Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hobart, 4th day

Martin and Guptill clean sweep Hughes

Plays of the Day from the fourth day of the second Test between Australia and New Zealand in Hobart

Brydon Coverdale at the Bellerive Oval

December 12, 2011

Comments: 25 | Text size: A | A

Phillip Hughes nicks to the slip cordon, Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hobart, 4th day, December 12 2011
It was 'c Guptill b Martin' for Hughes, again © AFP
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The anti-climax
New Zealand had not won a Test against Australia since March 1993, and they had not enjoyed victory on Australian soil since November 1985. So when the umpire Nigel Llong raised his finger to give Nathan Lyon lbw to Tim Southee, the New Zealand played were understandably elated. But Lyon asked for a review - rather forlornly - and the main questions appeared to be whether there was an inside edge or if the ball was sliding down leg. However, Eagle-Eye surprisingly showed the ball pitching outside leg - when Southee was coming over the wicket - and Lyon was reprieved. For the record, Eagle-Eye is produced by a New Zealand-based company. But in the end, Doug Bracewell rattled Lyon's stumps and the review was quickly forgotten.

The inevitable
Phillip Hughes, caught Guptill bowled Martin. That was how the scorecard had read for each of the first three innings of the series. A joke was doing the rounds that scoresheets were being handed out at Bellerive Oval with those details pre-printed. And it didn't seem to matter where Guptill was fielding: in Brisbane it was at gully, in the first innings in Hobart it was at second slip. And so it proved again in the second innings as Hughes edged a wonderful Martin delivery that seamed away and was snapped up at second slip by Guptill. "If P Hughes is shaving tomorrow and gets a nick," the ABC radio commentator Kerry O'Keeffe said, "M Guptill will appear from the medicine cabinet with a band-aid."

The near steal
Perhaps the catch got Guptill a little over-excited. When Usman Khawaja edged behind soon afterwards, the ball was sailing straight towards Ross Taylor at first slip when his view was nearly obscured by Guptill, who hurled himself to his right from second slip. Guptill leapt like a goalkeeper and almost got his hand to the ball, but luckily for New Zealand Taylor was not put off and clutched the take cleanly.

The kick of joy
Taylor collected another catch soon afterwards when he snared the opposing captain Michael Clarke, who edged Doug Bracewell to first slip. Taylor's celebration suited the momentum that was building behind New Zealand at the time: he launched a rugby style kick of the ball as he sensed he had a chance of becoming the first captain to lead New Zealand to a Test victory in Australia since Jeremy Coney.

The ovation
Ricky Ponting's dismissal wasn't one of which he'll be proud: a strangely mistimed drive that lobbed up to cover and was easily caught. Ponting walked off the Bellerive Oval to a standing ovation in what could well be his last international appearance at the ground. Unfortunately, there were only a couple of thousand spectators on hand to give Ponting his reception. The crowds had been disappointing for the whole match, and Monday was no exception.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2011, 2:25 GMT)

Well well well - great to see all the comments congratulating the Kiwis on a what was a tenacious and hard fought win. Typical comments from one eyed Aussie fans and then the standard comments from India about how they are going to do against the Aussies.

You'd think the kiwi's would have earned some respect from other fans - apparently not. sad.

Good on ya NZ. You played test cricket in the right spirit and deserved to win.

Posted by tfjones1978 on (December 12, 2011, 23:56 GMT)

Thanks for asking @SpartaArmy. I was focusing on making the point that these spots need to be opened. Those in shield cricket impressing me are: P Forest (581 runs off 10), M Klinger (538 runs off 11), D Christian (475 runs off 8 & 10 wickets off 9) and E Cowan (433 runs off 8 inc 145 vs NZ A). P Nevill (472 runs off 7) and M Wade (316 off 5). M Hogan (32 wickets for 693 off 12). My squad would be: (bats) Warner, Marsh, Cowan, Khawaja, Forest, Clarke, Klinger, M Hussey, (alrounders) Watson & Christian, (keepers) Nevill & Wade, (bowlers) Siddle, Cummings, Pattison, Starc, Hogan & Lyon. For first test I would select: Warner, Marsh, Khawaja, Clarke, Hussey, Watson, Nevill, Siddle, Cummings, Pattison, Lyon. I would rotate (& tell) the players in squad (exc Clarke) so everyone gets at least one test during the series to prove themselves. On current injuries I would have Cowan for Marsh and Christian for Watson. If Hussey does nothing in first test I would drop him and rotate the batsmen.

