The New Zealand cricket team is respected and praised by almost all cricketing fans owing to their gentlemanly behaviour on the field. In the past decade, New Zealand has reached two 50 over World Cup finals and a T20i World Cup final but could not claim the trophy on any occasion. Nevertheless, under Kane Williamson’s captaincy, New Zealand is scaling new heights with every ICC tournament. They won the inaugural World Test Championship in 2021 by defeating India in the finals. To commemorate Blackcaps’ epic rise in the cricketing world, Cricreads has accumulated a list of great moments that define New Zealand in the International sphere.
Top 10 great moments in New Zealand cricket history:
1- ICC KnockOut Trophy, 2000
After playing competitive ODI cricket for over 28 years, New Zealand finally triumphed in an ICC tournament at the KnockOut Trophy in 2000. India posted a massive score of 264 runs on the board in the finals to put Kiwi batters under pressure. However, Fleming’s men had a will of fire in the game and refused to surrender against the Indian bowling unit consisting of Zaheer Khan, Anil Kumble and Venkatesh Prasad. The match went till the last over, and New Zealand ultimately clinched the thriller with 4 wickets and 4 balls to spare. Chris Cairns played a vital unbeaten inning of 102* runs in 113 balls to take New Zealand beyond the finish line.
2- WTC Final, 2021
New Zealand won their second ICC title, too, against India. They played India in the World Test Championship final at Southampton in England. An all-around performance from Kyle Jamieson helped New Zealand etch history in the inaugural World Test Championship. New Zealand cricket team restricted Indians to only 217 in the first innings on the back of a fifer from Jamieson to set the tone for a historic win. Blackcaps gained a lead of 32 runs and wrapped up the 2nd innings of India on 170. They quickly chased the target with 8 wickets to spare to win the WTC final.
3- 2019 World Cup final against England
A final that New Zealand cricket did not lose, but the England cricket team won. Sounds intriguing? In the 2019 50 over World Cup final New Zealand posted 241/8 on the board, and England finished on the same number in their 50 overs to tie the match. A super over between the two teams was held to decide the winner but both England and New Zealand scored 15 runs in the super over to tie the game once more. However, an ICC cricketing law states that in the event of a tie in the super over, the team with the most boundaries in the match is declared the winner. An absurd cricketing law saw New Zealand concede the loss in the finals to end their epic campaign on a tragic note.
4- Nathan Astle’s fastest 200 in Test Cricket
In the first Test of the England tour to New Zealand in 2001, Nathan Astle scored the fastest ever 200 in Test cricket history, a record that still stands. Chasing a mammoth target of 550 runs in the final inning of the Test, Astle went on the offensive to win the Test for Blackcaps. Andy Caddick was bowling in full swing and had dismissed all top three Kiwi batters before Astle marked his presence on the crease. Nathan Astle obliterated Caddick, Hoggard, Giles and Flintoff to reach the milestone of double hundred in just 156 balls. Astle scored 222 off 168 before Hoggard dismissed him to seal the game for England.
5- McCullum’s fastest ever Century in Test Cricket
Brendon McCullum was a force to reckon with in his farewell Test match. When the Aussie attack consisting of Hazlewood, Pattinson and Lyon were running through the New Zealand cricket team batting line-up, McCullum came in with a completely different mindset. He smashed 21 fours and 6 sixes in his 145 off 79 deliveries. He broke Adam Gilchrist’s fastest ever Test hundred record by reaching the milestone in just 54 balls. New Zealand scored 370 in only 65.3 overs in their first innings but lost due to dismal batting performance in 2nd inning.
6- Ajaz Patel’s 10 wickets in a Test Inning
Ajaz Patel became only the third bowler in Test cricket history to dismiss all 10 batters of the opposition in an inning. He joined Jim Laker and Anil Kumble in the coveted list by achieving this historic and rare feat. The New Zealand cricket team has added another glorious page to their remarkable cricketing history through Patel’s 10-fer against India in the New Zealand tour of India in 2021. However, the Blackcaps lost the match by a massive 150 runs due to their dreary batting performance.
7- Guptill’s 237*, Highest ever score in ICC CWC
Martin Guptill, the opener for the New Zealand cricket team, played a blazing knock of 237* in just 163 deliveries to propel New Zealand to 393/6 in 50 overs against West Indies in the 4th quarterfinal of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. His epic inning consisted of 24 fours and 11 massive sixes. Guptill’s 237* is still the highest ever score in World Cup history and will probably remain the same for many years to come. New Zealand comfortably won the match against West Indies by 143 runs to qualify for the semi-final.
8- First ever Test Victory
After 45 Tests, the New Zealand cricket team finally won their first-ever Test by defeating West Indies in the 4th Test of the series in 1956. Kiwis led by John Reid had lost all three previous matches of the series, and no one gave them any chance in the 4th Test against the mighty West Indians. However, New Zealand stunned everyone by setting a target of 268 runs for the Caribbeans and ultimately bowling them out on their lowest ever aTest score of 77 runs up to that date to win the match.
9- Richard Hadlee, the first man to 400 Wickets in Test
Sir Richard Hadlee became the first-ever cricketer in Test history to dismiss 400 batters when he cleaned up Sanjay Manjrekar in the first of India’s tour to New Zealand in 1990. Hadlee created history by removing Majrekar and finishing his career as the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket by picking up 431 wickets in 86 matches. Hadlee also registered two centuries and fifteen half-centuries to his name in his illustrious Test career.
10- Ross Taylor’s epic 290
Ross Taylor, the most underrated batter of his generation, retired recently from cricket. He has played some exceptional knocks for the New Zealand cricket team over many years. He scored a brilliant 290 against Australia at WACA in the 2nd Test of New Zealand’s tour to Australia in 2015. It became the highest-ever score by a visiting batter on Australian soil and helped New Zealand draw a Test in Australia’s fortress Perth.