Monday, December 12, 2011
Well done Black Caps
What a remarkable cricket test; the Black Caps came back from the dead to beat Australia by a mere seven runs. Doug Bracewell, playing just his third test match ripped the guts out of the Australian innings with a career-best six for 40.
At 159/2, Australia had the match firmly in control. Then Bracewell picked up the premier scalps of Ponting, Clarke and Hussey in a devastating nine-ball spell to level up the odds just prior to the lunch break.
But the twists and turns weren't over. Warner and Haddin added 33 before Tim Southee removed the latter at 192/6. Siddle, Pattinson and Starc followed in quick succession and Australia was 199/9 and seemingly dead and buried.
But David Warner, who carried his bat for 130 not out (his maiden test hundred) and Nathan Lyon defied the odds. Lyon was given out LBW, then the decision was overturned by a VERY curious DRS referral, then was given not out a couple of overs later. The New Zealanders looked adamant that the balls was hitting, but this time the DRS showed the ball missing leg. Both decisions looked very "out" on first glance, and there will be questions raised.
But the final twist came with just eight runs required to win when Bracewell squeezed one through Lyon's defences, and hit the stumps. Not even the DRS could save Australia this time, and as Lyon sunk to his haunches, the Black Caps celebrated.
It's their first win against Australia in a test match since 1993, and their first test win in Australia since December 1985. After their lame batting effort at Brisbane, this was a gutsy effort, but more importantly, a TEAM effort. Ross Taylor, John Wright and company should celebrate long and hard tonight; they deserve it.
And if you didn't see or hear the moment when the match was won and the series tied, here's Bryan Waddle's commentary, courtesy of the ABC; a great moment for Waddle, who has endured more heartbreak at the hands of the Aussies than most.
Well done New Zealand; matches like that are exactly why we don't like test cricket; we love it!