New Zealand v Australia, 2nd Test, Hamilton, 1st day March 27, 2010

Vettori leads New Zealand's strong surge

New Zealand 19 for 1 trail Australia 231 (Katich 88, Vettori 4-36, Southee 4-61) by 212 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Daniel Vettori experienced the perfect start to his 100th Test after taking four wickets, running out Ricky Ponting and watching his side ruffle Australia. New Zealand dismissed their highly-fancied opponents for 231 and then finished at 19 for 1 as they dream of levelling the two-game series.

Tim Southee accepted extra responsibility to back up his captain after the hosts picked two spinners and he provided a clever performance with 4 for 61. But the star was Vettori, who earned more worthy plaudits in a praise-heavy week, with 4 for 36 off 19.3 overs.

New Zealand benefited from a series of errors from the most qualified Australian batsmen and then swept through the lower order in an unusual performance from the visitors. Simon Katich tried to hold the side together with 88, but when he fell two overs before tea, popping a catch off Vettori to short leg, his side was 180 for 5.

After the interval the wickets continued to spill, with New Zealand at one stage capturing three breakthroughs in eight balls. Southee, who had already dismissed Shane Watson (12) and Michael Hussey (22), was on a hat-trick after Brad Haddin popped a simple caught-and-bowled chance from the last ball of his 16th over and he followed up by having Marcus North lbw for 9. In between Southee's blows, Vettori had watched Mitchell Johnson push a catch to bat pad.

Ryan Harris wasn't bothered by the prospect of being the third departure in a row and flicked a four to midwicket. However, Harris soon became Vettori's victim, lbw playing back on 10, and when the captain bowled Doug Bollinger Australia had lost 7 for 59. There was some help for the bowlers from the surface but not much bounce, and it wasn't to blame for the situation.

Vettori was disappointed to lose the toss but his mood improved with each Australian wicket and by the end of the day he didn't want anything altered. Well, he would have wished Tim McIntosh defended to Doug Bollinger in the opening over of the reply instead of shouldering arms and being bowled. But when BJ Watling (6) and Mathew Sinclair, who was 8 in his first Test innings in two years, made it stumps it became a minor blemish.

The touring batsmen were over-generous and probably complacent after their dominant 10-wicket win in Wellington, but they now face a fight to sweep the two-match series. Watson, Ponting and Michael Clarke were wasteful with their wickets while Hussey, Katich and Haddin were heavily at fault in their exits. New Zealand welcomed all the lapses and Southee was the pick of the fast men as he moved the ball in the air and off the pitch.

In the morning Southee was lucky Watson (12) was in an overly aggressive mood, with the batsman's adventurous pull ending in a catch at mid-on for Brent Arnel. In the middle session Hussey left after a similar departure to last week in Wellington, driving at a wider offering from Southee and being caught behind.

Vettori is celebrating his milestone on his home ground and was originally hoping to bowl in the fourth innings, but was forced instead to bring himself on in the 13th over. There was turn from his first delivery and he was responsible for slowing Australia with his impressive control, allowing less than two runs an over and only three fours.

Katich had been in charge of steadying the situation until he popped a strangely simple catch to Watling to give Vettori his first success. Mostly Katich was watchful and industrious, chipping and flicking his score along, and he brought up his half-century with a glance for four.

Jeetan Patel, the offspinner, kept busy and gained the wicket of Clarke (28), who was caught at long-on after misjudging an attempt to clear the rope. Arnel had a mixed return and started well, but he delivered the most eventful over of the day, which contained four fours, a single and a failed referral from an lbw appeal against Hussey.

Ponting knew the situation would be difficult after winning the toss, but did not expect such severe damage. He was run-out for the second time in two Tests after risking a single to Vettori at mid-off and was beaten by the direct hit. It was the 13th time Ponting had been dismissed that way, making him the most run-out batsman in Tests. It is not the sort of record Ponting craves, but he will be more concerned by his side's predicament.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments