Australia vs New Zealand Benson & Hedges World Series Cup 1st Final 1983 Article

Read the articles of Australia vs New Zealand Benson & Hedges World Series Cup 1st Final 1983 - Benson & Hedges World Series Cup one-day international tournament of the first final played between New Zealand and Australia at Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney in 09th February 1983.

Bowlers attack before Captain Kim Hughes' brilliant half-century, middle-order batsmen David Hookes and Greg Chappell steers to Australia crushing six-wicket victory over New Zealand and take 1-0 lead in a rain-curtailed game of the best-of-three of the first final of a Benson and Hedges World Series Cup.

NEW ZEALAND scored 193/7 (49 Overs) with top scorer by Jeremy Coney 58 not out (70) and John Wright 36 (86)

Australia best bowler by Geoff Lawson
2/28 (10) and Dennis Lillee 2/35 (10)

AUSTRALIA chased 155/4 (33.1 Overs) with top scorer by Kim Hughes 63 (74), Greg Chappell
21 not out (21) and David Hokees 20 not out (31)

New Zealand best bowler by Ewen Chatfield 3/27 (10) and Lance Cairns 1/27 (8.1)

This match reported by Brian Mossop (Third Party Reference from SMH)

A blazing captain's innings of 63 by Kim Hughes gave Australia first blood and a tentative grip on the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup with a six-wicket win over New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Hughes, 29, was at his brilliant attacking best in an innings that wiped away the memories of a disappointing preliminary series that netted him a sparse 57 runs at a 7.13 average.

But the Australian captain was the first to admit that a 20-minute rain interruption, which reduced the chase after New Zealand's 193-7 to 150 runs off 38 overs, was a blessing for his team.

The first final of the best-of-three series, in front of an animated crowd of 30,527, was not without its share of drama and ended on a high note with Greg Chappell hooking Lance Cairns into the Ladies' Stand for six.

It carried Australia to 152-4 with 29 balls to spare. The teams now move to Melbourne and the second final on Sunday when an Australian win will add the Cup to the Ashes they won against England earlier this season. 

New Zealand. who went into today's match without injured seam bowler Richard Hadlee, were at an added disadvantage when it rained after they had won the toss and batted first.

Hughes agreed that on a wicket favouring seam bowlers it was a good thing for Australia that Hadlee had not played. However, he is expected to play in the next match. Hughes could not hide his delight at his return to form with the bat in an innings liberally sprinkled with sparkling cuts and drives for seven boundaries off 74 balls. 

In a light-hearted moment the ball before Chappell hit the winning six, Cairns bowled an under-arm delivery which umpire Mel Johnson immediately judged to be a dead ball. With Hadlee out of the New Zealand line-up there was far less pressure on the Australians — as long as they didn't allow themselves to fall into the trap of utter relaxation.

Hadlee, a world-class bowler in any conditions, showed on a seaming wicket in Perth last weekend that he can be unplayable at times. The wicket would have suited him.

The New Zealand batsmen did not have an easy time against the ball that moved and cut just enough to induce a note of caution. Temerity is not the stuff of large scores in limited-overs cricket.

It was certainly not a part of the Australian make-up when they began their chase, despite a quick breakthrough by Gary Troup and the fact that the ball seamed far more acutely in the early evening atmosphere.

From the start, however, the New Zealanders were tied down by Geoff Lawson and Rodney Hogg, and only Coney and the 35-year-old John Morrison, in a 15-over fifth-wicket partnership of 85. managed to inject a note of respectability.

It was in the latter stages of the stand that the nerves of the Australians became evident in a brush between Lillee and Hughes.

The innings had been given a boost by Coney and Morrison after four wickets fell for 81 runs in 30 overs - John Wright among them after having twice being dropped at mid-wicket by Steve Smith.

Coney had just cut Lillee to the fence when the speedster beckoned to Hughes and appeared to ask for a field alteration.

Hughes apparently did not agree, and Lillee, not one to keep differences or feelings to himself in the middle, swung his arms in the air in what could well have been a gesture of disgust.

Old wounds are long to heal. But Hughes's most telling reply to the animosity, if indeed it was that, came later with his batting.

Although attention was repeatedly diverted to disturbances on the Hill as the evening wore on, the eyes of most of the crowd were on the middle where Hughes, having recaptured his Ashes form, batted superbly.

The New Zealanders, aided by 36 from Wright, 35 from Morrison and an unbeaten 58 from Coney, might well have posted 200 had they been able to face 50 overs.

Fortuitously, they were deprived of the final over from Chappell, who took 1-37 off nine overs. But the Australians escaped a $1,200 line. Alan Crompton, the match referee, decided they could not be held responsible for a delay while Wright recovered from a blow to the groin.

Crompton had discussed language, interpretation of wide calls and replacement fielders with the captains and umpires before the match began, and arrived at "a happy consensus."

That much was evident in the bowling of the Australians and, later, of the New Zealanders. While the odd ball flew, there was none of the short-pitched variety that was rather too prevalent in Perth when the teams last met. 



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