Record Book – The lowest total by a Test nation in the Champions Trophy

  New Zealand and Bangladesh, fresh from playing each other in the tri-series in Ireland last month, are set to face off in a Champions Trophy match at Cardiff on the coming Friday. This will be the second time that the two teams will meet in the Champions Trophy; the first instance being in the 2002 edition in Sri Lanka.

  The format back then allowed only one of the three teams in each pool to enter the semifinals, and as it turned out, Australia breezed into the final four from Pool 1, courtesy of resounding wins over New Zealand and Bangladesh. The final pool game between the two losing teams, played at Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club Ground on September 23, 2002, was thus reduced to an inconsequential affair.

  New Zealand, looking for consolation after having failed to defend the title they won in 2000, were inserted in to bat on a slow track by Bangladesh’s wicketkeeper-captain Khaled Mashud. Left-arm pacer Manjural Islam provided an early breakthrough for the Tigers, scalping the key wicket of Nathan Astle with the score at 11 in the third over.

  Skipper Stephen Fleming and Matthew Sinclair produced a second-wicket stand of 66 at nearly six an over, before Khaled Mahmud pulled things back with a double strike. The medium pacer first got rid of Fleming, who was looking composed on 31, and then had Lou Vincent caught behind in his next over. New Zealand were now 79/3 in the 16th over and needed someone to play a long innings.

         Scott Styris plays a shot during New Zealand’s innings as Bangladesh captain Khaled Mashud looks on (source – gettyimages/icc-cricket.com)

  Sinclair held fort, but the Bangladeshi bowlers ensured that runs were not easy to come by. The fourth-wicket partnership between Sinclair and Scott Styris had progressed to 40, when the latter was caught short of his crease for a promising 26. This setback further dented the run rate, and even though Sinclair and Chris Harris added 48 for the fifth wicket, their stand consumed 85 balls.

  When Sinclair was sixth out for a stodgy 70 from 122 balls to the part-time leg spin of Mohammad Ashraful, who had already dismissed Harris earlier, the scoreboard read 198 in the 45th over. A final flourish from Jacob Oram, who became Ashraful’s third victim, and Daniel Vettori enabled New Zealand to accumulate 46 runs in the last five overs.

  Yet, it was a commendable effort from Bangladesh to restrict their opponents to 244/7. Manjural and Mahmud bowled with control to take two wickets each, while left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique returned tidy figures as well. The 18-year-old Ashraful, who had become Test cricket’s youngest centurion a year earlier, finished with a career-best of 3/26.

  The target was by no means a daunting one, but Bangladesh needed to put in a highly improved effort with the bat compared to the game against Australia – in which they had painstakingly crumbled for 129 in the 46th over – if they harboured hopes of notching a rare victory; they came into this match on the back of 19 consecutive ODI defeats.

       Shane Bond ripped through the Bangladeshi top order to set up a crushing win for New Zealand at the 2002 Champions Trophy (source – espncricinfo.com)

   A 20th defeat on the trot was a foregone conclusion just five overs into the Bangladeshi innings. The top order had absolutely no answer to the express pace of Shane Bond, who was in the thick of things from the first over itself when he had Al Sahariar trapped leg-before for a duck. At the other end, Oram sent back the other opener Javed Omar to leave Bangladesh at 8/2 after two overs.

  The ferocious Bond, backed by Fleming’s attacking field, had figures of 3-0-9-4 at this point. Bangladesh had suffered their lowest ODI total at the same ground just over a month earlier, when they were skittled for 76 by Sri Lanka. At 19/5, a bigger embarrassment was on the cards. The top scorer of the innings was Tushar Imran (20), who was sixth out to Oram with the score at 37.

  The last four wickets managed to double the score and also – just – avoid a record ODI low for Bangladesh, but nevertheless, the final outcome made for sorry reading. Kyle Mills and Vettori too chipped in with two wickets apiece, as the Tigers were shot out for 77 in 19.3 overs to concede a 167-run defeat. Bond finished with 4/21 in five overs and was rightly named man of the match.

  Bangladesh’s total of 77 was then the lowest in the Champions Trophy, and till date, remains the lowest by a Test nation in the tournament. In the next edition in 2004, Bangladesh were bowled out for another sub-100 total – 93 against South Africa at Edgbaston. The lowest Champions Trophy total overall is 65 by the United States of America against Australia at Southampton in 2004.

