Reuters: New Zealand reacted with understated pride on Tuesday after their young cricket team completed their first test win over Australia in 18 years and first across the Tasman Sea in more than quarter of a century.
The Auckland-based New Zealand Herald splashed the victory celebrations over its the front page with the focus on bowler Doug Bracewell’s match-winning six for 40 in Australia’s second innings.
The fact Bracewell did not win the man-of-the-match award, which was chosen via a mobile-phone poll by Australian-based fans, did not escape attention with former New Zealand cricketers voicing their disbelief at the decision.
“MOM to the losing side...makes sense. I suppose Doug’s spell of 6 of 26 off nine didn’t have an impact,” former New Zealand all rounder Andre Adams said on his Twitter page.
With Monday’s match finishing in time for the early evening news, both major television channels gave the result a prominent place in the opening few minutes of their bulletins.
The tongue-in-cheek sports news show “The Crowd Goes Wild” on Prime television, which is fronted by former New Zealand cricketer Mark Richardson, also led with the victory, with the former opening batsman presenting the item with a large grin.
State-owned Radio New Zealand led with the result in their Morning Report news bulletins on Tuesday before a leadership change in one of the country’s major political parties took over the agenda.
Herald chief sports writer David Leggat said the result meant the Black Caps could now look the Australians in the eye again after 20 years of playing the role of the kow-towed younger brother.
They had “won back respect which had been lost with a lame display in the first test at Brisbane” he wrote in reference to the nine-wicket loss at the Gabba.
Outgoing New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan felt the victory could prove the springboard for a brighter future for the national team, who have struggled to perform consistently at test level for much of the last decade.
“It’s just fantastic. We have got a young team. Ross Taylor is a new captain and he has started off on a great footing,” Vaughan told TVNZ. “To see it done with a young group of players shows this team is going to get better and better.”
Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe echoed Vaughan’s comments and urged the selectors to try to keep the team together for as long as possible.
“Consistency comes from keeping a team together for a long period of time,” Crowe said. “If they can keep this team together for another three or four years there will be a lot more victories.”