Top 5 bowling performances by Sir Richard Hadlee in Test cricket

One of the greatest all-rounders the game has seen
Neelabhra Roy

Sir Richard Hadlee is considered to be one of the greatest all-rounders in the history of the game and perhaps the greatest all-rounder produced by New Zealand. Predominantly a bowling all-rounder, Hadlee was part of the legendary quartet of all-rounders including Imran Khan, Kapil Dev and Sir Ian Botham that mesmerized the spectators through their all-round cricket.In an international career lasting 17 years, Hadlee took 431 test wickets which is the highest for a New Zealander and at one time was the highest in the world at an average of 22.29 and 158 ODI wickets at an average of 21.56. He also played a number of brilliant knocks with the bat, scoring 3124 test runs at an average of 27.16 and 1751 ODI runs at an average of 21.61. Hadlee entertained the spectators with a number of brilliant performances for New Zealand throughout his playing career and here is a list of five of his best bowling performances in Test cricket.

#5 11-155 vs Australia at Perth, 1985

Hadlee’s brilliant bowling helped New Zealand win the test match and the series against Australia

It was the third test of the Trans-Tasman trophy between Australia and New Zealand and both the hosts and the visitors had everything to play for. The series was tied at 1-1 after New Zealand won the opening test and Australia won the second test. New Zealand captain Jeremy Coney won the toss and put Allan Border’s Australian side to bat first. The New Zealand bowling spearheaded by Richard Hadlee who had already taken 22 wickets in the series did not allow the Australian batsmen to stand in the crease for too long and bowled the hosts out for 203. Hadlee returned with figures of 5-65 in the first innings, taking the crucial wickets of David Boon and captain Allan Border.The visitors scored 299 in their first innings thanks to centuries from Martin Crowe and Bruce Edgar and managed to get a lead of 96 runs. Australia had a very poor start to their second innings, losing both their openers with only 28 runs on the scoreboard. Then David Boon and Allan Border began to build a partnership to stabilize the innings. Both batsmen put up a partnership of 81 and were gradually putting pressure on the opposition’s bowling. Just as the partnership began to gain some momentum, Hadlee took center-stage. He dismissed Boon soon after the latter reached his half-century. Soon later, he bowled Border for 83 and this dismissal triggered a collapse. From 195/4, Australia lost their next six wickets for only 64 runs. Hadlee took 6-90 in the second innings, making it 11-155 for the match, his second ten-wicket haul of the series. The Kiwis comfortably chased down the total of 164 in their second innings to clinch the match and the series 2-1. Hadlee was adjudged the Man of the Match for his brilliant performance in the match and was also adjudged the Man of the Series for returning figures of 33-401 throughout the series at an average of 12.15 and an economy rate of 2.37.

#4 11-102 vs West Indies at Dunedin, 1980

Hadlee’s bowling in both innings got the better of the mighty Windies’ batting

It was the opening test of the mighty West Indies’ tour of New Zealand in the 1979-1980. West Indies were without Sir Viv Richards and Andy Roberts but still had the likes of Clive Lloyd, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes and Alvin Kallicharan in addition to Michael Holding and Joel Garner in their bowling attack. Captain Clive Lloyd elected to bat first after winning the toss and West Indies were under pressure right from the beginning as the talismanic Hadlee dismissed the dangerous Gordon Greenidge for just 2 before capturing Lawrence Rowe and Alvin Kallicharan for 1 and a duck respectively to keep the Windies struggling at 4/3.Desmond Haynes and captain Clive Lloyd were looking to destabilize the batting and had put up 68 for the fourth wicket before Hadlee dismissed Lloyd for 24. Hadlee eventually captured five wickets for 34 runs and the visitors were skittled out for 140. New Zealand scored 249 runs in their first innings thanks to half-centuries from Bruce Edgar and Hadlee who scored a swift 51 in the twilight of New Zealand’s innings. Hadlee once again produced a scintillating bowling performance as West Indies were bowled out for 212 with Hadlee taking six wickets for 68. New Zealand were given a target of 104 to chase in the fourth innings and somehow scraped through, winning by one wicket thanks to some crucial lower-order chippings by Hadlee and Lance Cairns.

