New Zealand v Australia: First Test, Day 4 – The Basin

It probably will be a matter of how long today as Australia go for the jugular of the New Zealand batsmen.

The visitors have certainly shown deficiencies in the home teams batting line-up and the last six wickets should be a mere formality.

Marsh and Hazlewood open the bowling and give nothing away and it’s not long before Marsh having Anderson palpably LBW for 0 despite a DRS from the batsman.  New Zealand 5/185

It must be hard when you haven’t made a run not to give “it a go” but this one was ridiculous as the ball would have hit half way up middle stump.

The much maligned Marsh has bowled very well in this innings and not given anything away to the batsman.  His position is now secure for the next Test at least.

Henry Nicholls has been solid in his debut game and his fifty comes up when a sharp single becomes five for overthrows. New Zealand can take heart from his effort but he must go in with it now in partnership with the gutsy BJ Watling.

It is not to be as Watling (10) gets an inside edge from a Lyon turner and plays on. New Zealand 6/214.

All over bar the shouting when Nicholls (59) plays on (pads) to Bird for his first wicket of the match. 7/218. It was a solid knock by the young tyro and will stand him in good stead for the future.

NZ hang on to lunch but Hazlewood gets Bracewell (14) leg before wicket just after the interval 8/242.

Australia is in no hurry and the tailenders for the Black Caps are mixing stout defence with some lusty hitting

Tim Southee has a pretty good eye and he entertains the crowd. In case you forgot the fast bowler made 77 on debut some years ago. He takes to Lyon 6.4.6. OUT!   9/301.

Everything about Trent Boult says he can’t bat from playing a defensive prod 100 centimetres outside his of stump to a one arm fling at a bouncer.  But it is not true it is just his ungainly style that looks Chaplinesque.  He has a good eye and he brings it into play.

Boult (12) finally gets out defending outside his off stump and is clean bowled.  Craig remained not out 33. All out for 327 and Australia have a comfortable innings plus victory.

Lyon (4), Marsh (3) and Hazlewood (2) where the chief wicket takers.  Hazlewood and Lyon both have seven wickets each for the match.

Man of the Match: Adam Voges

It was a resounding victory by the Australians and despite Voges’ escape they were never likely to throw the game away.  If Siddle is fit Pattinson will come in for Bird who did not make the most of his opportunity. Whatever happens Pattinson will play at Christchurch.

I am still not convinced that Burns is the opening batsman Australia wants but who else is there?

New Zealand on the other side of the fence have some serious problems and in particular the capacity of the batsmen to play long innings. The only player who can hold his head high was Craig who was not dismissed in either innings. Perhaps he could play as a batsman in place of Anderson and bring in the leg spinner Ish Sodhi.

Latham and Guptill both got starts in the second innings but could not carry on while Henry Nicholls certainly impressed with his endeavour in the second innings

I forgive Brendon McCullum for everything.  It was a huge emotional roller coaster for the skipper.  There was no fairy tale end in the game.  Perhaps Christchurch will see a fitting departure from the long game for him.

TEN THINGS I LEARNT ABOUT CRICKET & WELLINGTON

The Basin ground is now my favourite ground in the world. It has character, history, views, and atmosphere. What more could you want.
Brendon McCullum is the most liked cricketer in the world.
Wellington City has everything one could desire. Good food, wonderful buildings, a proud heritage and history on every corner.
Josh Hazlewood has certainly stepped up to the plate as the leader of the Australian bowling attack
The DRS is a complete joke as are some of the umpire’s referrals. The sooner full control goes back to the umpires in the middle the better but it won’t happen unfortunately
The beer is turned off as soon as the last wicket falls much to the dismay of former Geelong player Gareth Andrews. Australian grounds could take note.
The New Zealand cricket team is the number one team in the world for sportsmanship and an example for every sporting team no matter what level. Outstanding in every aspect.
Did not see one member of the constabulary in attendance during the whole game. What a wonderful endorsement of the crowd behaviour here at The Basin.
Winning the toss at The Basin virtually ensures your team of victory.
The hospitality of the New Zealand people.
Knackers as cricket lovers make sure you get to The Basin. The charm of the entire area will win you over.  Work needs to be done in the future as some of infrastructure is becoming tired.  Let us hope that any changes that are made will not take away from its unique character and historic symbolisation of this wonderful ground.

About Bob Utber

At 75 years of age, 'Citrus Bob' Utber is doing what he wanted to do as a 14-year old: writing, talking and watching sport. How good is that!?! He lives in Mildura with his wife and 'furry kids'; a labradoodle "Freddy Flintoff" and a groodle named "Chloe on Flinders".

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