Australia v New Zealand – Second Test, Day 4: Another masterclass from Australia

Maybe just maybe the Indians were right when they refused to be involved in DRS. The controversy and discussions overnight about the cricket technology have been like a wild fire.  I know it won’t happen but surely there must be a rethink from the authorities on this matter. The anger shown by Starc and Smith was definitely warranted yesterday.

 

Biggest news of the morning has come with the announcement of the retirement of Peter Siddle from Test cricket. Knowing the guy, it must have been a pretty hard decision as he was the ultimate team man.  Who will ever forget his solo performance against the South Africans when he was the only one trying to win the game for Australia?  Well done Pete and keep on eating those bananas. One of the most under rated players ever.

 

Wade and Head go all out this morning to increase the lead and give their side more time to get New Zealand out. They both played some splendid attacking shots and when Head (28) was bowled by Latham, Paine declared at 5/168 with Wade 30 not out. Warrior Wagner was again the best of the bowlers with 3/50.  New Zealand now need 488 to win with a day and three-quarters remaining.

 

A few good balls from Starc and Cummins but both Latham and Blundell look reasonably comfortable however it certainly looks a very formidable task for their team who will probably be batting one short with Boult injured.

 

It’s Pattinson who gets the first wicket when Latham (8) nibbles to Paine and New Zealand are 1/32.  Dear oh dear another DRS, this time when Williamson appeals against his LBW to Pattinson after being given out by umpire Erasmus. Very, very close indeed Erasmus is correct (as all umpires have been for most of the series) please go back to umpires only!  Pattinson is a wicket taker, as predicted somewhere else, and is such a valuable member to any team.

 

Patto does it again when Taylor (2) plays on and NZ are in diabolical trouble.  Pattinson 3/5 and his great Dandenong team-mate Peter Siddle will add a bright moment to his retirement with Patto 3/5.

 

What a morning for Australia against the Number 2 ranked country in the world.  It has been a complete demolition and in particular when you realise that Australia has dismissed the top New Zealand batsmen Williamson (0 -9) and Taylor (4 -2) for a match total of 15 runs. Like the rest of the batsmen they have had no answers to the Aussie bowlers. In Taylor’s case it is most likely the last time we will see him in a Test Match in Melbourne.

 

At lunch Australia will be enjoying themselves as they have the visitors 3/38 and their two major threats already back in the pavilion.

 

Thought it appropriate to go for a walk during the big break and stood outside the members bar for awhile only to be asked by the attendant to move along as these three blokes could not see the game.  Went in to apologise for my behaviour as “etiquette” is one of my pet subjects and found out they come from Wentworth.  When I apologised to the Wade’s of Wentworth (Dad and 3 boys), I thought, “gee you come all the way from Mildura to the temple and you have to apologise to people from Wentowrth.” They won’t believe me back home!

 

As you can gather the cricket has been very slow since lunch time and Nicholls (22) and Blundell (33) are putting up a fight.  In one respect a good sign for New Zealand for the younger batsmen to be taking up the fight however forlorn it may be.  Lyon comes back into the attack. He had a very relaxing Test match only having bowled nine overs in the Kiwi’s first innings.

 

Wonderful work by skipper Paine who has had a wonderful match.  Lightning glovework sees Nicholls (33) stumped from the bowling of Nathan Lyon and the mini fight back (64 runs) comes to an end with the score on 89.  With Blundell playing solidly on 45 and a class player in Watling joining him there is still some fight in the Kiwi team.

 

The fight continues to tea-time with Blundell playing splendidly for his 73 and Watling on 7 and the score 4/131. The quicks have lost their zip and whilst Lyon has taken a wicket there is nothing in the pitch for him.  Tom Blundell is now nearing a much-deserved century.  After being thrust into the opening position in this Test and failing in the first dig it has been a great fighting knock from him.

 

Watling (22) goes when he gets an inside edge to Lyon the ball passes over the stumps and then wide of Paine for an easy catch to Warner at leg slip. The resistance has been broken but Blundell, 87 not out, is still at the crease.

 

De Grandhomme (9) goes the same way and Lyon is now right in the game having secured the last three wickets. New Zealand 6/172 and Lyon has 3/32.

