Kiwis need no extra motivation against Australia
JOHANNESBURG, March 10 (Reuters) - New Zealand cricketers need no extra motivation before any match against Australia as they prepare for Tuesdays World Cup Super Six clash.
Stretching beyond the natural antagonism of a small country playing a larger neighbour, there lies more than a quarter of a centurys resentment on the Kiwis part plus one notorious limited-overs encounter.
In the 1945-6 season, Australia sent a full-strength team across the Tasman. They beat New Zealand by an innings and 103 runs within two days, with Bill "Tiger" OReilly taking five for 14 and three for 19 in his final test.
That test between the trans-Tasman neighbours remained their only meeting until the 1973-4 season when Australia finally hosted a three-match series. In the meantime every other test nation in the world had visited New Zealand and hosted tours by the Kiwis.
New Zealand were well beaten in the first test in 1973 but could have won the second if rain had not intervened with a young Richard Hadlee in full cry.
A return series in the same season was shared 1-1 after Glenn Turner hit a century in each innings at Christchurch to lead New Zealand to a famous victory.
Since then the two nations have met regularly in the test arena, with the honours usually going to Australia.
The history of one-day cricket between the two countries has been altogether more dramatic, given an extra edge by New Zealands determination to put one over their neighbours whenever possible.
Under the composed leadership of Geoff Howarth, with Hadlee providing the cutting edge, New Zealand became a competitive cricketing nation at the start of the 1980s.
Just how competitive became clear in a 1980-1 tri-series between Australia, New Zealand and India.
New Zealand and Australia qualified for the best-of-five final, with the visitors winning the first match in Sydney. For the second in Melbourne, 53,000 watched a gripping contest which came down to New Zealand needing six runs to tie with a ball to bowl.
Australia captain Greg Chappell stared at the new batsman, a former All Black called Brian McKechnie who had once kicked a match-winning penalty against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park, and ordered his brother Trevor to bowl underarm. McKechnie turned away in disgust as the ball ran along the ground towards him and Australia had won a hollow victory.
Over the next 24 hours New Zealand Prime Minister Rob Muldoon condemned Chappells action as "an act of cowardice". Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser said it was contrary to the traditions of the game. Even Chappells brother Ian was critical.
New Zealand have meet Australia five times in the World Cup before Tuesday and each match has been fiercely contested. Australia, the eventual champions, won by three and 17 runs in 1987 and were clear favourites five years later in Auckland.
New Zealands 248 at Eden Park in Auckland seemed well within their reach, when Martin Crowe unveiled his master plan by opening with off-spinner Dipak Patel and following them with a succession of slow-medium bowlers. Australia, caught by surprise, lost by 37 runs.
The Australians prevailed in the 1996 quarter-finals in Madras, but only after another fright when Chris Harris (130) and captain Lee Germon (89) helped post a useful 286 for nine.
Four years ago in Cardiff, it was New Zealands turn again, as Roger Twose and Chris Cairns took their team to victory in a group match over the eventual champions. Cairns, a key player again on Tuesday, hit Shane Warne over the pavilion into the river Taff.
"Australia are a great side, everyone knows that, it goes without saying," Cairns said. "But in the last three World Cups I have been involved in we have got a two-win one-loss record against them. We dont fear them."
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