#3 10-100 vs England at Wellington, 1978

Hadlee’s 6-26 in the second innings helped New Zealand defend a mere 136.

It was the opening test of England’s tour of New-Zealand during the 1977-78 season at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. England captain Geoffrey Boycott won the toss and elected to field first. The Kiwis were bowled out for 228 in the first innings thanks to some brilliant bowling from Chris Old who returned with figures of 6-54. England were off to a decent start and were 108/3 before Hadlee stepped up. Hadlee didn’t allow the English batsmen to stay at the crease for a long time and picked up four wickets for 74 runs as England were bowled out for 215, thus helping New Zealand to a 15-run lead prior to the second innings.However, the second innings was totally disastrous for the New Zealanders as they were skittled out for 123, this time Bob Willis being the architect of New Zealand’s damage. England were given a target of 137 to chase in order to win the match and were expected to comfortably chase down the target. However, they were struggling at 18/3 before Hadlee made things worse for England. He was ripping the English batsmen and eventually helped New Zealand to an astonishing 72-run victory as England were bowled out for 64 and Hadlee took 6-26 in the second innings. A match-winning spell indeed.

#2 11-58 vs India at Wellington, 1976

Hadlee’s 7-23 in the second innings helped New Zealand draw the test series against India at home

India were touring New Zealand in 1976 and had a good outing prior to the third test, having won the first test at Auckland and managing to draw the second test at Christchurch. The third test was held at the Basin Reserve at Wellington and New Zealand were aiming for a win to avoid a series defeat at home. Indian skipper Bishen Singh Bedi won the toss and elected to bat first and had begun well before Hadlee took three wickets in quick succession and India were soon struggling at 101/6. However, a 116-run partnership for the seventh wicket between Brijesh Patel and Syed Kirmani helped India to a total of 220. Hadlee eventually ended with 4-35.Half-centuries from Bevan Congdon, captain Glenn Turner and Mark Burgess helped New Zealand to 334 and were leading by 114 runs prior to India’s second innings. If India had seen a little wind from Hadlee in the first innings, they witnessed a complete tornado in the second innings as Hadlee was dominating the Indian batsmen and India were skittled for 81, giving New Zealand a win by an innings and 33 runs. Hadlee returned with figures of 7-23 in the second innings and this was his career-best bowling figures in an innings for quite some time.

#1 15-123 vs Australia at Brisbane, 1985

Hadlee took his career-best figures of 9-52 against Australia at Brisbane in 1985

It was the opening test of the Trans-Tasman trophy between Australia and New Zealand at Brisbane. New Zealand captain Jeremy Coney won the toss and opted to field first, a decision which completely turned in New Zealand’s favour as the Australian batting couldn’t survive Richard Hadlee’s bowling. Hadlee took a career-best figure of 9-52 as the Australians were bowled out for a paltry 179. The visitors responded brilliantly in their first innings and centuries from John Reid and Martin Crowe along with a swift 54 off 45 deliveries from Hadlee propelled them to 553/7, helping them to a lead of 374, thus forcing the Australians to follow-onAustralia were once again off to a poor start and were struggling at 67/5 before captain Alan Border and Greg Matthews formed a 197-run partnership for the sixth wicket to keep the Australians in the match. Just as Australia were starting to look dangerous, Hadlee ended the partnership by dismissing Matthews for 115 and that was the end of the match for Australia and they were bowled out for 333; Alan Border’s unbeaten 152 going in vain. Hadlee ended the innings with figures of 6-71 and was adjudged the Man of the Match for his brilliant performances with the ball and with the bat.

Edited by Staff Editor


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