Australia and New Zealand are scheduled to meet in the T20 World Cup final to be staged at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. Both teams will be eager to grab their maiden T20 world title after their fighting performances in the respective semi-finals. New Zealand, who finished second in the group in the Super 12 stage, defeated England in a thriller which was won on the back of heroic knocks from Daryl Mitchell and James Neesham. Australia, on the other hand, inflicted a shock upset when Matthew Wade hit three consecutive sixes to derail Pakistan’s bid to reach the final.
AFP Sport looks at three memorable cricket clashes between the two neighbours:
New Zealand beat Australia by five wickets
For nearly 30 years, New Zealand were simply ignored by Australia, who didn’t consider them worthy opponents.
That changed in the 1970s and most specifically in 1974 when, with star batsman Glenn Turner making a hundred in each innings, New Zealand recorded their maiden Test victory over Australia with a five-wicket win at Christchurch’s Lancaster Park.
Australia beat New Zealand by six runs
The scoreline may not jog many memories but the word ‘underarm’ will surely will.
What might have been a forgettable third final of the one-day series produced one of the most controversial finishes of all-time when, with New Zealand needing six to tie off the last ball, Australia captain Greg Chappell instructed younger brother Trevor to role the ball underarm along the ground.
Angry New Zealand tailender Brian McKechnie, who was on strike, threw his bat away in disgust and Greg Chappell’s decision brought forth a torrent of criticism.
New Zealand’s then Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon, said the delivery was “an act of true cowardice and I consider it appropriate that the Australian team were wearing yellow”.
Meanwhile former Australia captain Ian Chappell, Greg and Ian’s older brother, said: “Fair dinkum, Greg. How much pride do you sacrifice to win $A35,000?”
New Zealand beat Australia by one wicket
The 2015 World Cup pool clash at Eden Park was one of the best matches in the event’s history.
It seemed New Zealand had the match all but won after they shot out Australia for just 151, with left-arm paceman Trent Boult taking five for 27.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum then launched the Black Caps’ reply with a typically dashing 50.
But Australia left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc rocked New Zealand with a superb haul of six for 28 and was on a hat-trick when the Black Caps lost their ninth wicket only for last man Boult to survive the next two balls.
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson (45 not out) won the match when he drove the first ball of the next over, from Pat Cummins, for six.
The two teams were to meet again in the final in Melbourne but the showpiece turned into a non-event.
New Zealand were bowled out for just 183 with Australia reaching their target in the 34th over for the loss of three wickets.
Topics mentioned in this article