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New Zealand vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1: Mature Clarke Ton Puts Australia In Control

By on March 19, 2010

Australia 316 for 4 (Clarke 100*, Katich 79, North 52*) v New Zealand…

Michael Clarke’s 14th Test century has put Australian in a strong position at the end of day one.

It was a big day for the Basin Reserve today, celebrating 400th first class match and 51st Test match.

Stunning weather and a much-anticipated first day against Australia was the draw-card for a large crowd that grew steadily throughout the day.

Daniel Vettori continued his rotten run of luck with the toss this tour, losing his sixth on the trot against Australian captain Ricky Ponting. Ponting was quick to put the BLACKCAPS into the field, electing to bat first on a seamer-friendly Basin wicket.

New Zealand chose a four-man pace attack and were quickly rewarded. Debutant Brent Arnel removed replacement Aussie opener Phil Hughes in his first Test over, caught behind for 20.

The arrival of Ponting steadied things for the visitors, and he and Simon Katich took Australia to the end of the first session and lunch with the score on 93 for one.

If the Australians had the better of the first session, the BLACKCAPS soon erased the advantage with two quick wickets after lunch. A sharp piece of fielding from B.J. Watling ran out Ponting for 41 with the score on 105, heralding a much anticipated return to the crease for Michael Clarke.

Watling was in the action again shortly afterwards, taking a sharp catch to his right at second slip to dismiss Michael Hussey for four to have the visitors teetering on 115 for three.

At tea Australia had nudged their way to 163 for three with the New Zealand bowling attack doing a good job of containing the Australians.

Arnel struck again in the final session, trapping Katich in front for a well-compiled 79. But wickets were few and hard to come by as the Australian pair of Clarke and Marcus North slowly wrestled the initiative in favour of Australia.

By the end of play on day one Australia have the game firmly in their control.

Clarke and North were patient and the start of their innings and managed wear down the New Zealand attack. After the drinks break in the final session they flicked the switch and started plundering the BLACKCAPS bowlers.

By stumps the pair had taken the score through to 316 for four with Clarke unbeaten on 100 and North on 52.

New Zealand will be left wondering how they are going to break this ominous looking 140 runs partnership.

Source: New Zealand Cricket.

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