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Monday, December 12, 2011

Bracewell leads NZ to narrow win as Australian batting - Warner excepted -crumbles again T2D4



New Zealand 150 & 226 beat Australia 136 & 233 (63.4 ov, Warner 123*, Bracewell 6/40) by 7 runs: T2/2 D4/5 at Hobart. Series shared 1-1, Australia (as holders) retain Trans-Tasman Trophy.

This was a great Test match, and the better side won, so congratulations New Zealand (and apologies for implying that they couldn't do it).

Even when, without Australia adding to its overnight total, Chris Martin and Martin Guptill repeated their double act to dismiss Philip Hughes caught in the slips for the fourth time in as many innings, the match still seemed within the home side's reach.

But the grip loosened as the persistent  Black Cap bowlers plugged away and some Australian batters, eg Usman Khawaja and Ricky Ponting, were afflicted by the NZ disease of wasting solid starts, while others, eg Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey, succumbed cheaply  (the contemporary Australian disease?)  to Doug Bracewell's ability to make the most of the conditions. His 16.4-4-40-6 was the matchwinner but he was well supported by the other quicks, especially Tim Southee.

Amid the Australian collapse David Warner stood more than firm, as Australia disintegrated.  Ponting, Clarke and Hussey all fell to Bracewell at 159, then, after a brief rally, Brad Haddin self destructed, followed quickly by Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc. At 9/199 Australia were beaten yet Nathan Lyon showed what might have been had the other lower, not to mention top, order batters showed more resistance. Warner and he moved closer to the target but then Bracewell bowled Lyon, leaving Warner
carrying his bat 123*/170b (14x4) in a losing cause.

The Test will always be remembered first for the close margin and for Australia's last innings collapse, but  Bracewell's 9 wickets, Pattinson's 8 and above all Warner's 123* were outstanding and showed up the disparity of talent within each team. But it was New Zealand who came togtether when it most mattered.
 
 Scorecard






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