Australia complete series whitewash

Australia have beaten the BLACKCAPS by 176 runs at Seddon Park in Hamilton to completed a 2-nil series whitewash.

Starting the day on 185 for five the home team struggled through to 302 with the last wicket falling on the brink of lunch on the final day.

Both Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill brought up half centuries with their contributions summing up the BLACKCAPS overall effort.  There have been plenty of starts with no one kicking on.

It was Doug Bollinger who started the rout, removing McCullum for 51 and then Jeetan Patel for 3.

Mitchell Johnson then got rid of top scorer Guptill for 58 before getting Brent Arnel for a duck and finally having Tim Southee.

Southee gave the Seddon Park faithful a few highlights late in the day with his 45 coming off just 25 deliveries, including seven fours and a six.

Johnson was the standout performer with six for 73 to go with his four for 59 in the first innings and was rewarded with a well deserved man of the match award.

Day 4: BLACKCAPS slump to 185 for five

The BLACKCAPS will need to dig deep if they are to save the Test match as they crumbled to 185 for five in pursuit of 479.

Australia continued to bat until lunch, racking up 511 for eight giving them a hefty lead and setting the BLACKCAPS what would be a record breaking run chase.
 
Starting on 333 for four Michael Clarke and Marcus North set about to dismantle the New Zealand attack, accelerating their scoring this morning in perfect batting conditions at Seddon Park. 

After Arnel trapped Clarke LBW for 63 the pace quickened again.  The arrival of Brad Haddin at the crease saw the run-rate jump from a steady 3.94 to an aggressive 6.6 an over.
 
The pair added 54 quick runs before North was caught down leg-side off Daniel Vettori for 90.  Vettori struck again the very next ball Mitchell Johnson hitting the ball straight to Jeetan Patel at long on.
 
At 447 for seven Australia were turning the screws.  Brad Haddin was out ten runs later, but any thoughts of a quick run through the tail were extinguished by Nathan Hauritz and Ryan Harris.  The pair added 58 more runs to round out the Australian innings at 511 for eight.
 
The New Zealand chase started brightly enough with B.J. Watling and Tim McIntosh putting on 40 for the first wicket.   Then McIntosh was beaten all-up as he was bowled by a 150km screamer from Johnson.
 
Johnson soon had his second when Watling was caught behind with the Australian pace man bowling his quickest spell of the tour and testing the New Zealand batsmen with every over he bowled.
 
Taylor and Sinclair steadied things for New Zealand until Johnson drew Taylor into a shot, which caught the edge of his bat and then Brad Haddin’s gloves.

Four over’s later and Clarke trapped Sinclair in front for 29 as the BLACKCAPS slumped to 119 for four.
 
Daniel Vettori and Martin Guptill only managed to add 33 before Vettori was out LBW to Hauritz for 22. 

Brendon McCullum and Guptill safely negotiated the remaining 14 overs and will resume tomorrow on 19* and 22* respectively.

Day 3: Batsmen put Australia on top

Day three belonged to Australia with their batsmen extending their lead to 300 and losing just four wickets. 

In contrast to last night’s gloomy finish, Australian opener Shane Watson was the bright light of the first session, blazing his way to 65 before BJ Watling caught a top edge off the bowling of Tim Southee.

Southee struck again with the second ball of his next over.   The first delivery of the over had been mishit by Ricky Ponting who fired a top edge over Brendon McCullums’s head for six after an attempted pull-shot.  The Australian captain then chipped the next ball to Watling standing at short leg who took a sharp catch.
 
The Double breakthrough got the BLACKCAPS back in the game with Australia reduced to 91 for two with a lead of 58. 
 
Remaining opener Simon Katich and Michael Hussey then set themselves for a long stay at the crease with Katich crawling through to his half century off 177 balls.

With the pitch playing low and slow the New Zealand attack had no venom, save Southee’s burst in the first session.  Captain, Daniel Vettori, threw every thing he could at Australia, including the very medium pace of Mathew Sinclair.
 
A painstakingly patient Katich reached his 100 off 262 balls just before tea.   At the other end Michael Hussey had amassed a relatively speedy 66 off 155 balls.
 
It was Brent Arnel who broke the deadlock straight after the tea break, firstly removing Hussey for 67, then Katich one run later, with Australia on 247 for 4.  Their partnership worth 155 with both were caught behind by McCullum.
 
It was slow going for the rest of the day’s play.  Marcus North (42*) and Michael Clarke (42*) kept the Australian slow train on track as they steadily accumulated runs before increasing the tempo late in the day. 
 
Daniel Vettori’s face mirrored the long shadows, which started creeping across the ground late in the day.  His bowlers failed to capitalise on Arnel’s good work at the beginning of the final session, and Mitchell Johnson’s prediction last night that a lead of 350 might win the match looks like being on the money.
 
Australia now have runs in the bank and tomorrow morning they can afford to go much harder and post a substantial lead.

