Australia v New Zealand, 1st Test, Brisbane, 4th day

New Zealand have no answer to McGrath

The Bulletin by Martin Williamson

November 21, 2004

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Australia 585 (Clarke 141, Gilchrist 126, Martyn 70, McGrath 61, Gillespie 54*, Ponting 51, Martin 5-152, Vettori 4-154) beat New Zealand 353 and 76 (Warne 4-15) by an innings and 156 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Jason Gillespie
Glenn McGrath celebrates the first of his three pre-lunch wickets © Getty Images
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The end to the Brisbane Test came remarkably quickly, as New Zealand were blown away in a session and a half on the fourth day at the Gabba. Needing 232 to make Australia bat a second time, they never recovered after losing three early wickets to Glenn McGrath and were humbled for 76, to go down by an innings and 156 runs. It is remarkable to think that little more than a day earlier Australia had been facing a first-innings deficit.

McGrath and Jason Gillespie frustrated New Zealand for another half-hour this morning, adding a further 21 runs to take their tenth-wicket stand to 114, and then McGrath ripped through New Zealand's top order with three quick wickets to leave them reeling at 4 for 42 at lunch. They had little stomach for a fight in the afternoon. New Zealand ended yesterday shell-shocked by the onslaught of Michael Clarke and Adam Gilchrist and the jaunty resistance of McGrath and Gillespie. By the time they started their second innings today, they looked a beaten side.

Mark Richardson nibbled at McGrath's fifth ball, angled across him, and Gilchrist took a low catch; with the last ball of his second over, McGrath trapped Mathew Sinclair leg-before with one that jagged back and struck the batsmen high - probably too high - on the back leg; and with the second ball of over five he squared up Stephen Fleming, found the edge, and Justin Langer at third slip held a good catch diving low to his right. It demonstrated to New Zealand's wayward seamers the value of line and length, something that appeared alien to them for much of Australia's innings.

Nathan Astle and Scott Styris briefly but unconvincingly stopped the rot, before Shane Warne came on shortly before the break. In his first over he found his range and turned the ball alarmingly. With the first ball of his second over, the last before lunch, he trapped Styris lbw for 7 with one that straightened.


Jason Gillespie
A delighted Jason Gillespie celebrates his maiden Test fifty © Getty Images
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Astle followed straight after the restart for 17, edging Michael Kasprowicz to Warne at second slip, his 100th catch in Tests. The last vestiges of meaningful resistance were removed with two strokes of luck for Australia. The first came when the first-innings hero Jacob Oram's attempted sweep off Warne deflected from his arm onto the back of his bat, from where it looped gently to Matthew Hayden. The second was an error by Steve Bucknor - Gillespie hit a crack, the ball cut inches past Brendon McCullum's attempted drive, but the appeal was vociferous, and a dreadful decision was accepted with remarkable grace.

Craig McMillan, brought in to add some experience to the middle order, failed for the second time, but not before he had engaged in a heated exchange with Gilchrist after surviving what looked to be a good shout for a catch behind off Gillespie, Bucknor's second blunder inside half-an-hour. Bucknor defused the situation, ambled back into position, and correctly gave McMillan out lbw the very next ball. McMillan's verbal exchange was the most fight New Zealand showed all day.

Warne wrapped things up. Daniel Vettori fell in the next over, edging him to Hayden via Gilchrist's thigh, and then Chris Martin was as leg-before as a batsman can be. At least that decision was not questionable. While New Zealand were outplayed, they did not have too much luck with the umpiring. Yesterday Gilchrist was reprieved when on 7 he looked palpably lbw to Vettori; today Sinclair and McCullum had every reason to be unhappy. It made not a shred of difference to the outcome, but it was not the elite panel's finest match.

The first 30 minutes of the day belonged to McGrath and Gillespie, whose unlikely batting partnership continued where it left off last night, both of them untroubled by bowling that was again too short. Gillespie brought up the hundred stand with a lovely cut for four behind square, and three balls later collected his maiden Test fifty with an inside-edge down to the fine-leg boundary. Martin finally ended the innings, and completed his expensive five-for, when McGrath's skyed pull was well held by a running Astle behind square leg.

McGrath's 61 was the third-highest score by a No. 11 in Tests. Then his opening burst of 3 for 8 ended any lingering hopes New Zealand might have harboured of saving the game, and he retired from the attack to contemplate his future as a Test allrounder.

Martin Williamson is managing editor of Wisden Cricinfo.

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