The BLACKCAPS found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time as rookie fast bowler James Pattinson engineered a crushing win for Australia in the first Test at Brisbane today.
The hosts won the match by nine wickets with more than four sessions to spare after New Zealand, resuming at 10 for one and still 122 behind overall, were dismissed for just 150 in their second innings after lunch on the penultimate day.
That left Australia requiring 19 runs for victory, which they knocked off in 14 balls, losing Phil Hughes along the way when he slashed Chris Martin to Martin Guptill at gully, one ball after Brendon McCullum spilled a regulation chance off the batsman at second slip.
Tall Victorian right-armer Pattinson bowled with fearsome hostility to take five for 27 on debut as the tourists crashed in spectacular fashion on the resumption on the fourth day at the Gabba.
He ran through the New Zealand top order as they tourists went from 17 for one to 28 for five, at one stage claiming three wickets in the space of four balls in a withering burst.
While Dean Brownlie offered commendable resistance in making 42 in two hours, the damage had been inflicted well before he walked to the middle at No 7 in the order.
The collapse began in the day’s second over when Pattinson dug a short ball into the body of opener Guptill, who could not keep it down and succeeded only in offering a catch to Usman Khuwaja under the helmet.
Pattinson used a fuller length to remove Kane Williamson and captain Ross Taylor off successive balls, both players tentatively prodding forward to provide edges to second slip Ricky Ponting and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin respectively.
That meant three wickets in four balls to leave him on a hat-trick, a fate which Jesse Ryder somehow avoided when a furiously quick, full delivery ever so narrowly missed his off stump.
Twenty-one-year-old tyro Pattinson, who also dismissed opener McCullum late on the third day, at this stage boasted figures which read a scarcely believable 5-4-1-4.
That soon became 8-5-12-5 when captain Michael Clarke gave the newcomer a rest once he’d removed nightwatchman Doug Bracewell, yet another to fall to a catch behind the wicket.
Having survived his first-ball scare from Pattinson, Ryder only delayed the inevitable to reach 36 before the introduction of offspinner Nathan Lyon saw his eyes light up.
The robust left-hander could not help himself, and after one ball as a sighter he attempted to hit Lyon over deep mid off only to feed a catch to Mike Hussey.
Daniel Vettori joined Brownlie as 52 were added for the seventh wicket before Vettori perished immediately before lunch for 17 when attempting to guide Hussey to third man only to give Clarke catching practice at slip.
Brownlie joined him straight after the break, caught at deep point after checking his stroke to a short, wide ball from Peter Siddle, leaving Reece Young and Tim Southee to at least force the Australians to bat again.
They did that, although it was a minor consolation, and the end came quickly as Lyon cleaned up the tail to finish with three for 19 off 11.4 overs and end with a match analysis of seven for 88.
The New Zealanders now have to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, complete the normal post mortems and prepare for the second and last test, starting in Hobart on Friday.
Day 3: BLACKCAPS up against it in Brisbane
A long day of toil has led to looming trouble for the BLACKCAPS.
The New Zealand tourists face a hard slog to save the first test against Australia after ending the third day at the Gabba in Brisbane on 10 for one in their second innings.
They trail overall by 122 runs after the Australians pushed on deep into the third session before being dismissed for 427, a wagging tail proving a major frustration for the BLACKCAPS as 82 runs were added for the final three wickets.
In a few short but testing overs before the close the New Zealanders lost key playmaker Brendon McCullum to leave Martin Guptill and nightwatchman Doug Bracewell to take guard tomorrow morning.
They had earlier stuck to their core jobs to limit the damage despite being left to rue three dropped three catches.
The BLACKCAPS were held at bay primarily by Australian centurymaker Michael Clarke and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who announced his return to form with a fighting 80 as this pair put on 108 runs for the sixth wicket.
Clarke made the most of a series of let offs to score 139, his third hundred in his past four tests, after resuming this morning on 28 alongside Ricky Ponting, his predecessor as leader, on 67.
At 154 for three the hosts still had some work to do to wipe out the New Zealanders’ first innings of 295, an assignment they had comfortably accomplished by tea when they were 345 for five.
Clarke, bowled off a Bracewell no-ball yesterday, notched his 17th test century either side of surviving chances.
Firstly, wicketkeeper Reece Young could not snare an inside edge off Bracewell when Clarke was on 85, then shortly after attaining three figures Clarke slapped a ball from the same bowler high through the hands of Jesse Ryder in the gully.
