Australia v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Hobart, 4th day December 12, 2011

Bracewell delivers extraordinary victory for NZ


New Zealand 150 (Brownlie 56, Pattinson 5-51) and 226 (Taylor 56, Lyon 3-25) beat Australia 136 (Bracewell 3-20, Boult 3-29) and 233 (Warner 123*, Bracewell 6-40) by seven runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

An extraordinary spell from Doug Bracewell and horrific batting disintegration by Australia handed New Zealand a dramatic and momentous seven-run Test victory in Hobart, their first on these shores since 1985.

The hosts' chase of 241 had been guided expertly by David Warner, but Bracewell's removal of Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey, all on 159, left Australia a nervous 5 for 173 at lunch, and on resumption the remaining five went down for a mere 60. In all it was a collapse of 8 for 74, Warner left marooned on 123 when the last man, Nathan Lyon, was bowled by Bracewell.

Bracewell's display, characterised by swing, bounce and sharp variation, confirmed his pre-series billing by the New Zealand captain Ross Taylor as a cricketer of enormous potential. It also branded Australia as a team of profound vulnerability with the bat, a problem made doubly vexing by the fact the top seven is populated as much by experience as callow youth. Clarke will take precious little consolation from the retention of the Trans-Tasman Trophy.

Phillip Hughes had been dismissed without addition to his overnight score, yet again caught by Martin Guptill off the bowling of Chris Martin, and Usman Khawaja was again out for a useful but not sufficiently consequential tally. Ponting and Warner took Australia to within 82 with eight wickets in hand, before tumult ensued.

Hughes and Warner resumed in morning sunshine, aware that morning session had been the most difficult in which to bat during this match. Martin shared this knowledge, and he swiftly made use of it by finding another delivery that seamed across Hughes to be snapped up by Guptill in the slips. Hughes had been out in that manner in each of his four innings for the series, and he walked off knowing he could not expect to be retained for the Boxing Day Test.

By contrast Warner did not let the bowlers settle, punching through the offside with rare power, though it was an edge over the slips cordon off the bowling of Bracewell that delivered his first Test half-century.

Khawaja provided sound support for a time, but Warner twinged his back when diving for a run-out and was visibly inconvenienced. Perhaps trying to take more responsibility for scoring, Khawaja drove loosely at a wide delivery from Trent Boult and was held by Ross Taylor, who did brilliantly to hold his poise as Guptill dived across him from second slip.

Ponting emerged for what may well be his final Test innings in Hobart, and played himself in with a handful of crisp shots. Warner was regaining some freedom of movement at the other end, and lunch emerged into view with the hosts in apparent control.

However Bracewell had been moving the ball consistently, and varying his pace with intelligence. Ponting was undone by a delivery that stopped on him as he tried a signature back-foot drive, and lobbed gently off the toe of his bat to cover. The crowd offered a generous ovation, but it was not acknowledged, Ponting lost in his own thoughts and frustrations at letting New Zealand back into the contest.

Bracewell had troubled Clarke all series, shaping the ball both ways from his muscular body action, and he now prised out Australia's captain with an away swinger that Taylor claimed at the second attempt. His next ball also swung, beating Hussey's bat to strike the pad in front of middle and leg. A not out verdict was referred by Taylor, and within moments Bracewell was on a hat-trick.

Warner top-edged a hook off Martin then drove with conviction to move well into the 90s, and after Brad Haddin survived Bracewell's hat-trick ball the teams walked off for lunch. When they returned, Warner was swiftly into three figures, laughing and punching the air in recognition of a richly-deserved century.

Tim Southee found some delectable outswing in the afternoon, and Haddin edged perilously wide of the slips. Taylor reinforced the cordon and next ball Haddin duly chased another, snicking straight to New Zealand's captain. Peter Siddle did likewise, and for the first time all day the visitors were favoured to win.

Bracewell was bending the ball with similar venom, and two balls after James Pattinson survived a review for lbw when he did not offer a shot, a delivery angled across was snapped up by Guptill in the cordon.

Mitchell Starc was too late and too crooked to keep out his second ball, another swerving demon from Bracewell, and all of a sudden Warner had only Lyon for company. A few solid blows brought the target within 25 runs, but then Southee and New Zealand had a moment in which they felt victory was theirs.

A full delivery swung down the line and struck Lyon in front, quickly drawing a raised finger from the umpire Nigel Llong. Lyon's last-ditch referral looked exactly that, but the ball tracker improbably revealed the ball had pitched a millimetre outside leg stump. To widespread disbelief, the chase resumed.

