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Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Australia Win By 10 Wickets The hosts take a one-nil lead in the two-Test series, with Hughes offering the selectors plenty of food for thought today. Katich was at his usual dogged best and New Zealand really had no answer in defending - or at least attempting to - 105 runs. Next up: second Test in Hamilton, starting Saturday.
Over 23 Arnel 0-0-0-1-0-1 106-0 - Arnel tests Hughes' mettle with a fierce bouncer, with the half-centurion hauling out some awkward defence to see it off. Two more short balls leave Hughes to bob and weave his way through the onslaught, then drawing the scores level with a tickle down to fine-leg for one. Katich seals the result with a push to cover.
Over 22 Vettori 4-0-0-0-0-1 104-0 - Hughes brings up the collective century - of which he has 84 - with a lavish cut for four, then almost perishing to silly mid-off. All and sundry New Zealanders go up for the appeal but the umpire disagrees. No reviews left for 'em, so they have to settle for the decision. Televsion replays show that the umpire is right, no bat, just pad.
Over 21 Arnel 0-0-0-0-0-0 99-0 - Hughes watches in despair from the non-striker's end as Katich wastes his way through a maiden over.
Over 20 Vettori 2-1-0-0-0-1 99-0 - Hughes folds to the back foot to dab a couple past short third man, who puts in the hard yards to prevent the boundary.
Over 19 Arnel 4-0-1-0-0-0 95-0 - Lady Luck well and truly on Hughes' side, with a thick inside edge missing the leg-stump by a whisker and scooting away for four very lucky runs. Arnel bowling really well, but not managing any due reward. Australia - Hughes in particular - in a race against time to win before lunch, which is about 12 minutes away now.
Over 18 Vettori 2-2-3-0-0-0 90-0 - A host of All Black stars are watching from the grass embankments at the Basin Reserve now as their cricketing counterparts begin to circle the drain. Hughes taking it a canter now, punching two through cover, working two more through midwicket and then smearing three through cover again. 16 more runs for an Aussie triumph.
Over 17 Arnel 0-2-0-0-4-1 83-0 - Hughes tucks a couple through square-leg, returning the strike to slap four through backward point. Arnel, who just three and a bit days ago described a "dream debut", taking plenty of stick now.
Over 16 Vettori 0-4-0-0-0-0 76-0 - Kaitch decides he'd best rack up some boundaries before there are no runs left to fetch, duly cutting four to the point fence. Vettori not his usual miserly self, forced to try anything and everything in the face of pending defeat.
Over 15 Arnel 0-0-0-4-0-0 72-0 - Wondeful drive from 21-year-old Hughes, who offers the full face of the bat for his latest flourish for four. And to think - this is Australia's stopgap opener. A testament to just how good Watson is.
Over 14 Vettori 0-0-0-0-0-2 68-0 - Again, Katich more than happy to play second fiddle to Hughes in blocking out the over.
Over 13 Arnel 0-0-0-2-4-0 66-0 - Arnel returns to the attack from a new end, with Southee as yet unbowled today. Dropped! He deserves success but won't get it as McIntosh spills a sitter at second slip. Hughes riding his luck on the edge to its fullest extent, moving onto his half-ton with two runs nudged through the on-side thereafter. 43 balls, seven fours and a six to get to this one, the second of his fledgling Test career. His first against New Zealand.
Over 12 Vettori 0-0-0-0-0-0 60-0 - Entirely contrasting innings, as Katich drops anchor to Hughes' advances.
Over 11 Martin 1-0-4-4-0-4 60-0 - Martin strives for the yorker, getting it right the first time but not the next as Hughes pounds some over-pitched fodder through the on-side for four. He follows that up with yet another squirt through gully for four more. At this rate, Vettori really should consider a fourth slip.
Over 10 Vettori 4-0-0-6-0-0 47-0 - Change of bowling, with Vettori taking matters into his own hands. Nothing less than a double hat-trick will suffice for the Kiwis, but instead Hughes thrashes four through mid-off before slog-sweeping a hard, flat six over midwicket. The ball returns from the fence beaten and bruised, leaving Vettori asking for a change to the battered, out-of-shape oracle-cum-oval.
Over 9 Martin 0-0-3-2-0-0 37-0 - Too full and too straight from Martin and with no mid-on nor square-leg in place, left-handed duo Katich and Hughes are left to pick off runs at will.
Over 8 Arnel 0-0-1nb-0-1-0-0 32-0 - Arnel produces a cracking delivery, which pitches on a dime and nips back off the seam to cut Hughes in half. Far too much space between bat and pad from the left-hander, who breathes a sigh of relief as the ball snipes over the top of the stumps.
Over 7 Martin 0-4-3-1nb-0-0-0 30-0 - Not for the first time today, Hughes' shaky defence fetches a lucky four runs off the fat edge through the slip cordon and gully.
