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New Zealand's highest Test partnerships by wicket


New_Zealand_Highest_Test_partnership_by_wicket_CricketNew Zealand's emphatic win by an innings and 65 runs in the first Test against England at Mount Maunganui last month revolved around a game-changing seventh-wicket stand of 261 between wicketkeeper Bradley-John Watling and Mitchell Santner. This created a new New Zealand record for the highest seventh-wicket partnership in Tests, going past the previous mark of 225 achieved by Chris Cairns and Jacob Oram against South Africa at Auckland in 2003-04.

On that note, here is a look at the Black Caps' highest Test partnership for each wicket.

First wicket – 387 by Glenn Turner and Terry Jarvis v West Indies, Georgetown, 1971-72

This was the fourth match of a five-Test series that would end in a 0-0 stalemate. Replying to the West Indies' 365/7, Turner and Jarvis dug in for nine hours to create a new national record for any wicket - the earlier record was 276 by Stewie Dempster and Jackie Mills against England at Wellington in 1929-30, also for the first wicket. Jarvis fell for 182, but Turner proceeded to score a career-best 259. New Zealand ultimately declared at 543/3, with the innings taking 268 overs.

Second wicket – 297 by Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson v Pakistan, Sharjah, 2014-15

Needing a win to square the three-match series, New Zealand stormed to a mammoth 690 – then their highest Test total – after Pakistan had made 351. Captain McCullum led from the front by smashing 11 sixes in a breathtaking 202 from just 188 balls, while Williamson was equally impactful with a typically stylish 192. The pair’s rollicking partnership was constructed in less than 53 overs, and paved the way for the Black Caps’ memorable win by an innings and 80 runs.

Third wicket – 467 by Andrew Jones and Martin Crowe v Sri Lanka, Wellington, 1990-91

Facing a deficit of 323, New Zealand were 148/2 early on the fourth day when skipper Crowe joined Jones. They went on to forge a new world-record stand for any wicket, surpassing the previous figure of 451 achieved on two occasions. They were separated when Jones was out for 186, before Crowe went on to reach 299 – he was caught behind a run short of becoming the first New Zealander to hit a Test triple hundred. New Zealand ended at 671/4, then their highest total.  

Fourth wicket – 271 by Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder v India, Napier, 2008-09

Shortly after winning the toss, New Zealand were wobbling at 23/3 when Taylor and Ryder came together. They put their side in the ascendancy as the day progressed, bettering New Zealand’s fourth-wicket record of 243 between Matt Horne and Nathan Astle against Zimbabwe at Auckland in 1997-98. Taylor was the first to go for 151, while Ryder scored a career-best 201 as New Zealand amassed 619/9. India followed on 314 in arrears, but fought back to save the Test.

Fifth wicket – 222 by Nathan Astle and Craig McMillan v Zimbabwe, Wellington, 2000-01

Zimbabwe started this one-off Test on a bright note, as they reduced the hosts to 67/3 just after lunch. Astle added 78 for the fourth wicket with opener Mark Richardson (75), before being joined by McMillan. The two batsmen played contrasting knocks – Astle (141) batted for over nine hours, while McMillan, who was the dominant partner, struck 142 at a strike rate of 68. It took New Zealand over two days to total 487/7, and not surprisingly, the match ended in a draw.     

Sixth wicket – 365* by Kane Williamson and BJ Watling v Sri Lanka, Wellington, 2014-15

When New Zealand lost their fifth second-innings wicket, they were ahead by only 24. The spunky Watling joined Williamson at this stage, and the pair scripted a remarkable turnaround by stitching a new Test record for the sixth-wicket stand to power the hosts to 524/5 – Williamson batted for over ten hours for his 242*, while Watling, who was also part of the previous-best sixth-wicket stand, was the ideal foil with 142*. Set 390 to win, Sri Lanka were skittled for 196.

Seventh wicket – 261 by BJ Watling and Mitchell Santner v England, Mount Maunganui, 2019-20

Not for the first time, Watling was involved in a record lower-order partnership that turned the match on its head. With New Zealand at 316/6 in response to England’s 353, the Test seemed to be in the balance. But Watling combined with the bespectacled Santner thereafter, en route to a first-class best of 205 for which he batted more than 11 hours. Santner too got his highest first-class score of 126, as New Zealand piled up 615/9, enough to seal an innings win on the last day.  

Eighth wicket – 256 by Stephen Fleming and James Franklin v South Africa, Cape Town, 2005-06

The highlight of a high-scoring draw was captain Fleming’s double century, reached during a New Zealand record stand with fellow left-hander Franklin. South Africa had New Zealand at 279/7 early on the second day, but the eighth wicket proved elusive for the next 71.3 overs, as Fleming (262) and Franklin (126*) steered the total towards 593/8. New Zealand’s previous best eighth-wicket alliance was 253, by Astle and Adam Parore against Australia at Perth in 2001-02.

Ninth wicket – 136 by Ian Smith and Martin Snedden v India, Auckland, 1989-90

Leading the three-match series 1-0, New Zealand struggled to 131/7 after being inserted. Wicketkeeper Smith then came in and put on 103 for the eighth wicket with Richard Hadlee (87). But it was during his ninth-wicket stand with Snedden that Smith went into overdrive, and he was last out at 391 for a whirlwind 173 off 136 balls (still the highest Test score by a number nine). New Zealand ceded a 91-run lead, but racked up 483/5 in the second dig to ensure a draw.       

Tenth wicket – 151 by Brian Hastings and Richard Collinge v Pakistan, Auckland, 1972-73  

New Zealand required a win in order to draw the series, but their hopes dimmed after Pakistan scored 402. In reply, they were still 151 adrift when last man Collinge (68*) joined Hastings (110). The duo ended up registering a world-record tenth-wicket stand that enabled their team to reach 402 as well. This record was equalled in 1997-98 and broken in 2013, while Collinge’s score remained the highest by a number eleven until 2004-05. The match was eventually drawn.

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Rustom Deboo is a cricket aficionado and freelance writer from Mumbai. He is an ardent devotee of T...

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