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The Bulletin by Peter English
March 19, 2005
Australia 337 for 5 (Martyn 106*, Hayden 61) v New Zealand
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Damien Martyn's delightful century directed a third-session flood that swamped New Zealand at the Basin Reserve. Martyn added 82 after tea as Australia, who survived a difficult and gritty opening session, embarrassed their opponents as they wasted perfect bowling conditions.
The first day was washed out but there was no second false start, and by the close the only rain was Australian runs. They went to stumps on 337 for 5 with Martyn breezing to 106 and Adam Gilchrist, who offered more than support after an early six, on 45. Leading a stunning onslaught of 163 in the session, Martyn shared a partnership of 90 with Gilchrist in 60 minutes that caused a huge momentum shift.
Waving his bat like a brush, Martyn drove, pulled, flicked and glanced as he breezed to his 12th Test century with 17 boundaries. No shot seemed to take effort once he'd passed fifty and he brought up three figures with a glide to third man, his second half-century taking 68 balls. Play had been extended by 30 minutes but for Stephen Fleming it must have felt like another session.
New Zealand's opening bowlers twice wasted the new ball and it was difficult to judge which miss was more costly. On a day made for swing and seam they watched Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer graft 82 after Fleming won the toss. It was a poor return and Fleming deserved to be angry, especially after dropping Langer at slip when he was zero.
Daniel Vettori started the recovery and by tea the sides were evenly balanced at 174 for 4. Then Martyn started to cream drives and when the second new ball arrived it was sent on a welcome tour of the ground. Martyn eased a pull and three beautiful shots through cover off the same Chris Martin over. Gilchrist soon joined in. The one home bright spot came when Simon Katich cut at James Franklin to end the 84-run stand with Martyn.
Carrying another uncomfortable load with few complaints, Vettori dragged his side from the early trouble with two wickets in a nagging, jumping, opening spell of 23 consecutive overs. Two wickets formed his early haul and when Franklin and Nathan Astle chipped in with Hayden and Michael Clarke New Zealand had caught up.
The cheer didn't last after the tea break; the thrill of winning the toss was also short-lived. Play surprisingly began on time under clearing skies but Fleming's decision backfired as his fast bowlers failed to make early break-throughs. Hayden and Langer shed their flashes and donned their battle faces to negotiate a desperately tricky start.
The pitch had spent two days under the covers, but the conditions did not phase the Australia openers as they left balls that were swinging wildly. It was slow going, an old-fashioned morning struggle. Fleming's men needed to do better, and the situation was so dire that Vettori was on after 15 overs - it was like a one-day match.
Beaten three times in the first over, Langer was more comfortable than his partner and found scoring easier. Hayden watched and waited. There were inside edges, plays and misses, hits on the pads and the occasional boundary. As Langer closed on a noble half-century he was out sweeping to Vettori in a close caught-behind decision.
After a grafting innings Hayden left as he started to look settled. His half-century had come up in 130 balls as he downed most of his tools and gritted and grimaced his way through the morning. He was then undone by a strange drive to Franklin.
The wicket continued a strong post-lunch hour for New Zealand after Vettori had outclassed Ricky Ponting, but it was their best passage of the day. Australia were in charge when it mattered, comfortably winning the opening and closing sessions, and Martyn's classical play made sure the match - and the series - was heading his way.
How They Were Out
Langer c McCullum b Vettori 46 (82 for 1)
Attempting a sweep, the ball ballooned off his left forearm but it was difficult to tell whether it brushed the glove on the way past. Snicko and David Shepherd said it did.
Ponting lbw Vettori 9 (100 for 2)
Beaten in flight, he tumbled forward off balance and gave Shepherd an easy decision.
Hayden c Vincent b Franklin 61 (146 for 3)
Took a big step forward but his angled bat eased a mishit drive to cover.
Clarke c Fleming b Astle 8 (163 for 4)
Playing ahead of his pad he pushed an edge to first slip.
Katich c McCullum b Franklin 35 (247 for 5)
Flashed at a short ball from Franklin that was too close to cut.
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