New Zealand v Australia, 1st Test, Wellington, 5th day March 23, 2010

Hughes and Harris secure 1-0 lead


Australia 459 for 5 dec & 106 for 0 (Hughes 86*) beat New Zealand 157 & 407 (McCullum 104, McIntosh 83, Vettori 77) by 10 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It took Australia longer than they expected, but Phillip Hughes' final-day blast allowed them to finish off New Zealand and gain a 1-0 lead heading into the final Test in Hamilton on Saturday. Brendon McCullum's inspired 104 forced the visitors to chase 106, a target they achieved without loss before lunch thanks to Hughes' aggressive 86 off 75 balls.

After spending time in the field over four days, Ryan Harris, the debutant, sealed a quick finish of New Zealand's second innings, taking 4 for 77 as the hosts were dismissed for 407. Hughes, who grabbed 12 fours and a six, was then in a hurry to end the game and sped to the 10-wicket victory in 23 overs. It was left to Simon Katich, who played the anchor with 18, to take the winning single on the final ball before lunch.

The upbeat display will give Hughes confidence for the next Test he plays, but he will probably have to wait as he is seat-warming for the injured Shane Watson in this game. Daniel Vettori came on and his first delivery was hit by Hughes through cover for four and his fourth effort went for six to midwicket. Hughes charged down the wicket, wasn't put off by not being near the pitch of the ball, and swiped it flat and so hard that it came back damaged after hitting the bitumen in the car park.

Hughes had collected 10 from the opening over of the innings from Chris Martin and added another 10 from Vettori's first six offerings. He followed that with a trio of boundaries off Martin - an on-drive, a glide through the cordon and a straight drive - and was dropped at second slip by Tim McIntosh off Brent Arnel.

The chance didn't concern Hughes, who was playing his seventh Test, and in the same over he brought up his half-century from 43 balls. Cut boundaries continued to come easily in his best five-day performance since his debut tour of South Africa last year.

New Zealand used up both their umpiring reviews in two overs early in the innings, but neither Martin's appeal against Hughes nor Arnel's shout against Katich were overturned by the third umpire. Katich's was closer, with the ball tracking showing it hitting the top of the bails, but it was not decisive enough to change Asad Rauf's not-out call.

Following their courageous fight on the fourth day, New Zealand were unable to repeat their resistance. McCullum, the main obstacle, was removed in the fourth over after bringing up his fifth Test century almost instantly. He sliced behind point from the second ball of the morning to go to 98 and gained a thick edge to third man from Bollinger's next effort for another boundary.

The celebration included ripping off his helmet and raising his arms to the dressing room, but it wasn't long before he pushed on to the back foot and edged Harris to Michael Clarke. There weren't many people at the ground but they were all appreciative of McCullum's performance, which included 13 fours and one six from his 187 balls. The innings showed McCullum's ability to mix long periods of defence with bouts of attacking brilliance and gave his side some short-lived hope

New Zealand began on 369 for 6, holding a lead of 67, and after losing their last specialist batsman the job was left to Daryl Tuffey and his bowling team-mates. Tim Southee gave Harris his third wicket when nicking to Clarke without scoring and Brent Arnel (3) was lbw in Harris' next over.

Harris had a chance for a five-wicket haul when Tuffey drove hard back at him but the ball went down in his follow-through. Mitchell Johnson ended the innings by bowling Martin, leaving Tuffey stranded after contributing a valuable 47, as the hosts lost 4 for 38 in less than an hour. Tuffey's effort was even more admirable considering he was carrying a fractured hand - he was hit by Johnson - that is likely to keep him out for at least a month.

Harris collected six wickets for the game while Nathan Hauritz had 3 for 119 from 49 overs in the second innings after spending most of yesterday bowling into the gale-force wind. After the awful weather on Sunday, the conditions were clear and sunny, which was a shame for the hosts who wanted some more rain. New Zealand were forced to follow-on after scoring 157 on Saturday and produced a strong performance to get so far ahead, but they will need two solid innings if they are to trouble the tourists in Hamilton.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • allan on March 24, 2010, 5:35 GMT

    Clarke and Katich are both boring players. Hughes is a must for both forms of the game and Warner should at least be in the 50 over side replacing Michael Clarke. I would have him in my test side too.