Match Scorecard 

Specials – Best of the Tests: New Zealand v Pakistan

  Pakistan’s 13th Test tour of New Zealand is underway, with the first of two Tests having been played at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch. New Zealand has been a happy hunting ground for Pakistani teams over the years – prior to the start of the ongoing series, they have won ten and lost five of the 29 Tests they have played there.

  Overall, the two sides have met 53 times, with Pakistan winning 24 matches to New Zealand’s eight. New Zealand have won only two series against Pakistan, and the latest of them came 32 years ago. In this post, we relive five of the best Test matches played between the two teams, in chronological order.

Third Test, Dunedin, 1984-85

  Pakistan had beaten New Zealand at home in December 1984, and found themselves southbound for a return series the very next month. New Zealand were up 1-0 coming into this final Test of the rubber at Carisbrook. The second Test at Auckland had seen the debut of Wasim Akram, who would go on to become the most successful visiting bowler in New Zealand.

  Pakistan’s first-innings total of 274 was built around a third-wicket stand of 141 between Qasim Umar (96) and captain Javed Miandad (79). The last eight wickets fell for just 33, with Richard Hadlee (6/51) doing the bulk of the damage. 18-year-old Wasim then showed the first glimpse of his fast bowling prowess, taking 5/56 to help bowl New Zealand out for 220.

  Umar top-scored for the visitors in the second dig as well, compiling  a solid 89 that aided in a recovery from 76/4 to 223. Set 278 to win, New Zealand were in disarray at 23/4 as the top order caved in to Wasim. Martin Crowe (84) and Jeremy Coney staged a remarkable comeback, putting on 157 for the fifth wicket.

  Yet, at 228/8, Pakistan were in pole position to level the series. Coney, who remained unbeaten on a lionhearted 111, and Ewan Chatfield however put paid to the visitors’ hopes – they added 50* to script a two-wicket win for their side. Wasim grabbed 5/72 to return a haul of 10/128 and earned the man of the match award. This remains New Zealand’s only series win at home against Pakistan.

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       Waqar Younis (left) and Wasim Akram combined to bowl Pakistan to a sensational win at Hamilton in 1992-93 (source – wellpitched.com)

Only TestHamilton, 1992-93

  A brilliant exhibition of pace bowling handed Pakistan an extraordinary victory in this one-off Test at Seddon Park. New Zealand started on a bright note – they reduced Pakistan to 12/3 after winning the toss. Skipper Miandad came to the rescue with 92, with the eventual total being a respectable 216. Left-arm pacer Murphy Su’a returned a career-best 5/73.

  In reply, the hosts rode on a sedulous century from opener Mark Greatbatch. He showed great application, batting for seven hours in making 133 – more than half of the team total of 264 – and shared in an opening stand of 108 with Blair Hartland. Wasim and Waqar Younis served an appetiser of what was still to come, by sharing seven wickets between them.

  Bolstered by New Zealand’s valuable lead of 48, Danny Morrison (5/41) jolted the top order early on the third day. Inzamam-ul-Haq rose to the challenge, as he uplifted his team from the pits of 39/5 with a pugnacious 75. His partnership with Rashid Latif, worth 80 for the sixth wicket, carried Pakistan to 174. New Zealand faced a routine target of 127 with more than two days left.

  Wasim ensured that the chase had a dicey start, as he pinched three cheap wickets to leave New Zealand at 39/3 at the end of day three. As the fourth day commenced after a rain delay, Andy Jones and Adam Parore battled to take the score to 65/3 before Younis removed the former. Wasim soon sent Parore back, and suddenly the road to the target was looking arduous.

  From that point onward, it was mayhem – Wasim (5/45) and Waqar (5/22) combined to produce a breathtaking effort, rendering the Kiwis helpless with their combative pace and deadly swing. New Zealand lost 7 for 28 to capitulate to 93 all out; Mr. Extras top-scoring with 22. Waqar, playing his 20th Test, also reached the 100-wicket mark wickets during his spell.

Third Test, Christchurch, 1993-94

  Pakistan had already secured the series after comprehensive wins at Auckland and Wellington. The two Ws – Wasim and Waqar – proved to be New Zealand’s nemeses yet again in the first two Tests, bagging 20 and 11 wickets respectively. However, New Zealand salvaged pride at Lancaster Park, achieving a record five-wicket win early on the final day.

