Clarke reflects on 'nice start'
Michael Clarke was left to reflect on a "nice start to the summer" after Australia sped to a nine-wicket victory over New Zealand.
Last Updated: 04/12/11 1:09pm
Australia captain Michael Clarke was left to reflect on a "nice start to the summer" after a devastating spell from debutant James Pattinson inspired his side to a speedy victory over New Zealand in the first Test at the Gabba.
Pattinson, the 21-year-old younger brother of one-cap England paceman Darren Pattinson, claimed a rare triple-wicket maiden to help the Aussies speed to a nine-wicket victory on day four of the series-opener.
His exploits earned him man-of-the-match honours and captain Clarke, who himself struck a century during the win, was delighted with the way his players applied themselves in what was the first Test of the summer.
"It's a nice start to the summer," assessed Clarke.
"I'm really happy, it was a great performance today, and James Pattinson was outstanding.
"Our whole performance throughout this Test match was spot-on."
Australia's first innings of 427 was the product of exceptional batting from the experienced middle order, with skipper Clarke notching a team-best 139 and under-pressure veterans Ricky Ponting (78) and Brad Haddin (80) chipping in handily.
Pattinson then reduced New Zealand to 28-5 in their second innings with an irresistible spell of pace bowling.
New Zealand managed to scrape together 150 all out in their second innings, but Australia swiftly chased down the 19 runs they required for victory, for the loss of Phil Hughes.
For the Kiwis, only Daniel Vettori and Dean Brownlie will head to Hobart for the second Test with their heads held high, having put on a record 158-run sixth-wicket stand to lead New Zealand to 295 in the first innings.
Although captain Ross Taylor felt the Test was heading for a fifth day until Pattinson's devastating spell.
"We came here with high hopes and thought if we batted a day we could stay in the match," Taylor said. "But the way James bowled put us on the back foot.
"The top six have got to put their hands up. There were some soft dismissals out there. We're pretty disappointed with that performance.
"We need to step up in the next match and put up a lot better performance than we did today. There were a lot of things we didn't do well."