New Zealand v Australia Test match at the Basin Reserve in 1946. Credit: New Zealand Cricket Museum Collection.

Fifty Years of Rivalry at the Basin Reserve

New Zealand and Australia met ten times in official Test matches at the Basin Reserve in the 50 years between 1946 and 2016. After their huge victory in 1946, with the match not declared to be a Test until two years later, Australia did not play New Zealand in another official Test match for 28 years.

New Zealand Cricket Team versus Australia at the Basin Reserve, March 1946. Credit: New Zealand Cricket Museum Collection

Their second official encounter at the Basin Reserve took place in March 1974 when 1,455 runs were scored for the loss of just 24 wickets. In cold blustery conditions Ian and Greg Chappell scored centuries in each innings, Greg making it a double (247) in the first. New Zealand replied to the visitors’ 511-6 declared with 484 in 169 overs.  Skipper Bevan Congdon made 132 and Brian Hastings 101, these two putting on 229 for the fourth wicket.  Opener Glenn Turner made 79 and John Morrison 66.  Australia then batted for 101 more overs making 460-8 when stumps were drawn.


Despite a very dry summer, the Test scheduled for February 1982 was badly affected by rain and drawn, while that in 1986, also drawn, was notable for Richard Hadlee capturing his 300th Test wicket when he had Aussie captain Allan Border LBW on the first day. Rain washed out the final five sessions with Jeremy Coney on 101* and Richard Hadlee on 72*, these two having added 132 for the seventh wicket in New Zealand’s first innings.


The home side’s only win over Australia at the famous ground occurred in March 1990 when Richard Hadlee took five wickets in the first innings and John Bracewell six in the second to beat Allan Border’s side by nine wickets. Australia only just reached 100 and New Zealand gained a first innings advantage of 92 runs with skipper John Wright being the top scorer. The visitors did better in their second innings, as Border and night-watchman Taylor made half-centuries. John Bracewell had his best Test figures to leave New Zealand needing 178 for victory. Wright again batted positively to see his side home on the final day with he and Andrew Jones adding the final 128 runs in 137 minutes to record an historic win.

Programme for the New Zealand v Australia Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on 1-6 March 1974. Credit: New Zealand Cricket Museum

The 1993 encounter was also affected by rain and drawn after captain Martin Crowe had made 98 for the home side and Danny Morrison had taken 7-89 in Australia’s only innings.

Australia won the 2000 Test by six wickets inside four days with Steve Waugh making 151*, Michael Slater 143 and Shane Warne taking seven wickets. For New Zealand Chris Cairns made his third Test century (109) in the first innings and followed up with 69 in the second.


Rain prevented any play on the first day and allowed very little on the final one in 2005 as New Zealand escaped with a draw after being in some trouble. Damien Martyn (165) and Adam Gilchrist (162) scored heavily for Australia who declared at 570-8 on the third day. They dismissed New Zealand for 244 with only Lou Vincent (63) passing 50 and had the home side 48-3 following on when rain brought an early end.


Ricky Ponting’s side piled up 459-5 declared in 2010 with Michael Clarke (168) and Marcus North (112*) adding 253 for the fifth wicket. New Zealand succumbed for 157 with captain Daniel Vettori’s 46 the top score. Left arm opening bowler Doug Bollinger took 5-28. Following-on opener Tim McIntosh made 83, and Daniel Vettori 77 before Brendon McCullum brought up his fifth Test century in making 104. As Australia chased just 106 to win left-handed opener Philip Hughes made 86* from only 75 balls and the winning runs were scored from the last delivery before the scheduled lunch break on the fifth day.


The Test match in February 2016 against Steve Smith’s team was Henry Nicholls’ first and captain Brendon McCullum’s one hundredth. The visitors lost both their openers early in reply to New Zealand’s 233 before Smith and Usman Khawaja added 126 runs for the third wicket. The left-handed Khawaja completed his century and he and Adam Voges went on to add 168 for the fourth wicket. Voges was eventually out for 239 and Australia led on the first innings by 379 runs. Batting again Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Nicholls and Tim Southee all passed 40 but Australia won by an innings and 53 runs before lunch on the fifth day, ending New Zealand’s unbeaten streak at home going back to March 2012.

Cricket Wellington Day 5 hospitality pass for the Australia v New Zealand Test match on Tuesday 16 February 2016. Credit: New Zealand Cricket Museum Collection
Cricket Wellington Day 5 hospitality pass for the Australia v New Zealand Test match on Tuesday 16 February 2016. Credit: New Zealand Cricket Museum Collection

Photo: New Zealand Cricket Team versus Australia, Basin Reserve 29,30 March 1946... | My eHive

Programme: Australia v New Zealand, Basin Reserve, Wellington, 1946; New Zealand... | My eHive

Photo (Signed): Australian team to New Zealand, 1946; 1946; 2016.20.1 | My eHive

Programme: New Zealand v Australia, Basin Reserve Wellington, March 1,2,3,5,and ... | My eHive

Stump: Signed split stump (in two separate halves) from NZ vs Australia 1st Test... | My eHive

Ticket: Cricket Wellington Day 5 Test match hospitality pass, NZ v AUS, 2015; Cr... | My eHive

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