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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Katich sets up Australian victory: First Test Day 3

Australia 214 and 268 (S Katich 131 no, C Martin 3/69) v New Zealand 156 and 6/143 (R Taylor 67 no, S Clark 3/23) . New Zealand require 184 more runs with 4 wickets remaining: First Test Day 3 at Brisbane.

Simon Katich carried his bat through the Australian innings for a masterly 131 no/245b/16x4 which has put the match out of New Zealand's reach.

The Black Caps didn't help their own cause by dropping Katich twice and generally losing their focus as the last two Australian wickets added 82. Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark showed some of their upper order teammates a thing or two about batting.

The Black Caps were never going to get close to, let alone overhaul, a target of more than 300, especially after losing 4/49. Only a partnership of 84 for the fifth wicket between Ross Taylor (67no/101b/9x4) and Daniel Flynn restored some self-esteem and took the match into the fourth day. But when Flynn and Grant Elliott were dismissed in the literal and metaphorical shadows of the scheduled close of play any notions of an improbable victory evaporated.

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