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         Bryan Young (left) and Shane Thomson struck maiden centuries in New Zealand’s highest successful run chase, at Christchurch in 1993-94 (source – odt.co.nz)

  Openers Saeed Anwar (69) and Aamir Sohail (60) laid a strong platform for Pakistan by adding 125 runs, before Basit Ali (103) continued the good work, racing to his first and only Test hundred. The visitors accumulated a robust 344 on the board and New Zealand had their task cut out.

  The hosts were going well at 109/1 with Andrew Jones (81) looking in fine fettle, but Waqar, not for the first time, inspired a collapse that gave Pakistan a first-innings cushion of 144. The ‘Burewala Express’ sped to a return of 6/78. Pakistan themselves folded for 179 on the third day, failing to recover from 53/4 despite Basit’s 67. Morrison took 4/66, extending his match analysis to 8/171.

  New Zealand were thus set 324 to win with more than two days still available. Opener Bryan Young dropped anchor at one end, but Pakistan were firm favourites at 133/4. Shane Thomson came in at number six, and went on to share in a match-winning partnership of 154 with Young. Both ultimately reached their maiden Test hundreds.

  While Young was out for 120, Thomson remained unbeaten on the same score, steering New Zealand to their highest successful Test chase. They played contrasting innings – Young batted for nearly seven hours, soaking the pressure, whereas Thomson struck at 72 runs per 100 balls. The duo adeptly negated the threat of Wasim and Waqar and were successful in denying Pakistan a clean sweep.

First Test, Lahore, 1996-97

  New Zealand began the series with a rare success in Pakistan – they had won only once before in the country, which was also at the Gaddafi Stadium, during their first ever series win in 1969-70. Moreover, they ended a barren run of 15 winless Tests – eight defeats and seven draws – over the last two years.

  Wasim, who was now the captain, missed the match due to a shoulder injury and Saeed Anwar took over in his stead. Lee Germon called correctly, but his team’s batsmen could not cope with the low bounce of the pitch. New Zealand crashed to 83/6 and on to 155 all out, with Waqar and leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed taking four wickets apiece.

  However, towards of the first day, New Zealand were right back in the contest after having reduced the hosts to 37/5. Medium pacer Simon Doull was the wrecker-in-chief as he made short work of the the top order, eventually ending with figures of 5/46. A spunky 59 from Moin Khan revived the innings to an extent and ensured a narrow lead of 36 for his team.

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     Shane Bond dismisses Mohammad Yousuf caught and bowled at Dunedin in 2009-10. New Zealand won by 32 runs (source – wikiwand.com)

  In the second innings, New Zealand were in a worrying position of 101/5 early on the third day. Ahmed was proving to be difficult to negotiate, until Chris Cairns joined Stephen Fleming. They stitched together 141 for the sixth wicket to turn the game. Fleming scored 92*, while Cairns hit 93 at better than a run a ball. When on seven, Cairns was dropped by Inzamam at gully.

  New Zealand were bowled out for 311, with Ahmed taking 6/84 (10/143 in the match). Chasing 276, Pakistan were on the mat at 46/5 by stumps, which became 60/6 on day four. Debutant Mohammad Wasim gave his side some hope, scoring 109* from number seven. But he could not find enough support and Pakistan lost by 44 runs. Dipak Patel took 4/36 while Doull ended with 8/85 in the match.

First Test, Dunedin, 2009-10

  The University Oval witnessed an exciting Test match that had its share of twists and turns. Pakistan’s pace attack had done well to have New Zealand at 211/6, before Brendon McCullum (78) and captain Daniel Vettori (99) took charge with a seventh-wicket stand worth 164. Earlier, Martin Guptill (60) and Ross Taylor put on 117 for the third wicket.

  These efforts enabled New Zealand to swell their total to 429. Pakistan began poorly in reply, slipping to 85/5 courtesy some fine bowling from speedster Shane Bond (5/107). 19-year-old Umar Akmal, who went on to score a breezy 129 on debut, joined forces with his elder brother Kamran (82) and the pair added a vital 176 for the sixth wicket, boosting Pakistan’s total to 332.