Posted by mrmonty on (December 12, 2011, 21:30 GMT)

@HumungousFungus, your concerns are valid. But, I think test cricket just like life will find a way to evolve and so will the players.

Posted by SpartaArmy on (December 12, 2011, 21:28 GMT)

tfjones1978: sounds like a half plan! You can not just take them out, you have to replace them. It wud hve been nice if you podyrf whom u gonna replace those players with.

Posted by HumungousFungus on (December 12, 2011, 17:03 GMT)

I wonder if we are seeing the first 'fruits' of the 50-over / 2020 generation? Matches played on flat pitches, with fielding restrictions, and with the emphasis on going hard at the ball, cannot breed a team of consistent Test Match batsmen by anything other than fluke. Test cricket is an examination of technique, physical and mental stamina, and many of the young players coming through do not seem up to it. This is not just a point one could make with Aus, but also SL, Pakistan, WI, and even India (whose Test team, I'm afraid, will be in big trouble when SRT, VVS, and Dravid retire), where the defiiciencies are masked, to a degree, by the quality of the pitches. Is there an argument for saying that learning your cricket in South Africa or England, where pitches have much more life, might be a better grounding for Tests, as it gives players the confidence to play on all wickets, good or bad, and not start to play silly shots the second the ball starts moving off the straight?

Posted by stormy16 on (December 12, 2011, 12:59 GMT)

Hughes is history in my books and surely those 4 dismissals is plenty of evidence to try someone else - Warner for a start!! Haddin is another concern for me. Sure he scored a couple of fifties in recent times but he is not building too much confidence in a team that the top 6 are looking dodgy at best. Ponting is playing his last summer of cricket surely. He cant live off a fifty here and there - he must win games for Aus which he is not doing. I think Kawaja needs to be given more time and has shown some resolve about him - something that is lacking badly.

Posted by IntCricket on (December 12, 2011, 12:28 GMT)

The crowds had been disappointing for the whole match, and Monday was no exception. ---------------------------------------------------------- Wow, who woulda thought! We are always told that England and Australia are the ones keeping Test cricket alive going by the attendances at Test Matches. Looks like nobody gave the memo to the Aussie public. Ha Ha Ha Ha

Posted by tomhedley on (December 12, 2011, 11:49 GMT)

If Phil Hughes knew where his off stump was he'd have a chance in Test cricket, unfortunately he seems to defend so far away from his body, which is more a problem with judgement rather than technique. If you defend at things you don't have to you'll get out!

Posted by satish619chandar on (December 12, 2011, 10:36 GMT)

@RandyOZ : He is more than decent spinner.. Probably the best spinner from Australia(I haven't yet seen O'Keefe bowl yet.. But his records suggest he should be good).. But still, i wouldn't read much into Lyon's wickets this series.. He bowled sparingly and most of his wickets were tail.. Surely his batting is excellent.. Was shocked to see Starc coming to bat ahead of him.. How can u keep a guy who saved u from the lowest ever score in the history of the game at 11!!

Posted by tfjones1978 on (December 12, 2011, 10:19 GMT)

I agree with several of these comments. Lets look at the averages of players for their past six months: Warner (4 innings) av 75 with 1x100, 0x50. Hughes (11 innings) av 29 with 1x100, 1x50 with av 19 off last 8 innings. Khawaja (9 innings) av 29 with 1x50 with 3x100 domestic. Ponting (11 innings) av 27 with 2x50. Clarke (11 innings) av 45 with 3x100, 1x50. Hussey (12 innings) av 45 with 2x100, 2x50 with av 10 off last 7 innings. Haddin (12 innings) av 22 with 2x50.

I think the stats say it all. Hughes was doing okay until recently. Khawaja is doing well in state cricket but only getting starts. Ponting has had 2 good innings recently but nothing in this test. Clarke and Hussey form has been up and down. Haddin is consistently getting nothing.

Hughes, Ponting and Haddin have to go. Getting the occasional run isnt good enough. Hussey should be told he has to make runs in his next two or three innings (or or two tests) or he is cut.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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