Ask The Spider #96

How many overseas Tests have New Zealand actually won? Excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

Excluding Zimbabwe completely, just 17; excluding them only after they ceased to be a serious Test competitor, 20. The sequence begun with the series which finally established them as a serious Test competitor, in South Africa in 1961/62, where they won twice to earn a two-two draw; they won another one in each country on their visit to the subcontinent in 1969/70; they then went through the entire 1970s without winning one; then 7 in the mini golden age between 1983 and 1988/89; a couple in the first half of the 1990s (including 1 against Zimbabwe); then another 5 (plus a couple against Zimbabwe if you wish to take notice of that or not) between 1996/97 and 2002. They have not won away, outside Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, since beating West Indies at Kensington Oval in 2002.

What is the country-by-country breakdown of that?

South Africa – 3
India – 2
Pakistan – 2
England – 4
Sri Lanka – 3
Australia – 2
West Indies – 1
Zimbabwe – 3 in the time they were a serious competitor

And how many times have they won more than one per series?

The aforementioned South Africa 1961/62 series; the 1983/84 series in Sri Lanka; the famous 1985/86 series in Australia; and the almost equally famous 1999 one in England. Soon after they managed a two-nil whitewash of Zimbabwe in 2000/01.

When did the system of Match Referees start and who was the first to sit at a Test match?

It was introduced in the 1991/92 season, and consequently the first match to feature a Referee was the opener of the Australia vs. India series at The ‘Gabba. The man in the hotseat was former England captain MJK Smith.

What is the average scoring-rate in ODIs involving only substandard sides?

In 116 ODIs involving competition between Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Canada, East Africa, Hong Kong, Ireland, Kenya, Namibia, Holland, Scotland, UAE and USA so far as of this column, the average rate has been 4.65-an-over.

And for serious sides against non-serious ones?

For Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies against the above teams, 262 games so far have produced a rate of 5.47-an-over.

And non-serious ones against serious ones?

For the inverse of the above in the same 262 games, the average rate has been 3.83-an-over.

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