Australia vs New Zealand 1st Match Benson & Hedges World Series Cup 1986 Article

Read the article of Australia vs New Zealand 1st Match Benson & Hedges World Series Cup 1986 - Benson & Hedges World Series Cup one-day international tournament of the 1st ODI match played between New Zealand and Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne in 09th January 1986.

Rain-stopped the play after atleast Martin Crowe star with 57-ball 71 in the opening match of a Benson and Hedges World Series Cup.

New Zealand scored 161-7 in 29 overs with top scorer by Martin Crowe cracked a 71 off 57-balls including 4-fours with strike rate of 124.56.

Jeremy Coney scored 24 off 32-balls including a boundary and Bruce Edgar 17.

Australia best bowler by Simon Davis and Dave Gilbert both took 2-wickets and one for Steve Waugh - Craig McDermott.

This match reported by Mike Coward (Third Party Reference from SMH)

It was a matter of the storm, the tempest and another storm at the Melbourne Cricket Ground last night.

In the end, the Benson and Hedges World Series Cup match between Australia and New Zealand had to be abandoned because of rain.

But not before a patient crowd of 39,023, armed with windcheaters, waterproofs and umbrellas, had survived the tempest, the thrilling batting by New Zealand's emerging champion, Martin Crowe.

Crowe played with exceptional maturity and nous for a 23-year-old making his 21st appearance in a limited-over international. At no stage did he play recklessly or try to blast his runs.

Instead he cleverly used the vast spaces of the MCG, always placing the ball precisely and running hard.

Indeed, he was in a lather of sweat throughout his 83-minute innings for 71, from just 57 balls, which lifted his aggregate of runs in this form of cricket past 1,000.

Given the need to score at a frantic rate, not to mention the dampness in the air and underfoot, his innings was quite exceptional.

Over the years, very few players have been consistently successful at making the transition from the pure form of the game to the condensed variety.

Viv Richards, David Gower and Allan Border are the most notable exceptions to the rule and Crowe demonstrated last night that he may soon be bracketed with them.

But for his memorable solo, it was a most disappointing affair. The first rain came after just 11 minutes and 2.4 overs of the match when New Zealand, having been sent in to bat by Allan Border, had gathered a solitary single.

After a three-hour break when the MCG ground staff worked frantically and impressively in the hope of a resumption, the referee, Mr Bob Parish, reduced the match to a 31-over contest.

The Australians failed to bowl their quota and New Zealand, with a minimum of fuss, reached 7-161 from 29 overs.

Just as undefeated batsmen Bruce Blair and Ervin McSweeney were leaving the ground, the rain started again and at 9.08 pm Mr Parish was compelled to abandon the game.

Each team takes a point from the match and the $5,000 prize money will jackpot and double the purse on offer when the teams next meet, in Sydney on Tuesday.

However the Australians must first play India at Brisbane on Sunday. On Saturday, New Zealand will confront India at the Gabba.

Crowe's innings was a gem in the context of the one-day game. He played intelligently, shrewdly throughout, again placing the Australian fieldsmen under extreme pressure.

He hit just four boundaries but constantly wrong-footed the Australians by taking 19 singles and 18 twos.



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