New Zealand's first test cricket victory

13 March 1956

New Zealand players celebrate their first test victory, 1956 (NZ Herald/newspix.co.nz)

New Zealand was already 3–0 down in the series going into the fourth and final test at Eden Park in Auckland. Their West Indies opponents included household names such as Gary Sobers and Everton Weekes, who broke batting records for a New Zealand season.

New captain John Reid won the toss and decided to bat first. His aggressive innings of 84 underpinned a New Zealand total of 255. Then Tony MacGibbon and Harry Cave each took four wickets as the West Indies was dismissed for 145.

New Zealand declared its second innings closed at 157/9, with wicketkeeper Sam Guillen top-scoring with 41. West Indian-born Guillen had played on the Caribbean side’s tour of Australia in 1951–52 before settling in Christchurch.

The West Indies needed 268 for victory in two sessions, but another four-wicket haul by Cave saw them skittled for just 77 as rain threatened. In the last act of the match, Guillen stumped Alf Valentine. After 22 losses and 22 draws in 26 years of test cricket, New Zealand had at last tasted victory.