  Pakistan’s pacemen delivered timely blows in the second innings as well, and this time there was no lower-order fightback. Only Taylor (59) showed up as New Zealand were bundled out for 153 early on the final day, thus setting up an interesting chase. Mohammad Asif took 4/43, giving himself 8/151 in the match. Pakistan required 251 for victory.

  Bond and Chris Martin had Pakistan at 24/3 before Umar Akmal (75) put his hand up again. He shared in stands of 71 with captain Mohammad Yousuf for the fourth wicket and 66 with Shoaib Malik for the fifth. But at 195/5, he was caught and bowled by Bond (who had a match haul of 8/153 in what was his last Test). The last five wickets fell for just 23, leaving New Zealand victors by 32 runs.

Record Book – The first international tie-breaker

  International Twenty20 was still in its infancy when the West Indies embarked upon a full tour of New Zealand in 2005-06. Until this point, only four T20 internationals had been played – one each in New Zealand, England, South Africa and Australia.

  The tour kicked off with a solitary T20 international played on 16th February, 2006 at Eden Park in Auckland, which was also the venue for the inaugural T20I between New Zealand and Australia in February 2005. In those days before the advent of the ICC World Twenty20, the shortest format of the game was taken no more seriously than an exhibition match.

  Just as against Australia a year earlier, the New Zealanders, led by the astute Stephen Fleming, strode out on the field wearing their retro beige outfits from the 1980’s. The hosts had a mixed record in the two T20Is they had played so far; while they were beaten by 44 runs against Australia, they managed a five-wicket win against South Africa at Johannesburg in October 2005.

  This was the first T20I played by the West Indies, who were captained by Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Surely, this game would have been just a sideshow in the eyes of the tourists, who were seeking a better return than their last visit to the country in 1999-00, when they were blanked in all the matches – 2-0 in the Tests and 5-0 in the ODIs.

  The turnout for the match was close to 23,000 as Fleming inserted the West Indies in after winning the toss. The dangerous Chris Gayle was nipped out early by Shane Bond, caught by Nathan Astle in the fourth over with the score on 14 and the innings never really gained momentum. In the eighth over, the run rate was not even four when Runako Morton fell to Scott Styris to make it 28/2.

  A direct hit from Chris Cairns – who was playing his last international – sent back Dwayne Smith while Darren Ganga hung around for nearly ten overs before being caught by James Franklin off Styris for 26.

  At the halfway mark, the score read a disappointing 54/4. Another run out, that of Wavell Hinds, soon followed as the visitors struggled to 79/5 with just six overs left and a flourish desperately needed.

  Chanderpaul and Dwayne Bravo attempted to force the pace during a sixth-wicket stand of 31, the best of the innings, but the new Zealand bowlers gave little away. Off-spinner Jeetan Patel got rid of Chanderpaul for 26 (joint-highest scorer of the innings along with Ganga) courtesy a catch by Hamish Marshall.

zzv    Lou Vincent dives unsuccesfully in an attempt to run out Darren Ganga in the solitary T20I at Auckland in 2005-06 (source – afp/espncricinfo.com)

  Bravo remained unbeaten on 19 as the West Indies finished at a below-par 126/7 in their 20 overs. Only one six was hit, which came from Ganga’s bat off Styris in the eighth over which fetched 13 runs – the best of the innings. Bond was the pick of the bowlers with an impressive return of 2/15 in the allotted four overs.

  Fleming was dismissed by Jerome Taylor in the second over with score on 14, but Lou Vincent took off at the other end. He dominated a second-wicket stand of 31 – which turned out to be the best of the innings – with Astle before Taylor accounted for the latter. At this stage, the score had moved along nicely to 45/2 in six overs and New Zealand were firmly in the driver’s seat.

  Vincent and Styris added a further 28 for the third wicket before Bravo opened the floodgates with two vital wickets in successive overs. He first castled Styris in his second over (tenth over of the innings) before repeating the dose to Cairns in his next. Cairns scored only two in his last international appearance and walked off to a standing ovation. Bravo went off injured soon after, finishing with 2/16.

  Tight bowling from the medium pacer Smith (2/9 in 3.2 overs) and the slow left-armer Gayle squeezed the run flow. Vincent played one from Smith onto his stumps to be out for 42 off 37 balls, the highest score of the match.

