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The Bulletin by Peter English
March 30, 2010
New Zealand 264 & 185 for 5 need another 294 runs to beat Australia 231 & 511 for 8 dec (Katich 106, North 90)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
News : Doug on the deck, and maybe in the dock
News : Greatbatch wants tougher approach from batsmen
News : Shades of Akram in record-breaking Johnson
Report : 3rd day bulletin
Matches: New Zealand v Australia at Hamilton
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of New Zealand
Mitchell Johnson took out his frustration at a first Test pair by hurting New Zealand and putting Australia on target for a comfortable series cleansweep. Johnson stung the hosts in their impossible pursuit of 479 with 3 for 39 and left a few physical bruises as well during hostile spells either side of tea.
New Zealand need a world-record chase to level the series but there is virtually no chance of that after another modest top-order performance left them at 185 for 5. While the pitch is still excellent and the forecast is for another sunny day, they still require 294 runs, with Martin Guptill (29) and Brendon McCullum (19) the only remaining men capable of long stays.
They will do well to make it to lunch if Johnson repeats the effort he produced after Marcus North's 90 rushed Australia towards their lunch-time declaration of 511 for 8. Johnson removed Tim McIntosh and BJ Watling before tea and after the break delivered the crucial blow when Ross Taylor edged a ball angling across him.
There was no respite for the batsmen when Johnson was involved as he operated around 150kph and moved the ball teasingly at times. New Zealand had to open with a century stand or more to have a chance and they did well until Johnson came on at second-change.
In his second over he bowled McIntosh with an off-cutter that darted between pad and a diagonally-defensive bat. Johnson quickly made Sinclair wince when hitting him in the back with a short one that deflected for four legbyes.
Four overs later Watling (24) pushed Johnson through cover for a boundary, but departed chasing a repeat and edged to Brad Haddin. The wickets made Johnson the fastest left-arm bowler to 150 wickets, with the milestone arriving in 34 Tests, and he had 2 for 18 from his opening spell of six overs.
Taylor and Sinclair were in decent shape during a stand of 54 before Taylor (22) was tempted into pushing at a rising ball going away from him and Haddin had his second catch. Taylor was the only man capable of collecting a massive score to worry the Australians, who were triumphant at his departure.
Further trouble came when Sinclair was lbw for 29 having missed a straight one from Michael Clarke's part-timers, and they were 152 for 5 after Daniel Vettori was trapped in front trying to sweep Nathan Hauritz. A large batch of replays couldn't save the captain in his 100th Test and his milestone match is almost certain to end in a heavy defeat.
In the first session North, Clarke (63), Haddin (48) and Hauritz (41) all swung freely to increase the advantage after Australia resumed on 333 for 4. Ricky Ponting has given his rebuilding attack more time to dismiss their opponents this summer, knowing he lacks the firepower of previous years, and he closed the innings after the two-and-a-half-hour first session. Given the work of Johnson and the application of the local batsmen, he could have gone on for much longer.
North was attacking, especially when driving down the ground, and the freedom of setting a target allowed him to relax. There were brutal shots in his 16 fours and a six as he hoped for his second century of the series, but he went 10 runs short after walking to a catch behind.
He swept hard at Vettori and McCullum collected a smart legside take, with North leaving just as the New Zealanders were calling for a review following Asad Rauf's apparent not-out call. Next ball Vettori watched Johnson hit his first delivery to Jeetan Patel at long-on, but the mistake didn't matter at the time as the side's lead had already passed 400. It would be a problem for New Zealand a couple of hours later.
Clarke was breezing along until he was lbw to a ball coming back sharply from Brent Arnel, walking off after a failed referral. Haddin was excited when he arrived and targeted Arnel, who he hit for sixes straight down the ground and to long-on, in his explosive 40-ball display.
Patel bowled Haddin with a big-turning offspinner and the declaration came after Hauritz and Ryan Harris added an unbeaten 58 for the ninth wicket. Despite his harsh treatment, Arnel was New Zealand's most successful fast bowler with 3 for 77 while Vettori and Tim Southee finished with two wickets each. The locals deserved to be upbeat after the first day when they dismissed Australia for 231, but since then they have been out-classed by an outfit determined to finish the summer with an unbeaten Test record.
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