Almanac Cricket History – Australia v New Zealand at Perth


With the Trans-Tasman Test series against New Zealand starting next week, let’s look back at the history of Australia v the Black Caps clashes in Perth. All seven games until now have been played at the WACA ground, so next week sees the beginning of a new era.


The first match was played in December 1980 with Australia claiming a dominant win. Batting first, the Kiwis were rolled for a modest 196 with Jeremy Coney leading the way with 71. Dennis Lillee (5), Len Pascoe (3) and Rodney Hogg (2) shared the wickets. Australia’s modest 265 in reply was highlighted by 91 from Rod Marsh. Reasonably evenly poised, you’d say. NZ were rolled for a paltry 121 in their second dig, Jim Higgs taking the honours with 4/25. Needing only 53 for the win, the Australians cantered to an eight wicket win. Marsh was Man of the Match. You can see the full scoreboard by clicking here.


The teams returned four years later with New Zealand producing an even team effort to run out winners by six wickets. Australia’s opening 203 was hardly ever going to be enough (Hadlee 5/65). NZ got to a handy 299 built around a pair of 70s by Bruce Edgar and Martin Crowe (Lawson 4/79). Batting a second time, Border’s 83 helped the home team to 259 (Hadlee 6/90) but it was never enough. Needing only 164, the visitors shared the effort to win comfortably. Hardly surprisingly, Hadlee’s eleven wickets won him match honours. You can see the full scoreboard by clicking here.


The 1989 clash is best remembered for Mark Greatbatch’s rearguard action to force a draw when all seemed lost. Batting first, Australia amassed 9/521 built on David Boon’s 200 and Dean Jones’ 99. Danny Morrison and Martin Snedden took four wickets each. In reply, the New Zealanders scored only 231 (Greatbatch 76, Crowe 62; Merv Hughes 4/51). Forced to follow on, NZ found themselves in trouble at 2/11, then 3/79 and 4/107. But Man of the Match Greatbatch batted resolutely for 485 minutes to compile an unbeaten 146 to steer the Kiwis to safety at 7/322 off a mammoth 162 overs. It wasn’t pretty to watch but it was gritty Test match cricket. See the full scoreboard here.


They next met in 1993 when Australia posted 398, Ian Healy leading the way with 113*. NZ’s reply of 419 was built around Andrew Jones’ 143 with the wickets shared among the bowlers. Australia then rattled up 1/323 (Mark Taylor 142*, Michael Slater 99) to set the Kiwis an improbable 303 to win. Batting sensibly as a team, NZ reached 4/166 as the match dragged out to a draw. Andrew Jones was Man of the Match. Together with the previous game, it seemed that the WACA was becoming a bit of a road. See the full scoreboard here.


The 1997 clash finally produced a result. New Zealand opened with a modest 217 with Craig McMillan and Chris Cairns both scoring 50s and Shane Warne’s 4/83 the best for the home side. In an even reply, Australia scored 461 (S Waugh 96, M Waugh 86, Healy 85) to take a firm grip on the game. New Zealand folded for just 174 in their second dig (Adam Parore 63, Simon Cook 5/39) to give Australia an innings win. Steve Waugh took match honours. You can see the full scorecard here.


The November 2001 clash was a run-scoring bore, if there can be such a thing. New Zealand belted the ball around the park to amass 9/534, including centuries to Lou Vincent, Stephen Fleming, Nathan Astle and Adam Parore (Brett Lee 4/125). In reply, the Australians reached 351 (Vettori 6/87), best remembered for Warne’s 99 before he was caught off what was later shown to be a no ball. NZ consolidated their position with an evenly spread 9/256 to set the Aussies a total of 440 for victory. Half centuries to Hayden, the Waughs and Gilchrist saw the home side to safety as they reached 7/381 by the end of play but n to before a few nervous moments along the way. Daniel Vettori’s eight wickets was enough to get the nod for Man of the Match ahead of Astle (156* and 40). See the full scorecard here.


The teams met most recently in Perth four years ago in yet another batathon. Australia started with 9/559 (David Warner 253, Usman Khawaja 121) but were outscored as New Zealand plundered 624 (Ross Taylor 290, Kane Williamson 166, Mitchell Starc 4/119). Australia then poured on 7/385 (Steve Smith 138, Adam Voges 119) to set a totally unrealistic target of 321 off minimal overs. NZ reached 2/104 as the game fizzled out altogether. Underwhelming! Ross Taylor was named Man of the Match. See the full scorecard here.


So we’re about due for a result when the teams meet next week. Let’s hope so after this modest set of scores over the past 40 years. With both sides keen to assert their credentials, we should be able to look forward to a good contest.


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.



About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A loyal Queenslander, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. Enjoys travel, coffee and cake, reading, and has been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. One of Footy Almanac's online editors who enjoys the occasional editing opportunity to assist aspiring writers.


  1. Two things stand out from these Tests, Ian: the WACA became an increasingly dull pitch over the years; and New Zealand have more than held their own at a venue you wouldn’t necessarily think they’d enjoy. Hoping for a good one.

  2. Ian yes it does highlight how the so called fearsome waca wicket had fallen away.I remember while frustrated admiring,Mark Greatbatchs fight and concentration.Lou Vincent had been a umpire with the SAAFL and I had performed maggot duties with,Lou on several occasions so I was pumped for Lou making a ton

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Really looking forward to this Test and the series against probably New Zealand’s best (at very least most consistent) Test team ever.

    Was Mark Waugh’s giant six off Daniel Vettori at the WACA in 1997 or 2001?
    Remember the pitch in 1997 having huge cracks in it, well exploited by Simon Cook in his 5 for.

  4. Liam Hauser says

    Mark Waugh’s towering 6 off Daniel Vettori (onto the roof of the Lillee-Marsh Stand) was in 1997. In the same Test, Steve Waugh was in sight of a century when left-arm paceman Shayne O’Connor produced a brilliant yorker which dislodged the middle stump.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers Liam.
    Shayne O’Connor was huge talent, could really bowl, sadly injuries got the better of him.

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