Australia v New Zealand 2008-09 / News

Plays of the day

The umpire strikes back, and a jolt for Southee

Peter English at the Gabba

November 22, 2008

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Brett Lee became the fourth Australian to 300 wickets © Getty Images
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Another wide for the Gabba
Steve Harmison's wide in the Ashes two years ago was matched by Mitchell Johnson after tea on Saturday. Johnson had switched to the Vulture Street End and his first ball to Ross Taylor swung before homing in on Ricky Ponting at second slip. It was so wide Brad Haddin had no chance of intercepting the delivery, but Ponting calmly accepted the ball and sent it on its way back to the bowler. This time the ground didn't groan.

Umpiring hits and misses
After benefiting from Rudi Koertzen's caught-behind mistake involving Michael Hussey on Friday, New Zealand suffered the pain of cricket's revenge in the second innings. Both Jesse Ryder and Brendon McCullum were on the wrong side of tight decisions that turned the target of 327 into an impossible one. Ryder was hit high by Mitchell Johnson and Billy Doctrove gave him out lbw while Koertzen ruled the same way when McCullum padded up. However, Taylor seemed to benefit shortly after from a caught-behind decision that convinced all the Australians but not Doctrove.

Fourth to 300
The final stages of Brett Lee's journey to 300 wickets were slow, but he finally became the fourth Australian to the milestone with the third ball of the second innings. Lee went to India with 289 and after four Tests returned home still three short. Two victims on Friday pushed him to 299 and Jamie How's edge to Ponting at second slip sent Lee into a relieved celebration.

Tail between his legs
Lee's day was not all smiles after he found an unorthodox way to get out. Facing Daniel Vettori, Lee went back to defend, collected an inside edge and the ball went through his legs on to the stumps. He left slowly for 7 but by then Australia's lead was more than 250, and there were soon more reasons to smile.

Southee receives a jolt
Hand injuries have been common lately - Lee and Anil Kumble both split the webbing between their fingers during the India series - and Tim Southee added to the list while making a fabulous save. He left the field for treatment but returned shortly after with his wrist strapped, finishing the innings when Stuart Clark drove him to mid-off.

And now to the weather
After the torrential rain and the burning sun of the past week the wind came. A severe weather warning was issued predicting gusts of up to 100kph and the boundary markers struggled to cope with the blustery conditions. Either side of lunch there was the opportunity for some easier runs on the eastern side of the ground as the sponsor's ropes blew in. A few steel pegs were needed to return the field to an oval shape.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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