Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hobart, 1st day December 9, 2011

We're quite happy with 150 - Brownlie


Rarely in Test cricket is a first-innings score of 150 enough. New Zealand have never won a Test having scored so few batting first. But on a pitch so green that it barely qualified to be called a cut strip, they believed their total was competitive. And by nicking out Phillip Hughes shortly before rain ended the day's play, they boosted their confidence further.

"We felt the pitch was doing quite a bit," the batsman Dean Brownlie said after play. "We feel like we've got the runs on the board and to get the early wicket was excellent. We feel like we're in the game."

Brownlie, who made 56 and was the only New Zealand batsman to pass 20, said the pitch was the hardest surface he had played on, considering the quality of the Australian attack. Four of his colleagues were caught behind the wicket as the ball swung and seamed alarmingly, especially early in the day.

After their disappointing performance in Brisbane, where 17 of the 20 wickets lost during the match were caught, and the majority of those were deliveries that need not have been played, it was a more disciplined effort in Hobart. Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor were lbw and four men were bowled, although three of those played on.

"You had to have a little bit of luck out there, to hopefully miss the ones that moved, and if they didn't move you've got to make sure you hit it," Brownlie said. "In terms of how we approached it, we wanted to make sure we were accountable for how we batted. I thought we did that. It was tough and some guys edged it, and that's part of cricket. We're quite happy with 150 on the board."

Not that New Zealand's total, the second lowest Test score recorded at Bellerive Oval, worried the Australians. James Pattinson, who collected 5 for 51, said the Australians were happy with how thing stood at the end of the day, despite the loss of Hughes leaving Australia at 1 for 12 in the fifth over of their innings.

"I think 150 on any wicket is pretty under-par," Pattinson said. "I don't think it's enough. But saying that, if they bowl really well you don't know what can happen. We've definitely got the talent in our batting to make a big score. Hopefully the sun comes out tomorrow and they get the covers off pretty early. This wicket does change when they get the sun on the wicket."

Pattinson has experience of grassy Bellerive surfaces, having taken more first-class wickets at the venue than he has at his home ground, the MCG. Asked if he had ever bowled on a greener pitch at the elite level, he said it compared to another Hobart pitch but he hoped it would not break up in the same way later in the game.

"We played a Shield game down here at the start of the year which was green with a lot of grass on it," Pattinson said. "But the wicket today was a lot softer. It was a lot wetter than when we played on it last time. Last time it broke up quite a bit. I think that's probably why he [curator Marcus Pamplin] has done that. He's probably worried about the last couple of days on it, breaking up and balls could roll like they did last time we were here."

If the surface stays together, batting should only become easier as the match wears on. And New Zealand will need to defy history to pull off a remarkable victory. Only twice in the past 100 years have Australia bowled a team out for 150 or less in the first innings and gone on to lose the Test.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on December 12, 2011, 0:37 GMT

    In fairness to Oz, the 2nd day saw variable bounce, which was not evident on the 1st day. Also - the NZ attack was brilliant. Day 2 saw Oz bowl poorly, which allowed NZ (who batted well), to get into a great position. Oz bowled very well on Day 3 & Hughes & warner were great. @ FehmeedQ - the pitch IMO - is actually tops! This was real test cricket. The only negative is that I didn't want variable bounce until say Day 4. Too many pitches are loaded in the batsmen favour. Brownlie, Taylor, Warner & Siddle showed runs could be made if you adapted your play. Much rather this than both sides making 500 runs in their first innings.

  • dummy4fb on December 10, 2011, 7:12 GMT

    When i woke up this morning, i literally ROFLd!! Aus out for 136! Browlie's statement comes true.. I hope Pattinson realises now that 136 is less than even an under-par score!

  • shaantanu on December 10, 2011, 6:48 GMT

    sorry it was supposed to be mithun and not mukund:)

  • shaantanu on December 10, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    I am loving it.some ppl are made to eat their words.......however the aussies can expect to score big,ponting included,this summer as our selectors are including lousy bowlers in mukund and vinay in the team....i still fail to understand whats wrong in selecting pathan(he has the experience of playing in australia at least)......Happy scoring ponting and co.i would love to see mukund and vinay being hit out of the park and into oblivion.

  • jonathan5621 on December 10, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    well said brownlie goahead and win this test too

  • dummy4fb on December 10, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    brownlie said the bold and golden words !!

  • FehmeedQ on December 10, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    This pitch is absolute rubbish. Balls from seam bowlers are moving as if a wrist spinner ala shane warne is bowling on it. Test cricket needs to be played on pitches where there is equal contest between bat and ball. Nowadays it is either being dominated by batsmen on fetherbeds or we get pitches like these which are common place in south africa and england.

  • vxttemp on December 10, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    Chasing record low scores? they can't score on flat tracks and on green tops. So what do we call Australia? So called Born n brought up on bouncy pitches. Morons, other teams are not provided a different track when they come for batting and India doesn't get a flat track everywhere when they bat. SA and Aus scored 434 and 438 on a green top??

  • maddy20 on December 10, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    Oh the mighty Aussies got bowled put for 136 hahaha! Atleast its better than 47. Lucky for them NZ bowling attack is not as strong as SA or they would have repeated that magical performance!

  • IrvineXI on December 10, 2011, 4:44 GMT

    Brownlie has proved everyone here in the comments board wrong. Hats off to him to make that bold statement. Nobody would have believed him at the end of first day. Now, everybody here, please eat your words!

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