New Zealand v Australia, 2nd Test, Hamilton, 3rd day March 29, 2010

Australian crawl, and an overturned decision

Slow Kat
After scoring New Zealand's fastest Test hundred, Ross Taylor said the Seddon Park boundaries were so small that he'd back himself to mishit the ball and still clear it. There was no such confidence from Simon Katich, who had statisticians reaching for the record books again to find out whether the slowest fifties or centuries were in danger. He lifted his rate enough to avoid all such comparisons but he did make heavy work of his first few hours and didn't strike a boundary until his 138th delivery. The first session, which was half an hour longer than usual due to lost time the previous day, featured 197 dot balls.

UDRS: Upset Daniel, relieved Shane
The cards haven't fallen New Zealand's way during this series in regards to the umpire decision review system and that continued on the third day in Hamilton. The second ball of the morning brought a confident lbw appeal from Daniel Vettori against Shane Watson, which was granted by the umpire Asad Rauf. Watson initially looked set to accept the decision but after a chat with Katich, he asked for a review, out of hope more than anything. The ball had gone on with the arm from around the wicket but Virtual Eye revealed Watson had been struck fractionally outside the line of off stump while playing a shot. He was on 28 at the time and went on to post 65.

An unexpected change
Mathew Sinclair entered the match having only ever bowled four overs in his Test career, all of which were delivered in Johannesburg ten years ago. It was a surprise, therefore, when Vettori called on Sinclair shortly before the new ball was due. His casual run-up suggested slow-medium and that was the case, but his line and length were immaculate. He beat the bat of Michael Hussey and thrust his head into his hands, wishing for his first Test wicket. It didn't arrive but Sinclair did end up with the very respectable bowling figures of 3-2-1-0, with a single to deep point from Hussey the only run.

The axed man cometh
The official New Zealand Cricket profile photo of Peter Ingram shows him sporting a Chopper Read-like handlebar moustache and having been dropped from the Test side he went back to Central Districts and butchered the Northern Districts bowlers today in Napier. Ingram utterly dominated the opening partnership with Jamie How, having scored 85 of the 94 runs on the board when he fell. Meanwhile, in Wellington, Jesse Ryder made a century in his first game back after a long injury lay-off.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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  • Avery on March 29, 2010, 23:19 GMT

    Popcorn, it may pay to remind you that a comparison between Katich and Langer as the 'slow' partner in entirely unwarranted, because almost invariably Langer was the more audacious of the Langer/Hayden pairing, especially at the outset of an innings.

    People seem to confuse the 92 Langer for the post-2000 Langer, Hayden was, by comparison, the more sedate partner.

    The comparison is flawed, IMO.

  • Reg on March 29, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    i wish some of the New Zealand players were more like Katich, and popcorn has it dead right. Its a five day game, and staying at the crease is the first requirement. If Aussie has a spare Katich, please, send him over. Two, if possible!

  • Rajaram on March 29, 2010, 7:04 GMT

    I am surprised that a writer of Brydon Coverdale's calibre has poked fun at Simon Katich for scoring slowly.This is not a One Day Game,Brydon-and Simon Katcich has shown why he and Justin Langer are the perfect Openers in Test Cricket.The need for Australia was to build a solid foundation,build a big second innings score, and bat New Zealand out of this game.Simon Katich is an object lesson for all Test Openers - graft, occupy the crease,frustrate the bowlers, put the bad ball away - runs will come at their time - and sure enough they did. Thanks to the run of scores that Simon Katich has made in the last 10 Tests,Australia has NEVER LOST a Test match. Shane Watson is to Simon Katich what Mathew Hayden was to Justin Langer - aggressive,upsetting the bowlers' line and length with impunity - a perfect pair.Australia'a lead of 300 with six wickets in hand is testimony to Basic Principles holding firm in Test Cricket.Ross Taylor can stew - he had 3 lives;Katich had none. Understood,Brydon?

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