Australia v New Zealand: First Test, Day 4: All Over Red Rover

“The Cricketer”
by Kate Birrell



The big news of the day was announced overnight when the Federal Government pledged $30 million to an upgrade at the WACA. Cricket Australia ($4m) and the WACA ($10m) also announced contributions. It is hoped that the State government will also contribute an amount as well.



This is great news for cricket in WA as the “WACA” is the spiritual home of the game in this state and my own personal opinion is that this is where Test cricket should be played. Looking out at the sparse crowd in this Mausoleum the “real” fans will look forward to the next test at the WACA against Afghanistan next year.



Following their success of last night, the Kiwis did not take long this morning to take the wickets of Cummins (13) and Wade (17). Obviously, the Australians were keen for quick runs and Starc continued his good form of the first innings with a swashbuckling 23.



Wade and Wagner continued their war of words and it was a great fight in the time Wade was there this session. When he fell to de Grandhomme it was Wagner leading on points.



Starc is the last to go, Hazlewood did not bat, hitting out at the redoubtable Southee for Taylor to take a catch at long-stop (an old fashion fielding position directly behind the keeper). Australia all out 217 a lead of 468 with a day and three-quarters to go.



Tim Southee with 5/69 was excellent and was well backed up by Neil Wagner 3/59. Irrespective of the result of this game with these 2 in form and Boult ready for the “G” New Zealand should have a fine attack.



Taking poetic licence to the “nth” degree is this the first time that two eminent composers have played in the same Test match? WAGNER and RAVAL (spelt R-a-v-e-l) close enough in my book.



New Zealand start cautiously in the second innings as well they might after the first dig disaster.



Interesting that only a few players have worn floppies in this match. Given the conditions in the first session on each day I would have thought they would have been in vogue. The only Australian wearing one this morning is substitute Michael Neser and I guess that is because he has never actually been selected in a starting XI for his country.



Raval (1) gets a ball from Starc that lifts sharply and Lyon takes the easiest of catches. NZ 1/6. Raval as we had mentioned after his first innings is not up to Test standard and should be replaced in Melbourne.



One of my favourites in Kane Williamson comes to the wicket and starts by hitting the first 2 balls from Starc to the boundary. Effortless strokes with exquisite timing to the fore. He follows it up with a beautiful square drive from Cummins in the next over.



Lyon is on for the 10th over of the innings seeing that the team is one bowler short. It probably won’t be long before Labuschagne is introduced. Williamson (14) is out to Lyon’s first ball caught by Wade at silly mid-on. It was a beautiful ball, turning and spitting of the pitch and the batsman could do nothing about it. New Zealand 2/21 and in real trouble.



Black Caps 2/31 at lunch and just how long will the game last from here? A lot will depend on Taylor and Latham. Taylor likes to go for his runs and Latham is solid – we will see.



Cummins continually beats the bat after lunch and he has both batsmen playing tentative shots to balls on and just outside the off stump on many occasions. His six overs have cost him just 7 runs such has been his accuracy in attacking the stumps.



Thinking one game ahead Australia will have to make a compulsory change with the injury to Hazlewood and that will either be Neser or Pattinson. My thoughts are for Neser to play his first match but having a Victorian in the team for Melbourne might just sway the selectors Pattinson’s way.



Taylor is attacking Lyon full-on and hits a couple of lusty fours through mid-wicket. Wonder how long it will be before he mistimes one? Good to see him playing his normal game though. His normal game lets him down as he swishes at Starc and Paine does the rest. Taylor out for 22 and New Zealand 3/57.



Things get worse for the visitors when Latham (16) plays back to Lyon given not out but DRS by the Australians sees him on his way. 4/57. Lyon and Starc both have 2/23.



Nichols and Watling are proving stubborn resistance to the Australians who have resorted to the bowling of Head and Labuschagne in order to break though for a wicket. Labuschagne, of the pair, Is the most likely to take a wicket. No success so Lyon comes back in to the attack.



The cherry-picker from Young has immediate success when Nichols (21) misses the ball, comes off his pads hits his bat and Head takes a brilliant catch inches from the ground. Lyon now has 3/33 and New Zealand at the little break are 5/98.


De Grandhomme does not muck around and hits Lyon for 6 from the second ball he faced. A bright moment in a rather dull afternoon. The game has dawdled along and the hot and bothered crowd are having a siesta late in the afternoon.


Is this fair? Every time Pat Cummins comes on to start an over one of the orange men brings out a drink for him. No one else takes a drink so why should Cummins? Interesting.


BJ (Bradley John) Watling is batting soundly, as is his want, and he is not going to give up as easily as some of his team mates.


There is absolutely nothing to write about at the moment except that the final drinks break is taking place. Mind you Watling and de Grandhomme have continued in the New Zealand tradition of grit and determination. The Australian team have tried everything except Smith and Warner and with so much advantage maybe they should.


Cummins comes back into the fray and de Grandhomme can do nothing to a delivery that takes the edge for Smith, diving forward, takes the catch. A difficult catch to most people but to SPD Smith “bread and butter”. De Grandhomme 33 and New Zealand 6/154.


Looking down the scores of the New Zealand players all bar Raval got good starts but could not go on with it. The ability of the Australian bowlers is definitely the cause and as we have often said it is a very formidable attack and even without Hazlewood today, they have been able to contain and dismiss the top order batsmen.


Watling (40) is caught behind after a DRS shows that the ball hit his glove ever so minute n the way through to Paine. A fine innings by the keeper who was very disappointed to be given out as he was, they key. Santner gets a brute of a ball from Cummins and he dollies it to Head. The Kiwis have now lost the last 3 wickets for no runs and the game will be over soon.


Wagner hits the most unusual six from Starc behind the keeper – to hard to describe but he goes next ball caught behind. Australia only need one more wicket to win a match that they have dominated right from the start. Lyon has Southee(4) caught by Smith and the game is over with Australia winning by 296 runs. Starc and Lyon both took 4 wickets and Cummins 2 in a clinical display.


They have won all three Test matches played this series within four days. A dominate performance.


The injury to Trent Boult before the game did not help the visitors and the injury to his replacement Ferguson during the game did not help their cause plus their very brittle opening batsmen. No matter what excuses you can conjure up Australia were the far better side and they go to Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test in the three-match series 1 up.



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About Bob Utber

At 84 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he has always done since growing up on a small farm at Lang Lang. Talking, watching and writing sport and in recent years writing books. He lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny) and a groodle named 'Chloe on Flinders' and can be found at Deakin 27 every day.


  1. Thanks again for your reports, Citrus.
    I am still not entirely convinced by Australia’s batting. It looks to me like they are very suspect to short-pitched bowling: Smith included.
    The bowling is the difference. Starc’s rebirth has been excellent, and Cummins is a star. The you have Lyon. I also thought that Marnus was very handy this Test.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Absolutely thrilled to hear of the WACA Ground upgrade CB.
    Really disappointing NZ just flew in for this Test without a warm-up game. Does no favours for Test cricket and no wonder home teams are so dominant.
    Enjoying your reports, looking forward to the Melbourne Test!

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