The 1st Test between Australia and New Zealand in the 1985 series started on 8th November at Gabba in Brisbane. Richard Hadlee was already a fierce bowler and although he started the route on 8th he reached the zenith of his performance on 9th November 1985.
Batting first Australia lost four quick wickets, all of them to Hadlee and was struggling at 82 for 4. Opener Kepler Wessels and wicket-keeper Wayne Phillips steadied the innings and Australia finished the day one on 146/4. But on the second day, Hadlee was at it from the very morning. Almost immediately after the day started Wessels was dismissed for 70 with the team score on 148/5. Greg Matthews could add only two runs before being Hadlee’s 6th victim and soon he
added the 7th by picking up Phillips. Geoff Lawson and Craig McDermott showed some resistance before McDermott was caught by the captain Jeremy Coney to give Hadlee his 8th Wicket.
By this time, the entire crowd was anticipating all the ten wickets by Hadlee. He could become the second person after Jim Laker to achieve that feat. But then something unique happened. Vaughan Brown was bowling from the other end and when Lawson mistimed a shot the ball went up in the air. It was no one but Hadlee who chased the ball and finished a good running catch. It was a moment of great selflessness and sporting spirit as Hadlee did not think about his glory and instead helped Brown to get his maiden Test wicket. Soon Hadlee finished the
innings as the number eleven Bob Holland was caught by Brown to give Hadlee his 9th wicket. He finished with 9 for 52, it is still the 6th best Test bowling analysis in an innings.
But Hadlee was not finished yet. After bowling out Australia for 179, New Zealand posted a massive 553/7 before declaring. There were centuries for Martin Crowe (188) and John Reid (108) and Hadlee contributed 54.
With the ball in hand, he picked up six more wickets in the second innings. There were resistance from Australia as Allan Border scored 152 and Greg Matthews 115. But there were not much support and the final total was 333. New Zealand recorded a win by an innings and 41 runs. Hadlee’s match figure of 15 for 123 still remains the best match figure by any New Zealand bowler.