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New Zealand vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 4: Rain Stalls NZ Fightback

By on March 22, 2010

New Zealand 157 & 369 for 6 (McCullum 94*, McIntosh 83, Vettori 77) lead Australia 459 for 5 dec by 67 runs…

Rain interrupted a desperate fightback from New Zealand to end day four shortly before 6pm (NZ time) in its Test against Australia at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

Australia had a big breakthrough after lunch but will have another pestering New Zealand partnership to break on the final day of the Test with the home side stranded on 6-369, 67 runs ahead of the visitor’s first innings total (after New Zealand’s first innings 157).

Australia broke a fighting 126-run partnership between Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum when Nathan Hauritz bowled the skipper out for 77, leaving New Zealand battling at 6-309.

However, McCullum (96 not out) took responsibility in the fightback and, along with Daryl Tuffey (23 not out), carried New Zealand through to 6-363 at tea. After much stopping and starting, first with bad light and then with rain, play resumed briefly before the weather packed in.
Conditions were about as bad as they get in cricket with gusting nor-westerly winds, occasional rain and bad light in the middle of the day. However, New Zealand had somehow managed to lose only one wicket on a day that should have really decided the outcome of the match.

A big discussion had taken place on the pitch after lunch when, due to the gusting winds, the technology was unable to be used during a video review of a potential McCullum dismissal. Australian captain Ricky Ponting quickly approached umpire Asad Rauf and made sure that New Zealand also wouldn’t be able to the technology when it was its turn with the ball.

Starting the day at 5-187, New Zealand desperately needed to reach lunch without losing a wicket and did so thanks to some stubborn play from Vettori and McCullum who helped the home side through to 5-266 at the break.

Vettori, as in the first New Zealand innings, was looking strong leading into the break and earlier reached his half century off 64 balls, his third against Australia.

It was a much more relaxed and easy-going McCullum down the other end who was providing excellent support for Vettori who was the more attacking of the two and finally reached his 50 off 110 balls.

New Zealand had earlier been forced to follow-on after its disappointing first innings total of 157 and, after a reasonably solid start, started to fall apart in its second stand with the bat.

Once again it was Australian seamer Doug Bollinger, who took a five-wicket haul in the first innings, that had ripped through New Zealand’s top-order to have them staring down the barrel of another poor innings with the bat.

Source: Australia Cricket

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