Australia v New Zealand – Gabba Test, Day 3: Murder on Vulture Street

Brisbane, Day 3 v NZ:

Walking to the ground this morning was not pleasant. The temperature had already reached 28 degrees and it was a hard slog.

Fortunately my morning was lifted by the beautiful sounds emanating from the Sheldon College Soul Band playing on the Gabba Green. Not only was their sound great but they were playing tunes exclusively from New Zealand and Australia. You could see it was hard yakka for the band in financial terms as all the members were equipped with the cheapest of yellow sunglasses.

Easily the highlight of my day so far and one wonders what is in store for us on the ground. Will the Aussies run through the Kiwis? Will Smith send them in again or “have a go” for one session? There is plenty to ponder.

The “two W’s” look very contented as they open the batting this morning against an accurate attack.

Williamson is batting as smoothly as a Malcolm Turnbull one liner. Some of his shot making is exquisite. No! It is all exquisite. We have seen some wonderful batting in this Test Match and none better than Kane Stuart Williamson the 173cm (5’6”) Tauranga Boy’s College graduate.

As what happened yesterday when Starc got Latham with the first ball of a new spell, Watling (32) feathered Johnson’s first ball through to Nevill. One wonders is there something psychological in a batsman’s head when a new bowler is introduced in to the attack. The partnership totalled 67 runs.

Craig still looking like a “chippy’s apprentice” reached 24 before he had a slog at Lyon and skied a catch to Mitch Marsh. 7/231 with Williamson on 86.

Williamson moved forward towards his century with superb boundaries from Mitchell Johnson. A hurried two took him to his 1th Test century. 129 balls and 17 fours in this fine knock. It is his first against Australia but will not be his last.

Voges drops a sitter from Bracewell at first slip. The first dropped catch of the match. Johnson is furious as a fourth wicket goes beckoning.

At lunch NZ is 7/273 with Williamson (112) and Bracewell (16) holding Australia at bay in an interesting morning’s play. Mitch Johnson was the best of the bowlers with 3/87.

Bracewell (16) does not last long after lunch when Marsh bowls him. Southee does come out to bat despite his injury and flays at the bowling while Williamson continues with his superb batting.

Southee’s flaying fails when he misses one from Starc and is out for 14. Williamson decides to attack T20 style and he falls to Starc caught behind for a magnificent 140 with 24 fours. One of the finest innings you would ever see. Mitchell Starc 4/57 finished up the best of the bowlers. Total 317 and trailing by 239 runs

The Australian second innings was as expected – vigorous with no problems coming from the bowlers.

The security is working well at the Gabba! I decided to go for a walk at the start of the Australian innings and found myself on the top level of the grandstand. I sat there with no one within 50 metres when all of sudden I was approached by a security guard. Well done guys!

It is looking bad for the Kiwis as Australia reach 50 under even time. There is no pressure from the bowlers at all.

Warner is in fine form and his running between the wickets is second to none.  He should continue to waste energy in these areas instead of opening his mouth.

The Australian selectors must be patting themselves on the back with the selection of Burns ahead of Bancroft as the latter has failed again for WA whilst Burns and Warner look like getting their second century partnership in a row. Two out of two aint bad. With a lead of 325 Australia will be well placed to declare tonight and have two days to bowl the opposition out.

It is all out attack as Burns , in particular, and Warner charge the wilting New Zealanders. The bowlers where completely overwhelmed by the charging batsmen who were making hay before the anticipated rain arrived.

Burns reached his 100 with two sixes. The last man to do this was the late Phillip Hughes in Durban. The rain came down and the players left the field with Australia 0/173 and the lead out to 412. Warner, playing second fiddle was on 69. A fine opening partnership that has still not finished.

The rains come and play is delayed for some time but as usual we get back on the field. After all the match is in Brisbane. The only people pissed off are the journo’s who have other plans for the night.

Runs continue to flow with rain likely to fall before stumps again. Warner is getting ambitious and tries two reverse sweeps and misses both. The 200 run opening partnership comes up in 143 minutes from 210 balls.

This is Murder on Vulture Street and one cannot see New Zealand recovering from this onslaught for the remainder of the series.

Warner becomes only the third player in history to score a century in both innings. The other two? R.T.Ponting and SR Tendulkar. Not a bad trio.

Warner (116) finally goes when he tries a right handed sweep. The first wicket falls at 237. Burns (129) keep ups the carnage and hits out to Craig and Taylor takes a simple catch at long on. 2/254 and Craig has his second wicket.

A controversial decision sees Smith (1) depart. Williamson took the ball cleanly but there was some queries as to whether it touched the ground. Boult was the bowler 3/258.

Craig get his third wicket when Mitch Marsh(2) dollies a catch to McCullum. One of the worst chippies ever to get 3 wickets.

Bad light ends play with 4/264 with Khawaja (9) Voges (1). Australia’s overall lead is now 503 and are in an unbeatable position.

An interesting day’s play again with the day belonging to Kane Williamson, Joe Burns and David Warner.   The total runs for the day of 424 is a record for a Test Match at the Gabba.



About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Citrus Bob Williamson may well knock,Martin Crowe off as the finest ever,NZ batsman with exquisite well and truly the appropriate term.Burns and Warner have been magnificent but against a pretty average attack,Craig looks a district offie at best with the lack of proper warm up games a huge contributing factor overall

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