First Test 1978/79

Australia v New Zealand

University Oval, Sydney: 12th – 15th January 1979

At the University Oval in Sydney, New Zealand’s wily skipper Trish McKelvey won the toss, elected to bat and the Kiwis batted the same as they did in Wellington in 1974/75: slowly.

The Australian bowlers under new skipper Sharon Tredrea, toiled hard, but without luck, using eight bowlers. New Zealand were eventually all out 254 from 111 overs.

 “Always prepared to try something different to get a breakthrough. Change of bowler, change of line or field placings. They (New Zealand) had pretty good defence, which they used more than attack.” – Tredrea

The new wicket keeper, Julie Stockton, was in the mix immediately as she caught the opener Barb Bevege off the bowling of Tredrea for a duck. She took one more catch, but it was with the bat that the debutant stamped her mark, for she scored a century batting at number three. Her 117 runs included 11 boundaries. Two of the other debutants, Deb Martin (36) and Jill Kennare (20) were also in the runs but it was the lower order batter, Wendy Hills, with 69 not out who second top scored. Tredrea closed the Australian innings slightly in front of the Kiwis, 8/282.

I was always going to declare at a specific time – Julie just happened to be playing her natural game of attack, attack, attack. We knew that they would drag their heels and we had to be the ones to push to game forward for a result.”

In New Zealand’s second innings, it was more of the same, slow batting attacked by every bowling option Tredrea could throw at the Kiwis, but the match ended in a draw with New Zealand all out 256 when stumps were drawn on the final day. This time Tredrea used nine bowlers, one of whom was Stockton, the wicket keeper!

She (Stockton) could bowl pretty good leagues and we had another person in the team, Sharon Fitzsimmons who kept in club cricket at times. New Zealand just played out time.”

New Zealand 254 (Marrett 49, Shankland 46, Weir 3/46, Cook 2/21, Tredrea 2/40) and 256 (Bevege 81, Thompson 3/37, Tredrea 2/20) drew with Aust 282 (Stockton 117, Hills 69, Lord 3/103)