectorial oversights?

 - Stuff

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