Almanac Cricket History – Australia v New Zealand Tests at the SCG


Australia and New Zealand have met only twice at the SCG, most recently some 34 years ago. To date, the scorecard reads a win to Australia and a draw (albeit a very lucky one from an Australian perspective). Here’s how those games unfolded.


The Kiwis batted first in January 1974 and put together a total of 312 after John Parker made 108 and Ken Wadsworth contributed 54 further down the order. (Interesting to note that Dayle Hadlee batted one slot above his more illustrious brother Richard.) Doug Walters’ 4/39 was best with the ball for the Aussies. The home team replied with a meagre 162 of which Ian Chappell (45) and Walters (41) were the best of an ordinary lot. The Hadlee brothers shared seven wickets between them. With no play possible on Day 3, NZ batted briskly when play resumed and totalled 9/305dec at better than four runs per over. John Morrison (117) and Brian Hastings (83) led the way. With Max Walker injured, Greg Chappell opened the bowling and snared three wickets along with Gary Gilmour. Set an imposing 456 to win, Australia were teetering at 2/30 at the end of Day 4 but were saved from likely defeat when the final day was washed out. A moral victory to the Kiwis! You can see the full scorecard here.


The teams renewed hostilities late in 1985 with their line-ups pointing to a change of focus. New Zealand played two spinners (John Bracewell and Stephen Boock) while Australia took in three (Greg Matthews, Ray Bright and Bob Holland). New Zealand batted first again and were in deep trouble at 9/169 before Bracewell and Boock put on a last wicket partnership of 124 (Bracewell 83*, Boock 37) to get them to a respectable 293. Holland’s 47 overs yielded 6/106. Australia replied with a modest 227, Greg Ritchie leading the way with 83 and Matthews chiming in with an even 50. Richard Hadlee with 5/65 was best for NZ. So a handy lead to the visitors with spin likely to play an increasing role as the game rolled on. Batting a second time, the Kiwis were restricted to 193 (Bruce Edgar 52) with Holland (4 wickets), Bright (3) and Matthews (2) leading the way for the bowlers. The Australian target was 260, bigger than it looked in the conditions but an even batting performance saw the home team reach the target for the loss of six wickets. Wayne Phillips (63), David Boon (81), David Hookes (38*) and Matthews (32) all contributed to a good win in the end. Fittingly, John Bracewell (83*, 2/51, 3/91) was Man of the Match. You can see the full scorecard here.


Now let’s see what unfolds at the SCG in the coming days. Will Australia play two spinners and give Mitchell Swepson his debut or will they keep a winning side together to look for a series clean sweep? Will NZ dump the underperforming Michael Santner or go for dual spinners? See you tomorrow.




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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. Luke Reynolds says

    The good old days when you’d pick three spinners at the SCG!

    Sadly this series hasn’t lived up to what I thought it could be, lack of tour games playing a big part. Hoping for a great game to finish the Test summer off.

  2. Wow, three spinners!
    Although Mo was more a batting all-rounder, I guess.

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