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Sunday, November 23, 2008

An hour suffices to give Australia victory: First Test Day 4

Australia 214 and 268 defeated New Zealand 156 and 177 (R Taylor 75, M Johnson 5/39, S Clark 4/43) by 149 runs: First Test day 4 at Brisbane.

Despite the unexpected victory last night of the New Zealand Rugby League team in that sport's World Cup, the country's cricket team didn't produce a similar upset today. In fact they surrendered more easily than I expected against an Australian attack reinvigorated by playing at home and against weak opponents. Mitchell Johnson (5/39 from 17.3 overs) and Stuart Clark (4/43 from 17 overs) were outstanding: Brett Lee, who made the initial breakthrough yesterday, was less effective.

If the Black Caps were to have a chance Ross Taylor needed to build on the foundation he'd laid yesterday and at least one of the other batsmen would have to stay with him while he did so. But, unlike Michael Clarke and Simon Katich in Australia's first and second innings, Taylor didn't add enough runs to threaten an unlikely victory. Nor were any of his colleagues able to stay long. Still Taylor's 75/128b/9x4 (and his 40 in the first innings) showed both his own quality and the deficiencies of his colleagues. Only Daniel Flynn of the top order order batsmen was worth his place. It is hard to see much scopre for improvement before the Second Test. Brendon McCullum should be capable of better things but the others? I doubt it.

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