 

At drinks in the last session New Zealand are 6/182 and the chances of holding out get dimmer and dimmer with a hot day predicted for tomorrow and Lyon bowling excellently at the moment. Tom Blundell, the rock, is 90 and Mitchell Santner 8.  Australia need 4 more wickets but it is unlikely that Trent Boult will bat with his injury so 3 wickets might be enough. Main interest now is whether Blundell can score a well-deserved century.

 

Blundell reaches his well deserved 2nd century in Test cricket from 3 matches.  Made his first century against West Indies earlier this year and it is a mystery why he has not played more Test matches as a batsman considering that score.  He certainly will be in the team for a while now one would imagine.  He has faced 186 balls for his ton.

 

Not long after Santner (27) goes caught behind by Paine to give Lyon his 4th wicket of the innings. His figures are now 4/64 of 10.5 overs. Nearly all over now as a complete mix up between the batsmen sees Southee (2) run out.  8/214 and still 30 minutes of play left for today.

 

Now that he has reached his century Blundell is starting to hit out against Lyon with defeat inevitable now. He keeps going for it and finally is out for 121 caught by Lyon to give Labuschagne his first wicket.  Boult is back home in NZ. New Zealand all out 240. Australia win by 247 runs with  Lyon 4/81, Pattinson 3/35 and Labuschagne 1/11 being the wicket takers.

 

A very convincing win by Australia who, after being sent into bat, have completed outplayed the world number 2 ranked side.  Fine batting in the first inning from Paine, Head and Smith gave the Australians a great start and then superb bowling by Cummins, Pattinson and Starc, and Lyon at the finish continued to cement this team as a very fine Australian side.  Captain Tim Paine led by example with a fine innings of 77 and an equally good display behind the stumps.

 

New Zealand were never in the race with only Neil Wagner being an effective bowler for the game and the failures of their two key batsmen Williamson and Taylor in both innings contributing to the defeat.

 

A fine gesture by the NZ team as they went en masse to their supporters in the outer, who have had a great match, to thank them for their support.

 

Now to Sydney next week and Australia will be keen to make it 3 nil and more than likely to succeed given that New Zealand have another player to replace in Trent Boult and key batsmen sadly out of form.

 

With over 19,000 in attendance today  the total spectators went ot 203,472 for the match.

 

 

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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.

Comments

  1. CB, you have rendered a great service to the Almanac community with your coverage of the Tests. Thank you on behalf of us all. I hope you enjoyed your travels. Put your feet up and relax for the last one.

    Aussies ‘too big, too strong, too fast’ all Summer. Now, can they drive the point home in Sydney and not get complacent? Team composition will be interesting.

    Can Williamson and/or Taylor find form? Can the Kiwi bowlers find a winning line and length? I’ll ask yet again – do they have a Plan B?

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Appreciate all of your writing again this summer Citrus.

  3. Swish – many thanks for appreciation. I love writing in a way that will become historical (to a degree) and being able to be at the cricket is heaven. A bit old fashion but not the slightest bit interested in sensationalism.
    We are a very good side with doubts on Wade and Burns.

    IH – There are two things in this life that are set in concrete – Geelong and New Zealand do not have a Plan B!
    As you know I am a great fan of Kane Williamson and I hope he does make runs for Australian fans in Sydney. As for Ross Taylor I think his best has past him on Australian wickets but as I have said this is an excellent bowling attack we have.
    Have a book to write so not going to Sydney but many thanks for your comments.
    My hope for Australian cricket is that Tim Paine plays for another 2 years. What a pity he missed those years!

  4. Thanks again for the report, Citrus. You have done a wonderful job.

    Given all the circumstances (makeshift opener, Australia throwing everything at him), I thought Blundell’s innings was the best of the series thus far.

  5. citrus bob says

    Smokie – yes, Blundell was fantastic and what a story. Only played 4 Test matches ( BJ Watling always first choice) with 2 centuries. When he won the man-of-match in NZ he walked home with his trophy under one arm and his bat under the other.
    Forgot to say in my report that I did not see the Australians rushing up to congratulate him when he had made his century and then departed soon after. We still have a bot to learn in regard to etiquette.

  6. Yes Blundell’s century was a fine effort. However, he should never had achieved it if the umpire had made a massive blunder and said he was not out (even though DRS clearly showed he was out) before he had scored. Once again Paine didn’t go upstairs. Somehow, I suspect, this was the reason Blundell didn’t receive the plaudits he deserved by putting it behind him and carrying on. Maybe the thought he should have walked.

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