But the momentum finally swung in the first over after tea when a short ball from veteran fast bowler Chris Martin saw Clarke top edge a pull to Tim Southee behind square, ending an innings that had produced 14 fours and a solitary six, the latter struck down the ground to raise his 50 off spinner Daniel Vettori.
Having gone wicketless throughout the entire second session, the BLACKCAPS were not made to wait for their next success because in the very next over Vettori enticed Peter Siddle to lunge forward and offer an edge to Ross Taylor at slip.
But Haddin then batted intelligently with the lower order, the Australians again making the most of their good fortune when tall left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc was dropped without scoring, Taylor spilling a regulation chance at slip off the luckless Bracewell.
Starc appreciated the New Zealanders’ generosity, going on to make 32 not out off 54 balls and watching on from the other end when Haddin holed out for 80 to a good catch in the deep by Martin.
Martin was statistically the best of the New Zealand bowlers, ending with three for 89 off 28 overs while Vettori churned through 37 overs for his two for 88 and Southee took two for 103 off 28.2.
Earlier, the morning session produced two wickets for the BLACKCAPS when Martin trapped Ponting leg before wicket foe 78 and Mike Hussey went for 15, an inside edge off the pads rebounding to Ryder in close.
New Zealand gloveman Young spent a period of time off the field having a dozen stiches inserted to a facial wound after a delivery from Vettori leapt off a length and struck him in the top lip.
Day 2: BLACKCAPS show resolve to battle back
A day of fluctuating fortunes ended with the BLACKCAPS a wicket or two away from making things interesting as the first test against Australia continued at the Gabba in Brisbane today.
The action ended early due to bad light with the hosts at 154 for three responding to the New Zealanders’ opening effort of 295, a tally very much reliant on the resolute resistance of Daniel Vettori and Dean Brownlie.
These two shared in a record sixth wicket partnership against Australia before the tourists were dismissed shortly before lunch on the second day, after which the initiative ebbed and flowed.
By the enforced close Australia had made inroads, with the under pressure Ricky Ponting on 67 and captain Michael Clarke 28, the latter having benefited from the alertness of Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar.
Fast bowler Doug Bracewell bowled Clarke off a big inside edge for 23 only for Dar to ask for a television replay, which showed Bracewell narrowly over-stepping the mark.
New Zealand captain Ross Taylor had showed his willingness to think outside the square by employing left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori to open the bowling, but success came at the other end when fast bowler Tim Southee produced a quality short ball which feathered the glove of debutant opener David Warner on three.
Left-hander Phil Hughes did not last long after the lunch break before leaving for 10 when seamer Chris Martin squared him up and Martin Guptill dived forward to accept a quality catch in the gully.
Ponting and first drop Usman Khawaja weathered the pressure throughout the entire second session before the BLACKCAPS bit back through Kane Williamson immediately after tea.
From the very first ball of the session Ponting called Khawaja through for a quick single but the left-hander, on 37, was undone by a direct hit from the alert Williamson running in at mid wicket.
At 91 for three Australia were under some pressure, but they survived the remainder of the truncated day, thanks to Dar’s attention to detail.
Earlier, Vettori denied himself a fully deserved seventh test century when he ran himself out for 96 as the tourists stretched their first innings out.
Having taken guard this morning on 45 with rookie Brownlie at the other end on 28 and the New Zealanders a still fretful 176 for five, former captain Vettori wasted no time raising his half-century.
He upper cut the second ball of the day from left-arm quick Mitchell Starc for four and three balls later sweetly clipped a ball off his pads through mid wicket to reach his 50 with his fifth boundary off 70 deliveries.
Vettori’s unique style of batsmanship continued to frustrate the Australians as an attempted pull off fast bowler Peter Siddle resulted in a top edge over slips before another top edge off a slog sweep was lucky to evade the fieldsman at wide long on.
Drinks came and went as Vettori and Brownlie saw the score through to 223 before the latter posted his second half-century in as many tests, flicking fast bowler James Pattinson through mid wicket for his seventh four.
In the process this pair set a New Zealand sixth wicket partnership against Australia, eclipsing the 126 scored by Vettori and Brendon McCullum at Wellington in 2009/10.
By this stage the tourists were threatening to post in the vicinity of 350, which is the pass mark for any team who win the toss and choose to bat first.
