Tuesday 20 March 2018 / 01:54 AM


New Zealand’s capitulation to India in their ODI decider on Saturday – losing eight wickets for 16 runs to be all out for 79 and go down by 190 runs – sparked a bit of stinging trans-Tasman banter amongst Commentary Box Sports’ staff.

The Black Caps’ humiliating defeat also prompted today’s CBS Top 5, which recalls the lowest totals recorded by New Zealand and Australia in one-day internationals…so which of the arch-rivals went lowest of the low?

5=. 74 – Australia v Sri Lanka, 2013

The most recent entry on this list, a star-studded Australian line-up including David Warner and Michael Clarke were skittled for just 74 by Sri Lanka at the Gabba. No.9 Mitchell Starc (22*) and No.11 Xavier Doherty (15) – the only players to reach double figures – saved the hosts from further embarrassment by putting on 34 for the final wicket. Sri Lanka made tough work of the chase, losing six wickets before reaching the meagre target in the 21st over.

5=. 74 – New Zealand v Pakistan, 1990

In the 1990 Austral-Asia Cup semi-final at Sharjah, nine of the Kiwis’ batsmen made five runs or less as Pakistan speed merchant Waqar Younis went ballistic with 5/20 off nine overs. Mercifully, Andrew Jones made 47 to prevent an all-time low total, but Pakistan still breezed to an eight-wicket win with 34 overs to spare.

5=. 74 – New Zealand v Australia, 1982

NZ’s lowest score against Australia came in their own backyard, wiped out for just 74 at the Basin Reserve in February of 1982 thanks to a Terry Alderman five-for and three wickets to pace spearhead Dennis Lillee. No.8 Richard Hadlee top-scored with just 18. The visitors romped to an eight-wicket win with almost 30 overs to spare to rub salt into the Kiwis’ underarm-inflicted wounds of the previous summer.

4. 73 – New Zealand v Sri Lanka, 2007

The Black Caps recorded their lowest total on home soil in 2007, making just 73 in reply to Sri Lanka’s 6/262 at Eden Park. Blue-chip bowling trio Chaminda Vaas (3/10), Lasith Malinga (3/14) and Muttiah Murilitharan (2/7) did the bulk of the damage, with Craig McMillan (29 not out) and Brendon McCullum (17) the only Kiwis to reach double figures in a dismal day-night effort. The 189-run margin ranked as New Zealand’s heaviest one-day defeat at the time, though it has been eclipsed four times since – including by India on Saturday.

2=. 70 – Australia v New Zealand, 1986

The unwanted record for the lowest total in a trans-Tasman ODI goes to Australia, who were obliterated by 206 runs at Adelaide Oval in 1986. The Kiwis racked up an impressive 7/276, and needed only 26 and a half overs to secure the win. Hadlee was the chief destroyer with 3/14, while wicketkeeper Wayne Phillips (22) was the only Aussie to make more than 10. The result still stands as Australia’s biggest losing margin 30 years on.

2=. 70 – Australia v England, 1977

In the early years of ODI cricket, Australia set a mark for the lowest team total when they were decimated for 70 in reply to England’s 171 at Edgbaston. Greg Chappell (19), Richie Robinson (12) and Ray Bright (17) were the only tourists to make more than 3 as England wrapped up the three-match series.

1. 64 – New Zealand v Pakistan, 1986

And New Zealand takes out the game of ‘How Low Can You Go’! And again Pakistan and the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium proved the Kiwis’ nemesis in a one-sided 1986 Austral-Asia Cup semi. New Zealand’s 64 took a painstaking 35.5 overs, with Evan Gray’s snail-paced 17 from 75 balls the top score. Legendary spinner Abdul Qadir took 4/9 off 10 overs, including the removal of Gray, Brue Blair and Tony Blain in the space of five balls – all bowled. Pakistan stormed to just the sixth 10-wicket win in ODI history.


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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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