quote Random Fact: December 13

In the Shell Trophy in New Zealand in February 1990, Canterbury needed 95 runs off two overs to win, Wellington needed two wickets, and if neither of those happened, the match would have finished a draw. If Wellington won, they would take out the championship.

The Wellington coach, John Morrison, came up with a rather unique tactic: leak a lot of runs off the first over so that Canterbury would get agressive and go for it in the second, meaning that they could take the two wickets needed.

They then put in Bert Vance to bowl, who was a national team batsman nearing the end of his career, with the instruction: leak around 70 runs off this over.

He then went on to completely overdo the concept, bowling full tosses from two or three yards over the crease. The over went for…

0nb, 4, 4nb, 4nb, 6nb, 6nb, 4nb, 6nb, 1nb, 4nb, 1nb, 0nb, 6nb, 6nb, 6nb, 6nb, 6nb, 0, 0, 4nb, 0, 1

The umpire called a halt after five legitimate deliveries (he’d probably lost count) and the scoreboard was rendered useless. Though no-one knew it, Canterbury needed 18 for victory…and they nearly got it. They scored 17 off the first five balls, and, not knowing what was going on, blocked the sixth.

The scores were level and the match ended up a draw, and, thanks to some lucky results, Wellington then won the championship.


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