  An over later, Gayle removed Marshall and suddenly the hosts slumped to 88/6 in the 15th over. Wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum could only manage four runs off ten balls before falling to Smith to make it 101/7 with 16 balls remaining.

  An exciting finish was beckoning even as Gayle dismissed Peter Fulton off the third ball of the 19th over. With just two wickets in hand, New Zealand still required 20 to win from only nine balls. Gayle ended the over without much drama and finished with 2/22. The Windies were seemingly favourites. But as we know well by now, T20 is a fickle beast.

  Left-arm pace bowler Ian Bradshaw, who had figures of 3-0-8-0, was rightfully trusted for the final over from which New Zealand needed 16 runs to win. James Franklin took two off the first ball before smashing the next ball, a fuller delivery, for six.

  The hosts were right back in it, now needing eight off four balls. But Bradshaw regained his composure and conceded only two singles and a leg-bye off the next three balls.

  With five runs to win off the final delivery, it was Bond who was on strike. Four to tie, six to win. As it happened, Bradshaw obliged with a full toss which Bond dispatched to the boundary for four. The crowd roared as New Zealand finished at 126/8, with the unbroken partnership between Franklin and Bond yielding 19 handy runs.

  The scores were level and soon it was made known that a tie-breaker called the ‘bowl-out’ would be played in order to declare the winner. The essence of T20 is to ensure that one side walks away victorious after every completed game and the bowl-out was the precursor to the super over, which is now uniformly used to decide tied T20 matches.

zzbonk       Shane Bond hits the stumps as his teammates and opponents look on during the bowl-out at Eden Park (source – afp/espncricinfo.com)

  In its short history since 2003, T20 cricket had seen only two tied matches until this point. The first instance was at the Oval in 2005, when Surrey edged out Warwickshire 4-3 in a Twenty20 Cup quarterfinal. The second was in 2005-06 between Colts and Kurunegala at Colombo. The bowl-out was first used in 1991 in a NatWest Trophy match between Derbyshire and Hertfordshire at Bishops Stortford. 

  The rules of a bowl-out were pretty straightforward – five bowlers from each side deliver two balls each (though there have been instances of one ball each too) at an unguarded wicket and the team with the greater number of successful hits was the winner. If the scores are yet the same, the bowl-out went into sudden death, similar to a penalty shootout in football.

  Coming back to Auckland, New Zealand decided to begin the shootout with Astle, who missed twice. Smith, Patel and Gayle too could not target the stumps in either of their chances.

  Cairns was the next one in and the crowd were undoubtedly hoping for him to hit and bow out in style. However, he too missed twice. When Taylor too shot blanks, the score read 0-0 after three rounds, with twelve successive deliveries failing to hit timber.

  Then came Bond, who followed up his last-ball boundary with a brace of accurate deliveries, both of which hit the wicket. Bradshaw had a chance for redemption after his profligate final over, but he could do no better than his team-mates.

  Finally, Styris hit the winner, sealing a 3-0 result in favour of New Zealand. It was quite a damp end to an otherwise interesting game and many likened the bowl-out to a ‘farce’. Smith was named man of the match for his economical spell. 

  The bowl-out made way for the super over two years later, and coincidentally New Zealand and the West Indies were involved in the first T20 international super over as well, also played at Eden Park in 2008-09.

  This time it was the Windies who clinched the tie-breaker. The two teams then met in another super over at Pallekele in the 2012 World T20, where again the West Indies emerged winners.

  Interestingly, in spite of the provision of a tie-breaker, the end result of the concerned match is officially recorded only as a tie. Neither the bowl-out nor the super over has been used in ODIs till date, although a tied result in a knockout match would change that. In earlier times quite a few tied ODIs were decided on the basis of number of wickets fallen.

  Following this result, the bowl-out was used twice in T20Is. The most well-known instance came in the 2007 World T20, when India pipped Pakistan 3-0 at Durban after both sides ended with 141. Then in 2008, Zimbabwe won 2-0 against Canada at King City after both sides scored 135.

  Presently, the super over is generally resorted to in all tied T20 matches, irrespective of whether it is a knockout match or not. In all, there have been eight tied T20Is till date, the latest one being the aforementioned 2012 World T20 match between New Zealand and West Indies.

Match Scorecard