Brownlie and Vettori extended their stand to 158 before the latter departed in unfortunate circumstances when a serious misjudgment cost him his wicket.
Vettori ‘s 23rd test half-century was promising to produce his seventh hundred when he clipped offspinner Nathan Lyon to mid off and immediately called for a quick single.
But he was found short of his ground when Michael Hussey collected the ball cleanly and hit the stumps, leaving Vettori sprawling on the turf and in no need of another opinion to decide his fate.
So Vettori’s valiant knock, which started yesterday with his side in serious bother at 96 for five, ended tamely after he had defied the home side for three hours, during which he hit nine fours off 127 balls in his uniquely unconformist style.
Thereafter the tail folded meekly, save for a brisk 17 from Tim Southee, leaving Brownlie stranded on a doughty 77, affirmation enough that he has the temperament for the game in the test arena.
Dropped twice early yesterday, Brownlie shrugged off those early nervous moments to finish unbeaten after 248 minutes at the crease.
Lyon enjoyed bowling at the tail, claiming the last three wickets to fall to end with the figures of four for 69 off 21.5 overs.
Day 1: Vettori leads fight back
Daniel Vettori has enjoyed many scraps during his long career for the BLACKCAPS so there was no question he was up for the fight when the first test against Australia started in Brisbane today.
The champion allrounder and former captain duly answered his team’s distress call to steady a listing ship as the New Zealanders emerged from the opening day with their dignity intact.
That was due in no small part to veteran Vettori and rookie Dean Brownlie, who steered the tourists to 176 for five in their first innings after rain ruled out any play in the final session after tea.
Vettori came to the middle with his team a precarious 96 for five in the first over after the lunch break, passing the disappointed figure of Jesse Ryder along the way after the Wellington left-hander slapped a ball from debutant left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc directly to Dave Warner at point.
Skipper Ross Taylor’s decision to bat first upon winning the toss on a broodily cloudy Brisbane morning had looked to backfire as the New Zealanders squandered a bright and breezy start.
But Vettori ensured their mood brightened at least a touch as he and Brownlie set about resurrecting the innings, defiantly holding the aggressive Australians at bay for the remainder of the second session.
They had added 80 before the rain set in, Vettori’s share being a dignified and dogmatic 45 not out in 107 minutes.
Brownlie, who scored a test half-century on debut against Zimbabwe, took his lead from his senior partner as he reached 32 not out after close to two hours of diligent and thoughtful work.
The day began full of promise for the BLACKCAPS when Taylor did the first thing right by winning the toss and announcing their playing 11 did not feature seamer Trent Boult and batsman BJ Watling from the squad of 13.
Openers Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum began with positive intent, particularly the latter whose first four scoring shots were boundaries, two along the ground through the covers and two controlled slashes over gully.
McCullum was eager to take the fight to a raw Australian seam attack containing newcomers Starc and James Pattinson, and the New Zealanders had all the early initiative after Pattinson was spelled after his opening four overs went for 25 runs.
He continued in that vein when tall left-armer Starc was introduced, smacking a fullish delivery through mid on for another boundary as the score skipped along to 44 in only the 10th over.
It was then that things began to unravel once Guptill was undone by a fine delivery from seamer Peter Siddle for 17. Siddle got just enough movement off the surface to catch the edge and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin made no mistake in accepting the offering.
Five overs later it was 56 for two when McCullum paid a heavy price for failing to fully get over a ball outside off from Starc, operating around the wicket.
McCullum, who’d hit seven fours in his 70 minutes at the crease, backed his ability to again pierce the field, but his cut stroke travelled directly to Warner at deep point.
Australian skipper Michael Clarke surprisingly turned to offspinner Nathan Lyon before lunch and his hunch was vindicated as Lyon got good purchase on the ball plus at times disconcerting bounce.
It was a combination of precisely that saw the departure of Kane Williamson for 18 after he looked to turn the offspinner to the leg side and succeeded only in edging the ball to Usman Khawaja at bat/pad.
Australia, who entered the test under considerable pressure after being ravaged by injuries, tightened the screws further when Taylor, on 14, looked to attack through the off only to drag a Pattinson delivery on to his leg stump.
Cue Vettori to enter the fray and he at least settled the nerves as he and Brownlie gave the BLACKAPS the opportunity to post a respectable score tomorrow.