Friday, June 21, 2024
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Vettori, Brownlie lead Kiwi fight back

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

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, 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.

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 warmup game against Australia A.

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.

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.

All four of Australia’s bowlers each took a wicket in the morning session.

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 Haddin. (AFP)

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