New Zealand v Australia
Hagley Oval, Christchurch: 28th February – 3rd March 1995
Australia’s captain Belinda Clark won the toss at Hagley Oval and sent New Zealand in to bat in the one off Test of 94/95. A curious decision given that on the back of 161 not out from Emily Drumm, Sarah Illingworth declared the New Zealand innings closed 9/323.
“I wanted to put some pressure on them to force the pace and get an understanding of their approach to the game. The wicket looked like it had a bit in it so I backed our bowlers to make inroads. Emily Drumm was magnificent and was emerging as a key young player who played aggressively.” – Belinda Clark.
Equally, the New Zealand bowlers struggled against the Australian batting, with Clark scoring 76 before being run out and both Lisa Keightley and Karen Rolton scoring over 40 each in their debuts. Clark tried to force the pace of the game by declaring short of the New Zealand total, 7/251.
“The game was played in a way that both teams were trying to achieve a result which in my view is the best way to approach a Test over 4 days.”
Illingworth responds in kind by declaring at 5/192 with Emily Drumm again the major thorn in Australia’s side by remaining unbeaten on 62 (for a match total of 223*), setting Australia a chase of 265. They gave it a red hot go, with Clark ending 93* out of 3/149. If time were not a factor, Australia would have won the Test.
“We would have won if we had more time. But we didn’t and the game was set up knowing the constraints we both had to comply with. 4 days means you need to make the play to create pressure on your opposition.”
It certainly showed Clark’s intent to push the Test towards a result by the timing of her first innings declaration, but likewise Illingworth. One wonders what might have happened had Clark chosen to bat when she won the toss.
New Zealand 9/323 (Drumm 161*, Broadbent 3-34) and 5/192 (Drumm 62*, Rolton 2-26) drew with Australia 7/251 (Clark 76, Keightley 47, Rolton 42) and 3/149 (Clark 93*)