Tuffey Test This just in: Tuffey has gone to the local hospital for a check-up on his right hand after copping a Johnson bouncer to his glove earlier in the day. Not good news for New Zealand, who'll need the fast bowler to be fit for the second Test.
Over 6 Arnel 1-0-0-0-0-0 22-0 - This time it's Katich to endure the Umpire Decsion Review System, with Vettori and company again turned down. They're fresh out of challenges now, as televsion replays show that the ball was headed over the top of the stumps. Height too much of an issue for umpire Rauf's initial, correct decision to be overturned.
Over 5 Martin 0-0-0-0-0-3 21-0 - Martin strikes Hughes on the pads, goign up for a loud lbw shout only to have it turned down. He and captain Vettori have a quick chat and opt for the Umpire Decsion Review System, which relays that the ball pitched outside the leg-stump and therefore Hughes gets to stay.
Over 4 Arnel 0-0-0-0-4-0 18-0 - Ever shuffling across his stumps, Katich gets well in line with Arnel's off-side line to squirt four between third slip and gully. A fast, full yorker would've had Katich bowled, but Arnel is not capable of such speeds.
Over 3 Martin 0-0-0-1-0-3 14-0 - Martin beats Hughes with a couple of probes outside the off-stump before the unorthodox left-hander's bottom-hand heavy stroke play fetches him a single to square-leg, leaving Katich to take in a couple more sighters.
Over 2 Arnel 0-0-0-0-0-0 10-0 - First change bowler in Australia's first knock, debutant right-arm seamer Arnel is promoted to new-ball bowler. Katich takes in a maiden. He could'nt be bothered to match Hughes' early hitting.
Over 1 Martin 0-0-0-4-2-4 10-0 - Hughes isn't interested in milking as much out of the day as possible, instead cutting straight to the chase with a couple of savage blows over the inner ring of fielders on the off-side.
Australia Back At The Crease Hopeful Hughes, confident Katich, pending losers New Zealand and the umpires back out in the middle, and good to go. As am I, and would love to hear your closing comments on New Zealand's effort with the bat and Australia's performance with the ball. Mail me at email@example.com.
New Zealand All Out For 407 Australia left a paltry target of 106 runs to win on the back of Harris and Johnson's prompt wrap of the New Zealand tail today. Katich left with a chance to boost his average, while Hughes can only really lose. 50-odd not out will see him take a back seat to fit-again Watson, while getting out cheaply will return him to the international wilderness for good, me thinks.
Over 134.5 Johnson 0-1-1-1-W 407-10 - Batting at eight in the order due to Southee, Arnel and Martin's inability with the bat more than his own success with the willow, Tuffey plugs away in the hope of a half-ton. Meanwhile, Martin - pretty much a walking duck, really - manages to get off the mark with a 'Chinese cut' of sorts for one to fine-leg. Wicket! No more after that though, with Johnson wrapping up the innings with a full'n'straight dart that rockets straight through Martin's 'defence'. Tuffey left stranded on 47 not out.
Over 134 Harris 0-2-0-1-0-0 404-9 - Dropped! Harris grasses a chance for a maiden Test five-for, dropping a possible return catch smashed at him by Tuffey, who repsonds with two tucked through the leg-side and one down the ground. Nervous Martin is left to the strike, seeing it off with some awkard defence and a comical, hopeful drive.
Over 133 Johnson 4-0-0-0-1-0 401-9 - Tuffey greets Johnson's entry into the attack for the first time today with a wonderful pull through midwicket for four, to which big Mitch responds with a cracking bouncer - and the another - to leave Tuffey with his tail between his legs.
Over 132 Harris 0-1-0-0-0-W 396-9 - Wicket! Arnel lunges forward on the defence, missing the shot and fetching a strike to the pad. Up goes the appeal, as does umpire Rauf's finger. Arnel tries his luck with a call for the Umpire Decision Review System but television replays show that the ball, pitched marginally outside the off-stump, was certainly going on to hit the top of middle- and/or leg-stump. Number 11 batting bunny Martin in now.
Over 131 Bollinger 0-0-0-0-0-2 395-8 - Bollinger persisting with a short length to Arnel when he'd be much better off tempting the tail-ender on the drive. Three slips in place for exactly that.
Over 130 Harris W-1-0-0-0-0 393-8 - Wicket! Short and sweet stay at the crease for Southee, who looks a half-volley in the mouth on the full-blooded drive, only to edge it straight to Clarke, who fetches a much easier catch than the one that sent McCullum packing. Debutant Arnel in now, fresh from his first-baller in the New Zealand first innings. He sees off the threat of a King Pair, skewing a single away through the leg-side to get off the mark with relief. Meanwhile, Harris cops an official warning for running on the pitch. Naughty boy.
