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The Bulletin by Peter English
March 20, 2005
New Zealand 122 for 4 trail Australia 570 for 8 dec (Martyn 165, Gilchrist 162, Hayden 61, Warne 50*) by 448 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Adam Gilchrist ruined New Zealand for the second time in two Tests with a brilliant, brutal 162 and Australia's bowlers were almost as cruel as they bullied a wilting top order. The start was delayed by rain, adding to the washed out opening day, but the scoring pace of Gilchrist and Damien Martyn in a record 256-run partnership gave them oodles of time to wrap up the series.
Wet weather or a Laxmanesque double-century are really the only things that can save New Zealand from slipping to a 2-0 deficit after they hopped to 122 for 4 at stumps on day three. Gilchrist was again to blame. At Christchurch he swung the game away from the Kiwis with Simon Katich, and today he grabbed it powerfully alongside Martyn's beautiful strokeplay, allowing Ricky Ponting to declare at a mountainous 570 for 8.
The total was swiftly set up in the hour before lunch with a mind-blowing display of power hitting as Gilchrist blasted 51 from 35 deliveries and New Zealand haemorrhaged 90 runs. After the break he slowed a touch as the field spread, adding 66 from 62, but the upshot was his 15th Test century at a strike-rate of 111 with five sixes and 22 fours. The barely believable has become weekly.
Gilchrist's punishment overshadowed an exhibition from Martyn, who stayed true to his graceful nature and celebrated a career-high 165. Together they stripped their opponents in a record sixth-wicket partnership against New Zealand in 182 minutes. It was mean, explosive and sustained. Martyn went to Iain O'Brien at 503 and Gilchrist bunted back to James Franklin at 557, but Ponting extended the torture until Shane Warne slapped his fifty. He is not a captain fond of donations.
Stephen Fleming's dire series continued when he offered no shot to Glenn McGrath and was lbw in the opening over. An already exhausted side, needing 420 to avoid the follow-on in a four-day match, enjoyed the aggressive fields but not the attack. Short balls were ordered as Hamish Marshall was pushed to the back foot, and Craig Cumming's pull shot again led to his removal. Michael Clarke then popped up to upend Nathan Astle as stumps neared.
A day that ended in dark conditions began in similar light. The umpires saw the rain and fog and expected no play until after lunch so Gilchrist went swimming with his son. When the clouds cleared quickly an 11.30am resumption was decided and calls to mobiles rustled up the players. Gilchrist made it to the ground in time to rush on his gear and walk out to the middle for the 60-minute session.
Adjusting quickly from the paddling, Gilchrist lined up Chris Martin once he raised his half-century. A clipped four through point was followed by a hooked six and a back-foot boundary through cover: three balls, 14 runs. Martin seemed in more trouble when he dropped short and Gilchrist aimed a cut. There was relief when Hamish Marshall intercepted it and further frustration when it bumped out as he hit the ground.
Franklin was next for punishment - three fours in one over - as Gilchrist closed on his century before lunch. He was slightly delayed and waited until the first over after the break with a late cut off Daniel Vettori. He moved from 50 to 100 in 29 balls; it was bludgeoning and breathtaking. Next ball he pierced the wicketkeeper and first slip with an edge, straining New Zealand necks.
Vettori, who bowled 47 overs for two wickets, masters most Australia batsmen, but not their wicketkeeper. Gilchrist's third six of the innings was belted high, long and straight. The next, two balls later, bashed into a blue fence over mid-on shortly before lunch. The fifth, again off Vettori, took him to 143. When Gilchrist fell to Franklin his summer of runs in four Tests against New Zealand included 126 at Brisbane, 50 at Adelaide, 121 at Christchurch and 162 today. Imagine if Australia had second innings.
While Gilchrist paraded his muscles, Martyn eased boundaries as he woke up in the same form that earned him 106 on day two. Calm in all conditions, he kept to himself and coolly increased his score despite the distraction of his partner. Martyn's 150 came from 250 balls, with 23 fours, and his intensity soon dropped. Unfortunately his highest Test effort will be overlooked by everyone but the purists. Martyn sparkled while Gilchrist crashed and New Zealand cracked.
How They Were Out
Martyn c McCullum b O'Brien 165 (503 for 6)
His best Test score ended with a push and a nick to a ball that moved away.
Gilchrist c&b Franklin 162 (557 for 7)
Popped a return catch in a meek end to a mammoth innings.
Gillespie b Franklin 162 (559 for 8)
Bowled slogging to leg.
Fleming lbw McGrath 0 (9 for 1)
Padded up to one coming back in the first over, Rudi Koertzen thought it would hit off.
Marshall c Gillespie b McGrath 18 (55 for 2)
Attacked with short bowling, he hooked to fine leg and Gillespie ran out of the shadows to take a lunging, low catch.
Cumming b Kasprowicz 37 (78 for 3)
Aimed a pull towards midwicket that didn't bounce as much as he expected and dragged an under-edge on to the stumps.
Astle c Warne b Clarke 9 (108 for 4)
Clarke came on in the gloom to replace Gillespie and Astle drove hard to Warne, who snapped the sharp offering at first slip.
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