Bracewell's agony and Young's injury
The final straw
By the time Michael Clarke reached 106, Doug Bracewell might have been the most exasperated man in Brisbane. A swish outside off stump burst through the hands of Jesse Ryder at third slip, meaning Bracewell had endured the rare "distinction" of thrice doing enough to dismiss Clarke, and thrice being denied his wicket. Though it was Bracewell's own transgression when a no-ball allowed Clarke to resume his innings having been bowled for 23 on day two, Ryder's drop was one of two of eminently catchable chances slipped through New Zealand fingers on day three. On 85, Clarke snicked behind only for Reece Young to spill one of the simpler chances a wicketkeeper can receive.
Daniel Vettori had not managed to get too many deliveries to jump during Australia's first innings. With Clarke on 124 he found quick turn and sharp bounce to go past the bat, but not past wicketkeeper Reece Young, who had his face mashed by the spinning, spitting ball. Treated at first on the field, Young was eventually forced to go off in order to stem profuse bleeding, leaving Brendon McCullum to resume his former role as gloveman for the visitors. McCullum and Brad Haddin shared a rueful laugh while Young was patched up, and while Australia's 'keeper habitually wears a helmet to the spinners these days, McCullum remained clad only in a cap when he collected the gloves. He resumed briefly after tea without 'keepers' pads, until Young returned with 12 stitches.
When Mitchell Starc emerged to bat at No.10, New Zealand could have been forgiven for thinking the end of the innings was nigh. Peter Siddle and James Pattinson, Nos.8 and 9, had not troubled them for long, and anyone who bats behind that duo cannot be particularly able with the bat. Starc proceeded to edge his second ball to Ross Taylor in the slips, but the New Zealand captain spilled the chance. the drop was greeted with only mild irritation, though - another chance would be on its way soon enough, it seemed. But Starc then demonstrated decent technique and plenty of power, befitting a cricketer who was a keeper/batsman until being encouraged to take up bowling at the age of 15. He added a useful 44 with Haddin, and was unbeaten at the end on 32.
The bad decision
Every pair of opening batsmen has a different way of deciding who shall take first strike in the first and second innings. New Zealand's Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill elected to rotate the first over in Brisbane, to the delight of Australia's debutant new-ball bowler James Pattinson. In the first innings, McCullum had opened up against the nervous Pattinson and collared him for three boundaries in the first over of the Test. However in the second, Guptill's more abstemious approach allowed Pattinson to settle, something he did so well as to returned the figures of 4-3-1-1 in the brief spell to stumps, nipping out McCullum with a swift, seaming delivery.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo