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Sunday, November 30, 2008

329 runs, 7 wickets, 2 centuries, Australia on top: Second Test Day 3

New Zealand 268 and 0/35 trail Australia 535 (B Haddin 169, M Clarke 110, R Ponting 79, M Hussey 70) by 230 runs with 10 wickets in hand: Second Test Day 3 at Adelaide.

Apart from one over from Chris Martin in which he took two wickets and reduced (if that word is appropriate) Australia to 5/247, the rest of the day's play saw New Zealand ground into submission .
The highlights were centuries from Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin: Clarke's a classical top order batter's innings of 110/239b/11x4, Haddin's a feisty and frequently frenetic 169/222b/24x4,2x6 which should have dispelled any doubts about his ability to handle the demands of batting at test level.

The New Zealand attack was innocuous. Daniel Vettori bowled himself for 59.4 overs (too many of them over the wicket to right handers) and today only picked up one wicket for plenty, though he dropped a return catch from Brett Lee before he'd scored. Chris Martin, Iain O'Brien and Tim Southee trundled honestly while Aaron Redmond tossed the ball up, spun it and was hit, yet was compensated with two lower order wickets.

With two days to play New Zealand cannot expect to save, let alone win the match. I hope they go down fighting, which Redmond and Jamie How's positive approach (assisted by Brett Lee's no-balling waywardness) in the 9 overs before stumps seemed to promise. But 9 overs do not a cricket match make.

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