New Zealand v Australia, 1st Test, Wellington, 2nd day March 20, 2010

New Zealand fall behind powerful Australia

New Zealand 108 for 4 (Vettori 42*) trail Australia 459 for 5 dec (Clarke 168, North 112*, Katich 79) by 351 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

After being overwhelmed by Michael Clarke and Marcus North in the field, New Zealand watched their top order fail to leave them facing a massive task to save the Test. Clarke's outstanding 168, his highest score, and a career-saving century from North allowed Australia to declare at 459 for 5 and the hosts limped to 108 for 4 at stumps on the second day.

Doug Bollinger struck in the first over of New Zealand's reply and they were 43 for 4 when the left-armer removed Ross Taylor, the side's main batsman. Daniel Vettori, the No.6, scrambled an entertaining 42 to stop the damage in combination with the more subdued Martin Guptill, who had 19.

New Zealand were relieved the declaration came so soon - it arrived less than an hour after lunch - but their cheer was brief. BJ Watling was lbw first ball to Bollinger, who got one to swing back, and Peter Ingram (5) was run out by Mitchell Johnson's stunning kick on to the stumps in his follow-through. Tim McIntosh wanted a quick single but it was a horrible call and Johnson saved himself some crucial time by not bothering to bend over for the pick-up. Everything was going Australia's way.

McIntosh lasted to tea but soon became Ryan Harris' first wicket on debut - replays showed a tight no-ball - when he followed some short deliveries with a full one that was squirted to Michael Hussey in the gully. Twelve runs later Taylor was forced into an edge to Clarke, who dived to his right to collect another memorable moment from an unforgettable game.

At the time Bollinger had 2 for 3 off 5.1, including four maidens, and he finished with 2 for 21. The pitch was still good for batting, but Australia's bowlers were enjoying operating against an un-fancied line-up. It was such hard work for the top order that there were nine maidens in the first 14 overs.

Australia rarely stalled in their innings. Clarke was classy again while North made sure of the No.6 spot with an unbeaten 112 as the visitors dominated through a 253-run partnership. Clarke followed up his aggressive play on the first afternoon with another bright performance and was putting the team situation ahead of his ambitions for a double-century when he was stumped off Vettori.

North brought up his fourth hundred in 14 Tests - and his first significant contribution of the season - with a top edged pull off Chris Martin and celebrated the change of fortune by jumping, punching the air and kissing his helmet badge. Clarke had helped North relax on both days and was the leading man, scoring 151 to North's 93 in the fifth-wicket record for Australia against New Zealand.

After lunch Clarke charged at Vettori to loft over mid-off and overhaul his previous highest score, the 166 he gained against Pakistan in Hobart in January. Clarke went at Vettori again and was beaten down the legside by a late-drifting slower delivery to give the bowler his first breakthrough. During the 253-ball innings Clarke collected 22 fours and two sixes in an impressive display, especially when considering the break-up of his engagement and subsequent publicity over the past fortnight.

He was responsible for Australia's strong first-day position and he wasted no time in making it even better after they resumed at 316 for 4. North tended to avoid the flourishes of Clarke and added 32 for the opening session before becoming more aggressive after lunch.

Starting with a crisp off drive in the first over of the morning, he brought up the 200-run partnership with a back-foot push off Vettori. North slog-swept a fierce six off Vettori to move to 90 and struck him for another two boundaries after his century. He accumulated 11 fours and two sixes during five hours at the crease.

New Zealand were so disciplined for the opening two sessions on day one, but were unable to recapture the line. Martin and Tim Southee could not contain while Vettori and Daryl Tuffey were able to slow things down at times. What they really missed was a fast bowler like Shane Bond who could ruffle the batsmen and take wickets. Brent Arnel, the debutant, was the most successful with 2 for 89, but the best moment for the attack came when Ponting called his batsmen in.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Patrick on March 20, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    I wouldn't say NZ can't bat though, Taylor and Vettori are pretty handy... but you need more than handy to win test matches.

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2010, 20:59 GMT

    NZ without Dan Vettori= Nothing! The teams are really leagues apart. NZ does usually play thei best cricket in my opinion against AUS, love to beat us but simply don't have the cattle.

  • Rupert on March 20, 2010, 19:13 GMT

    I can see NZ dropping below Bangladesh soon. We neglected test cricket for years and drove away players that should have been retained. We deserve to reach bottom ranking, given the way we've messed things up.

  • Mark on March 20, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    First of all,clarkey was fantastic,second of all New Zealand's batting is average to say the least!

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    i think it says more about the media blowing things out of proportion as usual norths spot was never in danger not yet anyway

  • ankur on March 20, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    NZ probably is the worst of the Top-8 teams when it comes to especially batting talent and with Dan Vettori coming good at 6 and doing better than 5 above him...........there's really nothing more to say...

  • Rajaram on March 20, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    Before this Test, Marcus North had played 13 Test Matches,21 innings ansd had scored 3 centuries and 3 fifties. And yet, the sceptics said he was under pressure tp reform? ! ? This says twpo things - 1) the depth of the Australian players who come through the System is very deep, and there arte many eligible. to get a Baggy Green is the most covreted prize in Australia, - to keep it, even tougher.2 The Critreia for performance - the Bar - is very high.Marcus North now has his fourth Century and I should think - like the Selectors - that his place is stable, and ready for The Ashes Curiously, he has IDENTICAL Debuts as Michael Clarke - A Century on Debut was Away - Clarke at Bangalore, Northy at Jo'burg.Century on Debut in the Home Summer for BOTH was against New Zealand!i

  • benjamin on March 20, 2010, 6:55 GMT

    New Zealands test batting is dire. Even Bangladesh have been picking up a few centuries against England. If Bangladesh had a decent bowling attack they would wipe the floor with us.

  • Clarc on March 20, 2010, 5:39 GMT

    Once again it pains me to watch a typically professional outfit like Australia take apart our pop gun attack. Really we need a Shane Bond type bowler who can regularly send it down at 145km plus. And further, today has showed again how much reliance we place on Dan Vettori. Without him we could have been six or seven down, as his brisk innings to date has allowed Guptil to play a slower sedate innings without pressure to increase run rate.

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