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Monday, December 12, 2011

New Zeland wins a thriller at Hobart - a win after decades

Was away and could not watch the Indian completing another good win at my hometown – did not watch either Manoj Tiwary’s century or the blitzkrieg of Keiron Pollard who I read played a great innings studded with 10 sixers – an innings that had been expected of him for so long.  In the end, Indians completed a win by 34 runs to complete the scoreline 4 – 1.  A win without its stars should do India lot of good mentally as we prepare to play at downunder where  watch one of the most thrilling Test matches ended New Zealand drought for ages.

It is the pleasure of Test Cricket – a low scoring match and some point of time Aussies had the match totally in their control chasing a modest 241 and cruising at 159/2 – it turned out to be different at Hobart, Tasmania.  Can you imagine a Team getting bowled out for 150 on the first day and still winning the match ? – this morning I watched the thriller….

James Pattinson’s 5 for 51 pushed down Kiwis without Daniel Vettori and Ross Taylor standing in to a low score; but Chris Martin, debutant Boult and Doug Bracewell with 3 apiece ensured a slender lead for NZ bowling out Australians for a paltry 136.  -  Doug Bracewell – Who ? – we had heard of John Bracewell, the tall spinner who did well in Indian soil, decades back.  In the second essay, Kiwis fared no better, only the captain Ross Taylor made a 50 and they were again all out for 226; thus setting up a target of 241.

David Warner had been considered a T20 player who luckily got a chance to play a Test match – in his Second Test, in this crucial innings, he played wonderfully and took them agonizingly closer to victory with an unbeaten 123 – carrying his bat through.

After Phil Hughes got out early, at drinks on 4th day, Australia were cruising at 94/1 with Warner making 60 of those.  Khwaja was out at 122 – still the victory very much looked that of Aussies.    At 159 they lost Ponting and Clarke and the 190s was jinxed as they lost Haddin, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc  and suddenly defeat was staring at them.  It was the tall Doug Bracewell who did all the damage which until then was expertly guided by David Warner who made a very good century.  In the end, there were so many referrals, which went against the Black Caps and with less than 10 to score, an Aussie victory looked a reality – then with 8 to be scored, Bracewell cleaned up Nathan Lyon to bring about a New Zealand win after decades.   Now it almost sure that Ponting has played one last innings in the lost match at Hobart.  

With so much of emphasis on foreign coaches – one man must be happy with the result today it was Damien Wright -  the New Zealand bowling coach,  who had played lot of his cricket at this particular ground at Hobart.  Damien Geoffrey Wright never played a Test but played in English league and at Tasmania and Victoria
cropped photo of Bracewell from

The test ever would be remembered for the heroics of Douglas Andrew John Bracewell only 21 years of age who with that lost wicket had figures of 6/40.  it is only his third Test  after his debut against Zimbabwe at Bulawayo in Nov 2011.  He is the nephew of John Bracewell and has played 2 ODIs earlier.

Statistics reveal that New Zealand have not had a victory against Australia for 18 years as their last win came at Eden Park, Auckland in 1993 and worser still their last victory in Australian soil was 26 years ago at Perth in 1985  - looks a very poor performance indeed. And they have real reasons to celebrate this victory coming as it did after so many years.  For the fourth time in as many innings this series, Hughes was caught Martin Guptill, bowled  Chris Martin

In the morning when the day began Aussie needed only 169 with all the wickets in hand and it turned to be the otherway made it so gripping.

This reportedly is Kiwi’s third win on Australian soil.  This match was played at Bellerive Oval, Hobart - state capital of  island state of Tasmania. Founded in 1804 as apenal colony, Hobart is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney.     Tasmania is an island state separated by Bass Strait.  It is promoted as the natural state, the "Island of Inspiration - not for the hosts but for the tourists…………….

With regards
S. Sampathkumar.

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