The Battle for the Tasman (2004)
Additional Footage-1st February 1981-Last Over & Underarm Incident
Trailer-Other Great Cricket DVDs
|Year Of Production||2004|
|Running Time||187:51 (Case: 184)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (16:19)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Steven Bibb|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||Varies|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Varies||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Released to coincide with the current cricket series between Australia and New Zealand, and more specifically next week's Chappell-Hadlee One Day competition, is this disc containing highlights from classic one day encounters between the countries.
The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand is one of the best in world sport. We are close neighbours and share much in common, but a rivalry bordering on near hatred exists. At the same time there is a strong mutual respect for each other. Ask many professional sportsmen in Australia from many different sports who they like beating the most, and I'm sure the answer would be New Zealand. I don't think you would even need to ask a Kiwi who they like beating the most. Getting one up on any Aussie is almost a national pastime in the Land Of The Long White Cloud.
Just like on the rugby field, the cricket field has brought about its share of rivalry and controversies. While Australia may enjoy a little more success over their Kiwi cousins in cricket than they do in rugby, there can be no denying that both teams love to beat each other. Over the years we have seen some great battles in Australia during the one day competition, and this disc contains highlights from six of the best games. It also includes as a bonus feature the last over in full from the famous final held at the MCG on 1 February 1981, where Greg Chappell instructed his brother Trevor to bowl the ball underarm, thus denying New Zealand the chance to draw the fame and ensuring another generation of Kiwis will always have something to throw at us Aussies when they talk about bad sportsmanship.
Six games are shown here, ranging from 1980 through to 2002. They are:
Game 1 - Australia v New Zealand, 23 November 1980, MCG. Game 1 of the one day series. (29:16)
Game 2 - Australia v New Zealand, 3 January 1988, WACA. Game 2 of the one day series. (28:28)
Game 3 - Australia v New Zealand, 13 January 1991 SCG. First final of the one day series. (27:39)
Game 4 - Australia v New Zealand, 16 December 1993, MCG. Fifth game of the one day series. (27:55)
Game 5 - Australia v New Zealand, 7 December 1997, Adelaide Oval. Third game of the one day series.(27:26)
Game 6 - Australia v New Zealand, 29 January 2002, MCG. (20:07)
All of the games offer something different, whether it be a close finish, a classic batting performance from the likes of Greg Chappell, Rod Marsh, or Michael Bevan, or a fine bowling performance from Glenn McGrath, Richard Hadlee, or Bruce Reid. While I can not argue with the selection of games here, I find it a little puzzling that the coverage of the famous underarm game in 1981 only gets included as a bonus feature and not a full package of highlights. Maybe it is so we do not offend the other Region 4 customers - the Kiwis!
The video here is mostly presented in the old full screen ratio of 1.33:1, with the last game from 2002 being shown in 16x9 enhanced widescreen at a ratio of 1.78:1. This switching of aspects is mentioned in a small warning that pops up before that segment of highlights start, so you get the chance to alter your display device if you need to. Unfortunately this mix of aspect ratios and enhanced/non-enhanced material has caused some problems elsewhere.
Each of the six games is introduced by Ian Chappell, who has been filmed recently at the SCG. Unfortunately this footage has been captured for digital widescreen broadcast and is 16x9 enhanced. But with it tucked in against all the old 4x3 material and not automatically switching your display to 16x9 mode for you (and giving you no warning to do so), Chappelli will appear all stretched out and skinny as he does his one minute introduction. It was probably a waste of time (or an oversight) to include this brief bit of footage as 16x9 enhanced widescreen.
The actual game footage is exactly what you can expect from cricket highlights going back to the 1980s. What we get here is television broadcast quality source material ranging from the early 1980s analogue based footage, through to very recent digital based footage. As it gets newer it gets sharper, clearer, and more impressive. While the footage is of mixed vintages, it is all of reasonable quality. The early 80s moments are far fuzzier and not as sharp as the recent material, but the technological advances in broadcast camera equipment makes this perfectly understandable.
The colours are well rendered and there are no problems to contend with, though the 1988 game from the WACA ground is incredibly bright and washed out in regards to contrast.
No MPEG artefacts are evident and despite the age of some of the other source material, it is in surprisingly good shape. A few instances of low level noise pop up but the bright outdoor footage never lets it cause a problem.
English subtitles are included for everything. This is a nice touch, even though they sometimes identify the wrong commentator. On more than one occasion they claim Frank Tyson is Tony Greig.
This is a dual layered disc that features the layer change at 16:19, during game four of the highlights. It is still virtually invisible.
This program is comprised almost entirely of television highlights dating from the early 1980s to early 2002. As a result we get television quality audio. The quality is about what you can expect from footage of this age and there are few problems.
There is only one audio track available, this being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
Dialogue is clear and concise at all times, except for the usual bits of hiss and distortion you would expect from material around 20 years old.
Apart from the Wide World of Sports introductory theme, there is only a little music to introduce each of the segments and some of the extras.
There is no surround or subwoofer use.
|Surround Channel Use|
One of the most famous and dramatic moments ever to be witnessed on the cricket field. On 1 February 1981, Australian captain Greg Chappell instructed his bowler (and brother) Trevor Chappell to bowl the last ball of the 50th over to New Zealand tailender Brian McKechnie underarm along the ground. The reason - New Zealand needed a six to tie the game and force a deciding match in two days time - something Greg Chappell did not want to do. Captured here is the final last over in full including the famous last ball and comments from respected commentator Richie Benaud, who labels it the worst thing he has ever seen on a cricket field. Runs for 8:47 and is worthy of a place in the home of all cricket video collections.
Full score cards (both batting and bowling) for all the six games shown as part of the main feature, plus the underarm game from 1981. Not presented as normal pages of text, but rather an automatically running 14:51 featurette. Each scorecard stays on screen for around a minute and is presented in text that is probably just a little too small. There is also an error with the labelling of the first game. It was played on 23 November 1980 and not 1 February 1981 (that was the underarm game).
Six trailers for other cricket titles. All have been reviewed here if you'd like to see the reviews. The titles include Steve Waugh - A Perfect Day, Six of The Best - 25 years of Australian One Day Cricket, Masterclass, Richie Benaud's Greatest XI, and Kings Of Speed.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
As one would expect, this disc is not available in Region 1 and is most likely to not ever appear there.
Released to coincide with the Chappell-Hadlee trophy series of one day games in early December, this is a disc that should find a home in the collection of the cricket purist who wants to get their hands on every piece of historic footage that they are able to.
The video and audio quality are just as expected.
The extras are limited, though the inclusion of the underarm delivery footage is an added bonus.
|DVD||Loewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|