Everybody is aware of the popular nickname the Blackcaps have – the Underdogs of cricket. But, they are not the underdogs everyone wants to play against. In comparison to other countries, New Zealand plays lesser cricket, but the quality never fades. They are a team that doesn’t have many trophies and won many tournaments but still is a strong side. Currently, the Kiwis are number 1 in the Test and ODI rankings and number 3 in the T20s. Here are 10 of the times when New Zealand put a rest to the “underdog” label and proved to be one of the top dogs in the game:-
10. New Zealand V/S West Indies, 2017
On December 23, 2017, in the second ODI of West Indies tour of New Zealand at Hagley Oval, they decided to bat first. The Kiwis made a decent total of 325/6. In response, the West Indian team had a slow start and soon collapsed, courtesy of Trent Boult. Trent achieved his best bowling figures in the ODIs – 7-34! The West Indies got wrapped up in the 28th over; New Zealand won the match by 204 runs!
9. New Zealand V/S South Africa, 2019
New Zealand and South Africa faced a thrilling match at the ICC World Cup on June 19, 2019. South Africa set the target of 242 runs on the board. The Blackcaps lost an early wicket, but Kane Williamson stepped in to bat. Williamson scored 106* off 138 deliveries, with nine fours and a six. The match had a last-over drama where the Kiwis needed eight runs to win. Williamson hammered a six and a four to lead the team towards a victory by four wickets.
8. New Zealand V/S Sri Lanka, 2019
New Zealand enjoyed one of its most spectacular victories in the ICC World Cup on June 1, 2019. The Blackcaps won the toss in a match against Sri Lanka and elected to bowl first. Then, they restricted the Sri Lankan team to just 136/10! It took 16.1 overs for New Zealand openers to chase the target down. The Kiwis won the match by ten wickets!
7. New Zealand V/S England, 2013
On June 25, 2013, the first T20I of New Zealand tour of England was held at The Oval. Here, England won the toss and put New Zealand to bat. The Kiwis played a fantastic knock and made 201/4. In response, England had a steady start and scored 100 runs in 9.4 overs. But after ten overs, the required run rate slowly shot up. England needed 18 runs in the last over, which they failed to achieve, and the Blackcaps won the match by five runs.
6. New Zealand V/S India, 2020
On February 5, 2020, the first ODI of India tour of New Zealand in Hamilton was held. Batting first, India made a massive total of 347 runs. In response, New Zealand successfully chased down the target. Additionally, Kiwis made it one of the highest targets they had ever chased down. Ross Taylor scored 109* from 84 deliveries, for which he got the title of the ‘Player of the Match.’
5. New Zealand V/S Australia, 2021
New Zealand and Australia starred in a high-scoring thriller on February 25, 2021. In the second T20I, New Zealand batted first and put on 219/7 on the board. This was courtesy of Martin Guptill’s knock of 97 runs from just 50 deliveries! Kane Williamson’s 53(35) and James Neesham’s 45*(16) also helped the Kiwis with the high total. In reply, Australia failed to chase down the target, and the Blackcaps won the match by four runs.
4. New Zealand V/S West Indies, 2018
In the third T20I of the West Indies tour of New Zealand 2018, New Zealand registered their biggest winning margin in T20Is! Batting first, the Kiwis made 243 runs, their highest total in the T20 format. This was with the help of Colin Munro’s magnificent 104 from 53 deliveries. On the other hand, West Indies’ both openers got out on a duck. Soon their batting order slid down, and they got bowled out at 124 runs. New Zealand won the game by 119 runs!
3. New Zealand V/S England, 2015
On June 12, 2015, the second ODI of New Zealand tour of England was held. New Zealand stunned everyone with their impressive aggressive total of 398! The Blackcaps batted first and scored 398/5, their highest total in ODIs. This was courtesy of Ross Taylor’s unbeaten knock of 119(96) and Kane Williamson’s 93(88). England was 338/7 at the end of the 43rd over, and the game was halted due to rain. England required 34 off 13 balls (D/L) to win. But they failed to do so, and the Kiwis rightfully won by 13 runs (D/L).
2. New Zealand V/S India, 2019
In the first semi-final of ICC World Cup 2019, New Zealand and India clashed in an epic game. It was an epic match where New Zealand proved people who labeled them as “underdogs” wrong! Batting first, New Zealand gave India the target of 240. Ross Taylor contributed the most with a composed knock of 74 runs. In response, India only managed to score 221 runs. Hence, New Zealand won the match by 18 runs and entered the finals.
1. New Zealand V/S India, 2021
The first World Test Championship final was played between New Zealand and India in South Hampton in 2021. New Zealand won the game despite the interference of rain. India scored 217 runs in their first innings, while New Zealand scored 249 runs, giving them a 32-run lead. In the second innings, India managed 170 runs and set a target of 139 runs. The Blackcaps calmly chased down the target to win by eight wickets. Hence, they won their first ICC trophy in 21 years!