This article was published in the Herald on March 9, 1992, following New Zealand's five-wicket win over the West Indies at Eden Park in their fifth game of the 1992 Cricket World Cup.
The New Zealand cricketers flew to another famous one-day cricket victory on their magic carpet of an Eden Park pitch yesterday with a commanding win over the West Indies.
Mark Greatbatch started the magical flight with some more of his daredevil acrobatics before his captain, Martin Crowe, piloted the New Zealanders safely home with a superb innings.
The New Zealanders now have the warm comfort of a place in the semifinals in a fortnight, regardless of the result in the remaining three Benson and Hedges World Cup games.
The West Indies - their old armour-plated pride dented, but still intact - must now win their remaining three to survive in a tournament they used to regard as their private property.
They went away probably lamenting that they could only score 203 for seven batting first on a pitch they plainly did not enjoy, the sound in their ears of 29,000 Eden parkers chanting a triumphant chorus of "Kiwi, Kiwi," and probably wondering under what lucky star the New Zealanders, and especially Greatbatch, were born.
Greatbatch plundered 63 runs, in very much the same smash-and-grab style which made his 68 against South Africa the previous weekend at eden park such a pyrotechnical delight.
That time Greatbatch opened the innings with 50 from 50 balls, ended with 68, none fours, three sixes.
Yesterday, in even more outrageous form - he had earlier lingered 10 seconds under perhaps the highest catch even seen at Eden Park; he has a knack for the spectatcular - got his first 50 from 50 balls, ended with 63, seven fours and three more sixes.
But yesterday Crowe played the great innings, 81 not out from 81 balls, holding the team together at a vital stage of the innings and by the end dominating West indian bowlers who for years have required other people to bow the knee.
And there are obviously other outside agencies who must have dabbled a little with the bookies when the odds on New Zealand were 20-to-one, who have the New Zealanders under their care.
After the stormy and steamy blast of Saturday, cricket yesterday seemed a faint hope.
Yet the whole match went through without interruption, although 28,999 got out their worry beads when, in the late afternoon, the grey clouds massed, the temperature dropped 10 degrees, the light became murky and there was the risk that rain would wash out the game, and presnt the West indies with the win.
The 30,000th who cared not about the possibility of rain was Crowe himself, and these days Crowe has himself and his team very much on a confident track.
He won the toss, had West indies bat first, baffled them with Dipak Patel having 10 anaesthetical overs for 19 at the start, yet was quite ruthless when he removed both Gavin Larsen and Rod Latham when their first overs cost 14 runs apiece.
Yet larsen came bravely back when Crowe judged the moment righ and all the other bowlers did their tidy little jobs most effectively - that is until Williw Watson came rather unstitched with his last two overs which read, much to David Williams' benefit, 4, 4, 4, 1, 1, 1, 4, 1, 2, 4, dot, 1.
In contrast, the West indies batting never gained a winning momentum.
Desmond haynes, the great man of one-day batting - and decidely useful in first-class games as well - could not get his timing adjusted to the rather slow pitch.
He took 61 balls for his 22, which shows that the Eden park pitch can turn kings into commoners, and apart from Brian lara and later Ken Arthurton the West Indian batsmen were disappointing.
Lara's theme, for a time, seemed to consist solely of flashing square cuts, but later he and Arthurton realised the virtue of the ones and quickly taken twos.
They could not dawdle, for the New Zealanders again fielded eagerly and well, and thus made their bowlers all the more effective and content.
The West indian bowlers, even the supermen Malcolm Marshall and Curtly Ambrose, were not allowed the same contentment when Greatbatch got his happy hands on the controls.
Greatbatch not only scored runs at an indecent pace, he caused the bowlers' frustration levels to rise to pressure-cooker potency.
Greatbatch's first three fours went aerially over the hands of ppoint, theird man and second slip.
He simply charged Marshall, of all people, and hit him on the up into the lower deck of the West Stand. A bit of a hoick put Anderson Cummins into the long leg crowd, a flying top-edge from Ambrose went hurtling over the fence at third man.
The West Indian bowlers obviously did not regard this as decent treatment, they lost their way for a while and when they came steaming back Crowe was there to hold the fort, and then launch the counter-attack that brought the victory rather more easily than having nine spare balls at the end might indicate.
Crowe was in turn tight on defence, studious in working the singles, determined not to let the initiative slip, yet able every now and then to hot the loose ball for four.
It was a masterly innings, the man gets better with each innings this crowded summer.
In yesterday's mood, Crowe was even better value than Greatbatch - and with Greatbatch in such brilliant devil-may-care form, that takes some doing.
West Indies 203 for 7, 50 overs
Lara 52, Arthurton 40, Harris 2-32
New Zealand 206 for 5, 48.3 overs
Crowe 81, Greatbatch 63, Benjamin 2-34
Man of the match - Crowe