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Who would have predicted that: Martin Crowe's opening salvo outfoxes Aussies in 1992 World Cup opener


In our new feature series - Who would have predicted that? – we are looking back at matches where there were big upsets or extraordinary individual performances that turned matches on their head.

It was the tournament's opening clash between the co-hosts of the Benson & Hedges World Cup, New Zealand and Australia, in 1992. Australia, who were out to defend their 1987 title, were tested to the hilt by the Kiwis as they won the match by 37 runs.

"A batsman's footwork needs to be like a boxer's," Martin Crowe always maintained and this is what saw him dominate the Aussies. He went on the back foot for the short-of-length deliveries from Tom Moody and Peter Taylor, and came decisively forward at other occasions as the Aussies ended up bowling far too short to him.

Match Summary

New Zealand 248/6(50 Overs) - Martin Crowe*100 (134), Ken Rutherford57 (71); Craig Mcdermott2/43 (10), Tom Moody1/37 (9)

Australia 211(48.1 Overs) - David Boon100 (133), Steve Waugh38 (34); Gavin Larsen3/30 (10), Rod Latham1/35 (8)

Result - New Zealand won by 37 runs

Co-hosts New Zealand had home advantage for the trans-Tasman battle in Auckland, and in Crowe they had not only a batsman in form, but also a captain willing to think outside the box.

John Wright was bowled off the first ball of the tournament, and the Black Caps were soon 13 for 2 in the fourth over. The Kiwis then slipped to 53 for three before Crowe, who finished up unbeaten on 100 in a total of 248 for six, and Ken Rutherford added 118 for the fourth wicket.

Crowe continued his tremendous form throughout the tournament and finished as the top scorer, making 456 runs in nine matches with a staggering average of 114.00. 

Fall of wickets: 1-2 (John Wright, 0.1 ov), 2-13 (Andrew Jones), 3-53 (Rod Latham), 4-171 (Ken Rutherford), 5-191 (Chris Harris), 6-215 (Ian Smith)

New Zealand pulled a surprise with their opening bowling combination, choosing to use spinner Dipak Patel alongside seamer Chris Cairns. The tactic paid off as Patel picked up one for 36 from his 10 overs, and Australia quickly found themselves slipping by the required rate.

David Boon made a century, but his departure sparked a late collapse. The Australian innings subsided to 211, the opening chapter in a miserable campaign that saw them fail to make the semi-finals.

Fall of wickets: 1-62 (Geoff Marsh), 2-92 (Dean Jones), 3-104 (Allan Border), 4-120 (Tom Moody), 5-125 (Mark Waugh), 6-199 (Steve Waugh), 7-200 (David Boon), 8-205 (Craig McDermott), 9-206 (Peter Taylor), 10-211 (Bruce Reid)

New Zealand went on to reach the last four, where they were on the other end of an upset against eventual winners Pakistan.


New Zealand - John Wright, Rod Latham, Andrew Jones, Martin Crowe (c), Ken Rutherford, Chris Harris, Ian Smith (wk), Chris Cairns, Dipak Patel, Gavin Larsen, Willie Watson

Australia - David Boon, Geoff Marsh, Dean Jones, Allan Border (c), Tom Moody, Mark Waugh, Steve Waugh, Ian Healy (wk), Craig McDermott, Peter Taylor, Bruce Reid

Match Summary

Match: New Zealand vs Australia, 1st Match, Benson Hedges World Cup, 1992 

Date: Saturday, February 22, 1992 

Toss: New Zealand won the toss and opt to bat 

Venue: Eden Park, Auckland 

Umpires: Khizer Hayat, David Shepherd 

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