Next over and the 'keeper Reece Young encouraged the referral of another lbw appeal against Lyon, only to find that Bracewell's in-dipper was arcing down the legside, and the No. 11 then unveiled a princely flick through straight midwicket to demonstrate his composure. Warner took a single, Bracewell bustled in again, and found one more tearing delivery to crash through Lyon's defence.

As New Zealand celebrated, Lyon sank to the ground, disbelieving that the match had been lost. Bad as he felt, it was the batsmen other than Warner who had greatest cause to feel poorly.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on December 15, 2011, 13:17 GMT

    So let's get this straight. Up until recently SA had the world's best bowling attack. They have recently strengthened that attack with Vernon Philander who has, quite frankly, been as impressive as Cummins and Pattinson. Cummins and Pattinson have played three games between them and Cummins is out injured after one, yet they have still managed to leap-frog SA as the best attack in the world. Makes perfect sense.

  • Billy on December 15, 2011, 6:15 GMT

    @brittop, again, nothing new. Australia have their struggles but so too do South Africa (bowled out for 96 recently), NZ (as bad as the Aussies in Hobart), India (think back to the England series earlier in the year), West Indies (have folded cheaply at least once against every side they have played in the last five years). I could go on and on. The fact is, batting standards have dropped considerably when it comes to pitches suitable for bowling.

  • Loafer on December 14, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    I am an Indian. However, I do agree that this is a very valid question. Why do Indians have to usurp a discussion about an Aussie NZ match and abuse team Australia? I can understand comments that say "well done NZ". However, going beyond that and saying Aus deserved this for misdeeds from the past is immature. If it was an India Pakistan match, and we lost narrowly, you wouldn't see too many Australians gloating on cricinfo. I think we have to learn to mind our own business some times. Now, you can hate me for posting this. I do passionately support India, but that doesn't mean I have to deride Aus on every chance I get.

  • jake on December 14, 2011, 11:12 GMT

    It's amazing, everything about nz is positive and everything about aus is negative.And aus won the first test in a canter while there were only 7 runs between the teams in the second. Proves again how much people outside aus want to see them fall while a whole lot of so called aussie supporters only want to support them when they are winning. They cannot be perfect forever, get that through your heads.Maybe if you realise that when you support them the right way i.e. rain hail or shine they might get back to their best sooner rather than later. Just like the barmy army for all those years when their team were getting beaten!

  • drew on December 14, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    with all due respect to david warner, a fantastic hundred in difficult conditions, we can all agree on that. But when your team is down in the dumps and Australia are at 2/150 Bracewell stood up and took his chance well, very well and got an unthinkable victory for nz. A MOM performance by my thinking. But you cannot take anything away from warners innings. A 6fa beats an 123no. any day in my book especially when the other side is on top. I think it's also very unfair that australia got some credit on the podium when nz got nothing, even when they won. For goodness sake it's the first test they had won in 26 years over in Aussie let them have their moment, don't just shy it away like they have done nothing extraordinary. I also think it was very poor sportsmanship by clarke. Doesn't mention ANYTHING about the nz team including Bracewell. Lost all respect for him. Mark Taylor was also very un-sportman like. poor stuff.

  • G on December 14, 2011, 2:47 GMT

    Love seeing great test match cricket! Mental strength is king, and I'd love to have been in the new zealand dressing room during the break. It must have been electric in there to then come out and deliver the way they did to win a great test match!

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    funny cricket at one time aus favourite. black caps came through rapped up

  • Phil on December 13, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    @Marico; @BillyCC: What this game did confirm is the OZ batting lineup's shocking inability to play any seam attack that is actually moving the ball off the straight!

  • Naveen on December 13, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    DEAN BROWLIE is the man Kiwis should be thanking not just bracewell.

    Without him where none of the Kiwi batter showed spine, is he being treated shabbily by Kiwi cricketing elite and media for being a transpalnt from Australia?

    You have to be honest when bracewell got wickets its in such a favourable condition...where as Dean's run came against odds. honestly Kiwi bowlers were pretty bad when it came to cleaning up the australian tail in first Innings, i dont understand the hoopla in the media where a bowler get 9 wicket in best green top ever produced in a modern covered pitch days. wake up that way Warner's century deserved a MOM, i think i owuld share it betweeen warner and Dean Browlie

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    @RandyOZ: best paced attack, agreed but we never saw them playing...are they in hospitals nursing injuries??? Steyn and Morkel are the best and Poms are the second best...Auzzies - dont even remember one name who has been consistently playing...though they certainly have best one sense...their lower order bats better than top order..LOL...

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