New Zealand set Australia 106 to chase, but even though it was only marginally more than 5 runs an over Australia could not get over the line. Australia’s record in 20 over chases outside Australia continues to be quite shit.
Phil Hughes, who sees all innings as auditions for the IPL incase he gets bad press again, was at his attacking best. In two overs he inspired 23 runs off New Zealand’s most trusted bowlers. This included a smack over mid on for six from Vettori and his normal ugly effectiveness against the quicks. Hughes bludgeoned 86 off 75 balls.
At the other end, Katich protested the whole 20 over concept, his strike rate of 27 was a personal statement on what form of cricket he likes best. Katich was in his complete krab like mode and refused to even pretend to score runs. In the past this would have lead to a fantastic collapse from Australia, but Hughes youthful excitement made the 20 over chase a possibility at times.
While Australia did miss out on winning in 20 overs, they won the moral victory by winning the test. Doug Bollinger kissed his underwear after the match and Ryan Harris’ chest swelled so much that no one could fit in the change room.
New Zealand’s two cricketers, Prince Brendon and Dictator Dan, must be a little disappointed that their side made 564 in total, being that they made 42% of them (I think that is right) between the two of them. Vettori is thinking of changing the batting order for the next match with Tuffey to go in at 3 and for Ingram to bowl medium pace when the other bowlers are tired.
Only the carrot of the IPL can keep the smiles on the faces of the New Zealand middle order marvels.
This game might seem like just another test, but it could be the last time Australia ever enforces the follow on. Even though they won by 10 wickets with their dicks in the air, it must have made them nervous once the chase went over 100. Their nerves must be shot.
It should also be mentioned that Phil Hughes now averages 51.25 in test cricket. It doesn’t mean much, but it makes me smile a little.