  • Dummy4 on March 24, 2010, 4:23 GMT

    I wouldnt mind seeing watson and hughes unleash as top order batmen! It'll bring back the fear that Langer Hados brought with them, which we could of saw if the pitch against pakistan was flatter.

    After all the retirements, Australia became pussies and wouldnt attack the bowlers, ... i think Now finally they are taking control of the game... Give Watson and Hughes the partnership again, drop katich to 1st drop and pointing to 2nd, then piss off north... Add white (teach him to bowl spin again to replace ritz). And That should look like a high scoring team, which will appeal to the public. Putting bums on seats. Coz we all love boundaries (20/20's)

  • Ross on March 24, 2010, 1:29 GMT

    Another soild performance by Australia. Again it was against a weak opponent but it's not Australia's fault that these teams are no good. Our boys' job is to dismantle and completely dominate poor teams such as NZ, and that's exactly what we did. Again, it's nothing to boast about (beating NZ, WI & PAK) but taking them apart like that is the only result - anything less would be a failure. Well done boys! Bring on England and then give us India & SA so we can shut them up. They've had their cameo at the top, now it's time for us to take back what everyone knows is ours!

  • Blair on March 24, 2010, 1:08 GMT

    From some of the comments praising Hughes, you would have thought he scored a double century in the first innings to set up victory, rather than slogging his way to a quickfire 80 against a mediocre Black Caps attack in a no pressure situation. It's all very well playing like that when you only need 100 to win, but can he play under pressure situations? The guy has been found out against the short pitched ball and, frankly, is overrated. Those calling for him to replace North or - almost unbelievebly - Watson, the best player of the Australian Summer, seem to have very short memories!

  • Jack on March 23, 2010, 22:28 GMT

    Peter English is only accused of bias towards the English because of his name. He can fix this by changing it to Peter Kiwi.

  • Anthony on March 23, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    Hey beejaytee, can I use that line "8 other guys too small to play rugby"? very funny!.

  • sidhant on March 23, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    i think next years will be great as aus & eng are both in form and have thier issues settled also its not like 06-07 where eng were on a losing streak after win in 2005. but in aus i expect oz to trash eng with big performances coming from punter,pup,watson&jonshon&of couse doooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuggggiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeee

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    The result was always expected ... now it is the time for ICC to think about NEWZEALAND, WEST INDIES AND ZIMBABWE...they shud be playing in tests in the 2nd tier and thus they will be playing competitive cricket..... 1st tier shud contain those teams that will not lose b4 losing...............

  • Prasanna on March 23, 2010, 13:58 GMT

    I think Hassen is spot-on - the ICC rankings are a farce - consider this - SL that never won a series in Aus/SA/Eng in the recent past till some time ago was No 2. Aus is the real No 1 , the best , and their success is due to design and not by chance. Go Aussie Go !!

  • Matt on March 23, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    @beejaytee - You can only play who you are drawn to play against... and the manner in which Australia have dismantled these teams, whether you consider them weak or not, is a very good sign particularly considering they have unearthed some quality bowlers in the process (after a few have been injured) who are buiding more confidence with every game they play. They lost a test series IN England 2-1 (that flattered the English, especially considering the circumstances of Game 1) since then have defeated them 6-1 in a ODI series, won the Champions Trophy convincingly, took an injury ravaged side to India and won a ODI series 4-2, whitewashed Pakistan & West Indies in all forms, won the Chappel-Hadlee series in NZ and now in a strong position to win the Test Series 2-0 in NZ and reclaim 2nd position on the ICC Test rankings - many Indian fans will be watching cautiously as the Aussies attempt to reclaim No. 1 position back and with the depth coming through, you wouldn't bet against it...

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