Over 129 Bollinger 0-0-0-0-0-4 392-7 - Tuffey assumes the role of senior batsman now, assuring that Southee is kept away from the strike as long as possible, fetching a shaky edge for four more in the process.
Over 128 Harris 1-2-0-1-W-0 388-7 - Wicket! McCullum has worked so hard for his century but throws it all away with a questionable lack of foot work. Harris pitches one on a dime, managing the slightest bit of away swing, which McCullum edges instead of leaving alone. Clarke does the rest in the slip cordon and that, as is said in the classics, may be the ball game. Southee in now, with the Kiwis just 86 runs ahead.
Weather Wise "I was wondering what the weather is like for the rest of the day? Do you think New Zealand can scrape a draw?" asks Colin McCormick. Colin, I am pleased to report that there is blue sky well into the distance, so I can't see the wet weather having a say today. As I type this McCullum falls, so I don't see the Kiwis scraping a draw, no. The rest of you can mail your questions and comments to Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org too.
Over 127 Bollinger 1-0-0-0-0-0 384-6 - The centurion shows complete faith in his sidekick's ability with the bat, milking a single to allow Tuffey to see off the bulk of the over.
Over 126 Harris 0-4-0-0-2-0 383-6 - No third slip in place so Tuffey breathes a sigh of relief as his edge balloons through the vacancy for four lucky runs. Two runs tucked square of the wicket on the on-side then shows that Tuffey is more than just a tail-end edger. Wouldbe all-rounder, he is.
Over 125 Bollinger 0-4-4-0-0-0 377-6 - Easy pickings for McCullum, who welcomes his century thanks to a couple of poor looseners from the southpaw seamer. Four driven through cover and four more guided through gully bring the talented right-hander the fifth ton of his Test career. This one has taken him 181 balls, including 13 fours and a six. Arguably his best yet. it's his first against the Aussies, first at this ground and third in New Zealand.
Game On Mum Nature is in a pleasant mood today, with not a drop of rain around for now. McCullum, Tuffey, the umpires and the Aussies are out in the middle and good to go. As am I. Would love to hear your hope for the Kiwis or praise for Oz. Mail me at email@example.com.
Day Four Review Brendon McCullum is poised for a fifth Test century heading into the final day of New Zealand's first Test against Australia in Wellington after he and skipper Daniel Vettori inspired a much-needed fightback.
When Australia declared at 459 for five midway through the second day, then skittled the hosts for 157 and had them 187 for five in the follow-on at the end of day three, New Zealand looked out for the count.
But a record sixth-wicket partnership of 126 between Vettori and McCullum, then an unbroken stand of 60 between McCullum and Daryl Tuffey, showed New Zealand had found some backbone and helped them to 369 for six, a lead of 67 runs, when play was called off for bad light just before 6pm on a weather-affected fourth day.
McCullum's unbeaten 94 included 11 boundaries and a six, which flew out of the ground in the severely windy conditions, while Tuffey's 59-ball 23 not out included two fours and a six.
The teams were buffeted throughout the day by strong winds that gusted over 120 kilometres an hour at the Basin Reserve.
The weather played havoc with the technology required by the umpire decision review system, as the cameras used to track the ball and rule on no balls were unable to provide accurate data in the windswept conditions.
McCullum was the beneficiary early in the middle session when he did not offer a shot to a Nathan Hauritz ball that turned sharply and rapped him on the pads.
Ricky Ponting called for the review but without accurate information, Asad Rauf's original not out decision could not be overturned.
It prompted a discussion between a clearly unhappy Australian skipper and the umpires before Vettori, who had by then survived a caught and bowled chance off Mitchell Johnson, joined the debate, and it was ruled Australia would not lose the referral under the circumstances.
McCullum had only just brought up his fifty in the over prior to his reprieve, his 52 taking 110 balls, but had also had two other lucky escapes when Ponting grassed a sharp catch at second slip when he was on 38. Brad Haddin let another chance go begging when McCullum had advanced his score to 48.
When bad light forced an early tea, the wicketkeeper was only eight runs short of his ton but had seen the departure of Vettori for a 119-ball 77 after the skipper played a Hauritz ball onto his stumps.
By then the pair had broken the previous best sixth-wicket stand against Australia of 110 by Stephen Fleming and Chris Cairns, set in Wellington in the 1999-2000 season, and had edged the New Zealanders into a slender lead.
McCullum and Tuffey continued the rearguard action to frustrate the Australians further up to tea.
The final session was delayed by bad weather and only two overs were possible before the players left the field again - this time for good.
Greetings Hello and welcome to our over-by-over commentary of day five of the Test series opener between the Aussies and the Kiwis at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Read the views of former England captain Nasser Hussain with skysports.com.