Vettori, Brownlie lead Kiwi fight back against Aussies

Daniel Vettori and Dean Brownlie restored on Thursday New Zealand’s first innings after a clatter of wickets on the rain-shortened opening day of the first Test against Australia at the Gabba.

When rain forced an early finish after tea, the eighth-ranked Black Caps, chasing their first victory in Australia for 26 years, were 176 for five after winning the toss.

Former skipper Vettori was on 45 off 66 balls and Brownlie, dropped twice on three, was unbeaten on 32 off 89 deliveries.

Australian captain Michael Clarke fumbled Brownlie at first slip in a straight-forward chance off Peter Siddle and two balls later David Warner got his fingertips to a cut shot at point off Mitchell Starc.

Brownlie continued to live a charmed life and Starc found an inside edge only for the ball to just miss off-stump and roll down to the boundary.


The pair put on an unbeaten 80 runs for the sixth wicket to rescue their team from a shaky opening.

Patience
The Kiwis were faltering at 96 for five shortly after lunch when Jesse Ryder on six lazily sliced Starc straight to Warner at point for the pace debutant’s second wicket.

Only last weekend Ryder clubbed 16 sixes to equal a first-class record for most sixes in his explosive century in a Test warm-up game against Australia A.

“We wanted to be patient and stick to our plans and knew they would be playing their shots so if we could stay patient then the rewards would come,” Starc said.

Starc dismissed opening batsman Brendon McCullum, with seven fours in his 34, during the morning session, also caught by fellow debutant Warner.

Starc, the most impressive of Australia’s bowlers, finished the day with 2-52 off 13 overs.

“It’s something I’ll never forget and obviously I’m pretty proud just to get the baggy green cap but to take a couple of wickets was fantastic as well,” Starc said.

Reckless
Injuries to Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnston, allrounder Shane Watson and exciting teenager Pat Cummins forced selectors to go with Australia’s most inexperienced bowling attack in almost three decades.

Australia made their first breakthrough with the wicket of Martin Guptill for 13 in the 11th over.

Siddle, leading the inexperienced Australian pace attack in his 26th Test match, got an edge to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, leaving the Black Caps at 44 for one inside the first hour.

McCullum was out to a careless dismissal, bottom-edging a square cut to Warner to give Starc his first Test wicket in his sixth over.

“First hour good. Second hour, a bit reckless,” McCullum said.

“Our guys wanted to try to exert some dominance on the opposition and the game and probably got a touch over aggressive and we probably paid for it … we’ve got to keep making sure we put ourselves in the strongest position we can, 280 to 300 is the minimum for us. Anything over that is a bonus.”

Lucky escape
Captain Ross Taylor had a lucky escape on four runs when he was dropped by Usman Khawaja off Pattinson before Kane Williamson was out for 19.

Williamson played across his pads to finger spinner Nathan Lyon and flicked a head-high catch to Khawaja close in to the bat leaving the Kiwis at 78 for three.

Pattinson got the prized wicket of Taylor, who dragged a wide delivery on to his stumps for 14 nearing lunch.

But Vettori and Brownlie restored the innings before the washout.

Australia left paceman Ben Cutting out of the starting eleven, which contained three debutants — Pattinson, Starc and Warner. — AFP

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

It’s just not cricket

Near Makhanda in the Eastern Cape in the village of Salem is a cricket pitch that is said to be the oldest in the country. Watered by blood and trauma, rolled with frontier nostalgia and contemporary paranoia, how does it play?

Empire and environmentalism: The legacy of a brilliant maverick, Richard Grove

The prolific interdisciplinary scholar who worked on the periphery and challenged Eurocentrism also drew attention to the El Niño phenomenon and global warming concerns in Victorian times

Invest in children to give them a better world

This entails putting them at the centre of national strategies, but doing it without high CO2 releases

Australia to force Google, Facebook to pay for news content

Australia's new regulations will also cover the sharing of data, and the ranking and display of news content, to be enforced by binding dispute resolution mechanisms and penalties

Olympics halt good for everyone

They took time, but the International Olympic Committee have finally done the responsible thing and postponed Tokyo 2020

Covid-19 regulations cause confusion for sheep shipment

Confusion about who should check a vessel meant to pick up 60 000 sheep has exposed fissures in the Covid-19 regulations
Advertising

Western Cape warned not to be complacent about flat-lining Covid-19...

The Western Cape, which once had the highest number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa, is seeing a steady decline in active cases

Sisulu axes another water board

Umgeni Water’s board in KwaZulu-Natal was appointed irregularly by her predecessor, the water and sanitation minister claims
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday