Gilchrist & Martyn crush NZJonathan Augustus |
At the start of day 3’s play, Australia were in a dominant position with Damien Martyn still at the crease after a brilliant century (106*) and Adam Gilchrist on the other end on 45* in about just as many balls. At 337/5, and with Australia’s brilliant bowling line-up available, it was a definite possibility that the wash out on day 1 may not even have an effect on Australia’s chance of victory.
That possibility has turned into an even bigger reality with Adam Gilchrist turning it on day 3. After a blistering innings at more than a run a ball, Adam Gilchrist pummelled the New Zealand bowlers all around the park to make 162 off just 146 balls (I remind you, this is a test match we’re talking about). Fleming’s New Zealand had absolutely no answers to the masterful display by ‘Gilly, The run scoring machine’ as he and Martyn ended up putting on a partnership of 256, with Damien Martyn adding another 59 runs to his total before he caught behind of O’Brien’s bowling for 165. Gilly had more support after Martyn, as Shane Warne, who further personified the fact that he loves batting against New Zealand, added another half century to his records off just 37 balls alongside Gilly. New Zealand was left with no answers, and many many questions. The main one being: What on Earth is going wrong?
The answer was obvious; a weak bowling line-up was bowling to a champion batting line-up. Australia ended up declaring on 8/570, resulting in a demoralised New Zealand having to face the wrath of McGrath, Gillespie, Kasprowicz and Warne. It didn’t take long for Australia to strike; with the incredible out of form Fleming falling LBW to McGrath immediately after leaving a delivery he should have played (although it was far from an obvious decision). After a reasonably solid 46 run partnership between Cumming and McCullum which may have given the Kiwis and their fans a glimpse of hope, McGrath struck again as Marshall was caught by Gillespie, definitely what NZ did not want. Cumming was bowled by Kaspa 23 runs later, resulting in the veteran Astle to come to the crease to try and save his team from a collapse. At 3/78 Astle was far from attacking, and managed to avoid falling to the Aussie quartet. Instead, the Golden Boy of Australian cricket, Michael Clarke picked up his wicket. It really couldn’t get much worse for New Zealand.
NZ managed to prevent any more wickets from falling, and at the end of the day’s play they were 4/122, 449 runs behind Australia, with Vincent in not out on 38 and Franklin in as a night watchman, not out on 6. Australia clearly came off the ground at the close of play in an extremely dominant position, and unless New Zealand are able to dig deep and recover, or the weather intervenes again, it looks like another win to Australians.
Status Of Play: Stumps – Day 3
Australia (1st Innings): 8/570 Declared
New Zealand (1st Innings): 4/122
New Zealand trail by 449 runs with 6 wickets in hand