* Image of Simon Katich batting

Day 2: Record century from Taylor unsupported

A large crowd was treated to an entertaining day of cricket at a sun-soaked Seddon Park in Hamilton today but the BLACKCAPS didn’t make the most of their dominant position despite Ross Taylors blistering century.
 
Resuming the day on 19 for one, they lost Mathew Sinclair early for 11 when a ripper of an in-swinging Mitchell Johnson Yorker tore out his off-stump.

At 30 for two it looked like New Zealand’s good work in the field yesterday might have been for nothing but B.J. Watling and Taylor steadied things for New Zealand before Watling went for 46 when he was bowled by Doug Bollinger. 
 
Martin Guptill came and went cheaply for four on the verge of tea, edging a back-of-a-length delivery to second slip off Ryan Harris.  At 143 for four it was a poor finish to the session for New Zealand.

The bright point was the batting by Ross Taylor.  At lunch he had sped to 74 off 52 deliveries and after lunch he continued his domination, and pace, posting New Zealand’s fastest ever test century.  His century came off just 81 balls and went on to a sensational 138 off 104.

Taylor smashed 19 fours and four sixes in his record innings and in one took a particular liking to the spin of Nathan Hauritz, plundered an Australian high 25 runs, including three sixes in a row a four, two singles and a no-ball. 

But unfortunately the other middle order batsmen were unable to stick around with Vettori 15, McCullum five, then Patel seven, all falling cheaply. 

After Taylor’s dismissal there was only fleeting resistance from the tail.  Tim Southee showed again that he has potential with the bat, hitting 22 not out.

In the end New Zealand were all out for 264 giving them a 33 run lead.  Apart from Taylor’s brilliance, there will be a lot of disappointment in the BLACKCAPS camp as they failed to capitalise on the their strong bowling performance.

The Australian openers comfortably knocked off the deficit before bad light stopped play and will resume tomorrow on 35 without loss.

Fastest New Zealand Centuries:

Ross Taylor 81 – v Australia 2009/10
Daniel Vettori 82 v Zimbabwe 2005/06
Bruce Taylor 83 v West Indies 1968/69
Chris Cairns 86 v Zimbabwe 1995/96
Brendon McCullum v Zimbabwe 2005/06

Day 1: Vettori, Southee star on day one

The BLACKCAPS bowlers dominated day one of the second Test against Australia at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

Daniel Vettori and Tim Southee were the chief destroyers, taking four wickets apiece to have Australia bundled out for 231 in 74.3 overs.

Daniel Vettori and team mates celebrate the wicket of Mitchell Johnson

The home team were rewarded for their patient approach early in the day, picking up wickets at key moments before pouncing in the final session to run through the middle and lower order.

What made the day even more special for Vettori was the fact he took the field for the 100th time in Test cricket. 

The team honoured Vettori at the traditional captain’s meeting on the evening before the Test with a number of presentations.   Vettori’s family was present and in a moving ceremony his father, Renzo, presented him with his 100th cap.
 
The omens didn’t look good early the next day though, when Vettori lost yet another toss to Ricky Ponting with the Australian captain having little hesitation in choosing to bat first.
 
The wicket had looked decidedly green after recent bad weather forced the covers to be left on for four days but that didn’t faze the New Zealand selectors who went with two spinners, handing Jeetan Patel a starting spot.
 
The Australians were made to graft during the first session with the pitch playing low and slightly favouring the bowlers. It seemed that the decision to include two spinners would pay off, with both employed before lunch.

Honours were slightly in favour of the home side at the end of the first session, with the score at 83 for two.  Tim Southee made the early breakthrough, taking the wicket of Shane Watson for 12. 

Ricky Ponting was the next to go for 22 and in the process became the most run-out batsman in Test Cricket with his 13th dismissal.  It was Test centurion Vettori who removed his counterpart with his slick pick up and throw hitting the stumps to leave Ponting just short.

After lunch the BLACKCAPS bowling unit kept plugging away and kept building pressure on the Australian batsmen who were battling to score. 

Southee was rewarded with his second as Michael Hussey edged on to wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum to have the tourists teetering at 129 for three.

Michael Clarke was next to go for 28 when he chipped a well flighted Patel delivery to long one and that is when the wheels really fell off for Australia.

Vettori had anchor Simon Katich caught in close for 88 to have his team on firmly on top at tea with the scoreboard reading 180 for five.

The last session of the day was all New Zealand with Southee trapping Marcus North LBW for nine and then catching Brad Haddin off his own bowling for 12.

Vettori mopped up the tail when he removed Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Doug Bollinger cheaply as Australia added only 51 runs for the last six wickets.

It was a superb bowling partnership with Southee finishing with four for 61 and Vettori four for 36. 

Australia managed to get an early breakthrough with Tim McIntosh choosing to leave Bollinger delivery that went on to hit off stump.  Recalled Mathew Sinclair and BJ Watling safely negotiated the remaining overs and will resume tomorrow with the score on 19 for one.

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