Before the 1983 Test series, New Zealand had never managed to win a single Test match in England. Since their first Test match in England in 1929, the Kiwis couldn’t taste victory in a single Test.
The visitors once again got of to a bad start as they were thumped by 189 runs in the first match of the series at the Oval, and this made everyone believe that the Kiwis will go home empty-handed yet again.
However, the Kiwis stunned one an all by beating England by 5 wickets at Leeds, which was their first Test win in England. Batting first, the hosts were bundled out for just 225 runs, courtesy of a seven-star performance from Lance Cairns (7/74) who wrecked the English middle-order.
In reply, New Zealand openers John Wright (93) and Bruce Elgar (84) slammed their respective half-centuries to power Kiwis to 377 runs. Richard Hadlee (75) too played an important role in the end as he too slammed a half century.
In the second innings, David Gower (112*) slammed a majestic century but he ran out of teammates on the other end as England were dismissed for 252 — giving a target of just 103 runs for New Zealand to chase. In the first innings, the hosts couldn’t cope with with Cairns while in the second, Ewen Chatfield broke the English backbone by picking up five wickets.
The match seemed to dead and buried but the Kiwi batsmen made a hash of it as they lost five wickets with just 83 on the board. Bob Willis was the chief architect of this collapse as he picked up all five wickets.
However, his heroics went in vain as the visitors huffed and puffed over the line with just five wickets to spare. This was their first victory on English soil since they first played them in 1929.
However, the Kiwis lost the remaining two Tests convincingly to lose the series 3-1.