Flashback: watch Micheal Holding booting the stumps vs New Zealand, stumps flying
In 1980, the intimidating West Indies sailed through the Tasmanian sea after a triumphant Australia tour for a three-match Test series against a young New Zealand side. New Zealand had won one the most scandalous Test series of all time against the most feared bowling attack of West Indies.
New Zealand opening batsman Bruce Edgar remembers his preparations for facing the terrifying four-pronged West Indian bowling attack on February 1980.
“Their fearsome foursome”-Micheal Holding, Joel Garner, Andy Roberts and Colin Croft came to New Zealand with a reputation for speed and intimidation.
“You had to expect a lot of short-pitched bowling, intimidation, and not many opportunities to score,” Edgar says. “I got my mother to help sew up a chest pad because you couldn’t buy them, and I made my own thigh pad and reinforced it with extra foam. The challenge was beating the fear factor, so you could focus on playing as opposed to being scared.”
Training with fellow Wellington and New Zealand player Jeremy Coney at Kilbirnie Park, they set up a bowling machine on the steps to emulate the height 6ft 9in Garner would be bowling from.
These rudimentary preparations must have helped, as New Zealand laid down the welcome mat by narrowly beating the West Indians in the sole one-day match in Christchurch.
The victory wasn’t expected as the visitors had just left Australia, where they had won a test series 2-0, before seizing the one-day World Series Cup.
They had cemented their reputation as the best cricket team on the planet while intimidating and injuring batsmen. But, New Zealand triumphed to seal the series victory with a 1 wicket victory in the first Test at Carisbrook, Dunedin. The last two Tests had produced any result.
One of the most famous cricket images of the match is Micheal Holding kicks stumps down in frustration in the first. “It’s the best sports picture I’ve seen,” West Indian fast bowler Colin Croft said of Owen Jones’ image of Michael Holding booting the stumps at Carisbrook as John Parker looks on. The photo was published around the world.
West Indies batting first collapsed for 140 as Richard Hadlee rattled the famed batting line up with a fifer. In reply New Zealand opener, Bruce Edgar played a fighting 65 run innings that helped New Zealand to score 249 and get 109 runs lead. However, even after Desmond Hynes’s 105 West Indies folded up for 212 in the second innings. New Zealand needed to score 104 to win the Test. Holding, Garner and Colin Croft took wickets in regular interval. Holding took 3 while Garner 4. But, Lance Cairns and Gary Troup’s 27 run 8th wicket partnership put New Zealand close to the victory. However, New Zealand were still four runs to win the match Holding sent Cairns back. A silence, but everybody enthraled by the twist, Stephen Boock, the last man defied the fury of Garner, Holding and Croft to register a memorable 1 wicket victory.
Umpire Jones said he skipped his afternoon tea as he felt something dramatic was going to happen. “It was enthralling,” he recalls. “When Parker hit the ball you could have heard it in the Octagon. I couldn’t understand why he was given not out. Holding started down the pitch with huge strides, and he suddenly sped up and bang!” A New Zealand daily, The Southland Times photographer pressed the shutter, capturing Holding’s impressive follow through, with stumps flying. Jones kept the film separate as he knew he had captured something special. The photo was requested by News of the World, which printed it on its front page. “I was pretty chuffed,” Jones admits. “I still love it. I look at it and think `did I really take that?”‘
Watch the video here: