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

Taylor 'stoked' with Bracewell burst


That Doug Bracewell was not Man of the Match in Hobart was a travesty. He finished with match figures of 9 for 60. He was responsible for altering the course of the Test when Australia seemed set for victory. In short, he was the reason New Zealand won a Test in Australia for the first time since his uncle John played for the national side in 1985.

In their wisdom, Channel Nine asked viewers to vote for the Man of the Match. On a day when David Warner's maiden Test hundred nearly won Australia the game, it was no wonder that Australian fans elected Warner. His innings was brilliant, but he was not the best player in the game. Even Bracewell's captain, Ross Taylor, was surprised by how dramatically the fast man lifted New Zealand.

"I thought Dougie would bowl well," Taylor said. "I didn't think he would bowl that well."

Taylor was referring to his decision to hand the ball to Bracewell with less than 30 minutes to go for lunch. Operating from the southern end, Bracewell removed Ricky Ponting with the fourth ball of his spell and in his next over, nipped the ball away magnificently from Michael Clarke to entice an edge to slip. His very next ball swung in to Michael Hussey, who was lbw on review.

"I thought the way [Peter] Siddle and [James] Pattinson bowled from that end, Doug is probably 5kph slower than them but he's a similar bowler, can hit the deck and swing it away," Taylor said. "As captain you've got to go on hunches.

"I'm just stoked for Dougie. He didn't bowl as well as he would have liked in Brisbane. It didn't help that his captain dropped a catch as well. He bowled outstandingly well for a young guy, only 21, to come in in his third Test match and get Ponting, Clarke and Hussey - that's something you tell your grandkids."

Based on Bracewell's family history, his grandkids might well play for the Black Caps too. It is a huge tick in the box of New Zealand's two selectors, Kim Littlejohn and the coach John Wright, that they trusted Bracewell to be ready for Test cricket. Prior to his debut in Zimbabwe, he had 42 first-class wickets at an average of 42.45. But they saw something in him.

Three Tests into his career, Bracewell has 16 wickets at 19.25. When he mastered the curve in the air and seam off the pitch, Australia had no way to handle him. Another double-wicket over came when he had James Pattinson caught at slip and bowled Mitchell Starc, who couldn't get bat on a ball that jagged in from the off stump, leaving Australia nine wickets down.

Fittingly, Bracewell finished the job in his seventh consecutive over after lunch - his tenth of the spell if the pre-lunch overs are taken into consideration. He nipped another ball in from outside off to bowl Australia's No. 11, Nathan Lyon, and was mobbed by his team-mates. He was the star, but he had plenty of assistance.

Trent Boult was excellent on debut, while Chris Martin led the way in the first innings. And Tim Southee, perhaps the weaker link during the first three innings of the series, picked up two wickets in an over on Monday to take New Zealand from a good position to a brilliant one.

Southee swung the ball away from Brad Haddin to have him caught at slip one ball after being dropped in the cordon, and also drew an edge to slip from Peter Siddle. Taylor said bowling Australia out for 136 and 233 rated as one of the most complete bowling performances he had been part of in the New Zealand side.

"I thought we bowled better in the first innings to be honest," Taylor said. "As a complete performance, yes, I thought we caught well, we didn't drop any. We get a lot of flak for dropping catches but we took all our catches. I'm just stoked.

"We knew we needed wickets before lunch. I didn't bat very well but I never felt in, so I knew that it wasn't going to be easy to bat on that wicket. It was still nipping around on day four so we thought wickets, as they did in our innings, would fall in clumps, so we couldn't be too flat. We had to be as upbeat as possible and that's how we looked at it."

And of course, they needed someone to bowl well. That well.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ryan on December 13, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    @Pardo: I never said 135-140kph was quick [or "scary" for that matter] I just said that it wasn't medium which is what a guy like Styris was [110-125 kph] so you aren't "breaking anything to me" mate. NZ only has one guy who is genuinely quick - Adam Milne - and having played with him at Palmerston North Boys High School when we were 18 years old [and facing in the nets almost daily] I have to say it wasn't that "scary".

  • Randolph on December 13, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    Bracewell is a plodder at best. Even Starc somehow managed swing on that track and he couldn't pitch it up if his life depended on it. The batting was the failure. Warner easily deserved the MoM award.

  • hayden on December 13, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    see i have been shown up, sorry about the mix up in nationallity. ill trade the rose coloured glasses for some humble pie. only just this time though!

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    Thanks @redneck that after a longish explaination of MOM to Warner you do concede the point that it should have gone instead to Bracewell. Btw in your comment to @anuradea notice the fact he is wishing u from Sri Lanka and not from India!!! So do hold your horses and rose glasses in the right direction and yes bring on Boxing day match

  • Desi on December 13, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    @redneck do you realize that anuradea is from SL and not India. By the way i have no problems with MOM going by votes, the best performance should be what the majority says, not pundits. If more people votes for Warner then he was the best performer, fullstop. Afridi is the best player from Pak because majority supports him, Waqar, Wasim might have other opinion but it is the public that matters, and for Pakistan afridi is the biggest charm in cricket.

  • Dummy4 on December 13, 2011, 4:50 GMT

    @redneck . Please do not make it about India all the time. If you read @anuradea's post fully, that guy is from Sri Lanka.

  • Rajit on December 13, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    While Warner batted brilliantly, Bracewell won the match and was more deserving just for that simple reason. Hearing words that since it was done by viewer voting. If that is how they want to do it, then the voting should be opened only post completion of the match, and not while it is in progress.

  • Anura on December 13, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    I agree with you absolutely that the indians do vote in numbers for these Best all time XI's. Since I am Sri Lankan and do not care too much how the indians get into these XI's although ther 3 indian greats who had proved that they should be in any world XI are Tendulkar, Gavaskar & Kapil Dev. But did you know there was a sri lankan nominated for the all time XI even though as a bowler he had taken 37 test wickets (ave. of 36) & 32 ODI wickets (ave.48). What would be the color of the glasses for that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mohan on December 13, 2011, 2:32 GMT

    I am not surprised that Batsmen always seem to get more of these awards (ironically a match is turned around - to use the phrase- usually by bowlers - Batsmen need the better part of a day to do it). Batsmen tend to build up the expectations over a longer period of time and therefore strike a deeper emotional chord. I struggle to recall a fielding effort that got a man of the match - though I am sure there would have been some deserving cases. Another aspect I observe is that while England and Aussie fans are generally more appreciative of good players from other teams (than people from elsewhere), when it comes to giving the final word - they rarely look beyond their own. Their world rarely revolves around some one else. Even the Don could not escape from this when he filed in his best 11, so I am not surprised with Aussie fan's choice of best player. I can understand that a lot of votes may have come in early, but that just proves the point -- they did not feel the need to wait!

  • hayden on December 12, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    in defence of the man of the match award when voting started we were 0/72 needing 169 to win. when warner made his ton we still had 5 wickets in hand. there had already been too many votes already cast in the man of the match poll by the time new zealand had turned the match on its head!!! i do think channel 9 should give the stupid gimmick up and award it based on match winning plays. still warner made 123 in a test that had no other centuries made. not totally underserving, but it should have gone to bracewell. @anuradea you ever seen any of these cricinfo best XI of the year/of all time! alot of indians get in these teams due to the amount of indias voting not becasue of merit. rose coloured glasses my friend!!! bring on boxing day!

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