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' under' Boult blasts Windies away
At 6.15pm yesterday, the New Zealand
players and management walked out to the
middle of the Basin Reserve.
ey gathered in a circle and roared out
their victory song, Black and White, to an
almost deserted ground, accompanied by the
permanent rumble of vehicles lapping the
It has been a while. eir last home win
against a leading team --- due respect to
Zimbabwe and Bangladesh --- was at
Dunedin in 2009 against Pakistan. A long
time between clearing the throats.
is was a richly deserved success, by an
innings and 73 runs, and a strange one for
when the third day began there was no hint
of what was to follow. Instead, the test was
over in fewer than eight sessions.
Even the early overs yesterday did not
suggest anything out of the ordinary --- well,
until the eighth over at least.
en Trent Boult donned his red and blue
cape and roared through the West Indies' rst
innings. His late inswing was devastating, the
batsmen had no answer.
He took ve wickets in 15 balls and with
the West Indies shot out for 193, New
Zealand's team huddled for an important
conversation: Enforce the follow on, as they
had at Dunedin, when it did not work out;
or bat again.
"Luckily we've got some strong guys in the
team," captain Brendon McCullum said last
"We bounced some ideas o . ere was some
doubt (whether to enforce the follow on) and
I've always been a fan of 'if in doubt take
the aggressive action'. ese guys responded
brilliantly, and thankfully it worked."
However, as the West Indies openers Kirk
Edwards and Kieran Powell took their
partnership to 74, human reaction would
have seen the odd doubt creep in.
It was then that a passage of play which
might otherwise be overlooked became
critical to what followed.
Tim Southee, perhaps eyeing his Northern
Districts mate Boult's success, bowled a
memorable, penetrating nine-over spell and
took three for 19.
At the other end, Neil Wagner, who had not
had a notable test, found the edge of Darren
Bravo's bat in the course of his best, most
energetic spell of the series, and delivered an
exuberant, st-pumping celebration.
Bravo thus experienced the vicissitudes of
(cricket) life. A double century to save the
rst test, then four and nought in 14 balls at
the Basin Reserve. Funny old game.
" e spells those two put in justi ed not
only the decision to enforce the follow on
but also showed how good our bowlers are,"
"Trent got the accolades, and quite rightly
so, and he will continue to do so, but those
other guys certainly played their part."
e end came rapidly after tea, Boult --- who
else --- hurrying things along with a brilliant
one-handed catch at point to dismiss Denesh
Ramdin. It was tting he should complete
the rout, to end with 10 for 80.
West Indies skipper Darren Sammy
was desperately disappointed at his team's
capitulation. Boult's performance had shown
up inadequacies in his team's seam attack.
eir batting simply had not been good
"But there's one test left and we've still got
a chance to level the series --- but it will take
one hell of a ght," Sammy said.
Crowd-puller Chris Gayle is out of the
West Indian one-day squad heading to New
Zealand shortly. He is recovering from a
hamstring tear. All-rounder Dwayne Bravo
leads the group for the ve-game series,
starting at Eden Park on Boxing Day.
e test win is New Zealand's rst since
Colombo in November last year, 15th at the
Basin Reserve and 73rd altogether.
It has now beaten the West Indies 10 times
in 41 tests, along with 12 losses and 19 draws.
e third test starts in Hamilton next
ursday, where New Zealand can win its
rst home series against a major nation since
2005-06. --- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
PICTURE: Getty Images
Trent Boult bowls during day three of the second test match against the West Indies at Basin Reser ve in Wellington. Smith century steers Aust out of trouble
Australia's Steve Smith scored
a brilliant century to help wrest
control of the third Ashes test
back from a revitalised England
on a sweltering opening day at
the WACA yesterday.
e host team, which will
recapture the urn with victory in
Perth after winning the rst two
tests, looked in real trouble when
the dismissal of George Bailey
before tea reduced it to 143 for
Smith and wicketkeeper Brad
Haddin, however, put on 124 for
the sixth wicket with circumspect
and, occasionally, aggressive
innings that contrasted sharply
with the cavalier e orts of
their team-mates and Australia
reached the close on 326 for six.
ey were separated when
Haddin, who has scored half
centuries in all four innings in
the series, spooned the ball to
James Anderson at midwicket o
the bowling of Ben Stokes for 55
an hour before stumps.
Smith reached his second
test century, however, and will
resume today on 103 not out
with Mitchell Johnson, unbeaten
"Yeah it was nice," Smith said.
"Obviously under a bit of pressure
there losing a few wickets in the
middle but hopefully we're in a
"If we start well tomorrow, we
can post a really good score."
England was left ruing a missed
opportunity to take control of the
test and bowling coach David
Saker was disappointed his quick
bowlers had let Australia o the
hook by not bowling a consistent
"No doubt we let it slip," he
said. "It's probably not the rst
time this series as well we've had
them on the ropes to a degree
and we haven't nished the job."
After losing the toss for a third
successive match and the chance
to bat on what looked like an
excellent surface, the tourists
initially responded to their
do-or-die situation with their
sharpest display of the series to
Australia's batsmen looked
intent on piling on the runs as
quickly as possible --- they were
scoring at ve an over at one
stage --- but also contributed
to their own demise with rash
David Warner's attempted
cut only to be caught at point
for 60 would contend for the
softest dismissal of the day but
Bailey (seven) also came close
to claiming the honours with a
hook that saw him hole out on
Captain Michael Clarke (24)
will also be disappointed with
the shot that led to his departure
just before lunch, a wicket which
followed the run out of opener
Chris Rogers (11) and dismissal
of Shane Watson (18) in the rst
England spinner Graeme
Swann, under pressure after
disappointing displays in the
Brisbane and Adelaide defeats,
made a signi cant contribution
by catching Watson well in
the slips before accounting for
dangermen Clarke and Warner
with his bowling.
Seamer Stuart Broad took the
wickets of Watson and Bailey
and England, if not in charge,
certainly had the upper hand at
a ground where it has not won
Smith had already signalled his
intent with a big six to get o
the mark, however, and when he
was joined by Haddin, Australia's
rearguard was in place.
While Smith played his scoring
shots almost exclusively to the
on side, Haddin favoured o but
they both brought up their half
centuries from 76 balls with ve
fours and two sixes.
With the temperatures out
in the middle now exceeding
40degC, the pair forced England
to labour long into the extended
nal session under the blazing
"It was a pretty tough part of
the game," Smith said. " ey'd
taken a few wickets and were
pretty high so to dig through
there, and get through a few of
their big bowlers' spells and cash
in late in the game, that was the
Haddin had performed his
country a similar service on the
rst day of the series opener in
Brisbane, coming in with Australia
at 132 for six and rescuing the
innings with a gritty 94.
After he had nally departed
to shatter the late afternoon
torpor that had descended on
the ground, Smith reached his
century with a sublime pulled
four o a short ball from Stokes
and danced a jig in celebration.
England's hopes of another
breakthrough were thwarted by
a 59-run partnership between
Smith and Johnson, the bowling
hero of the rst two tests.
"It's probably about even,"
Smith said. " e wicket's pretty
good, hopefully we can cash in
in the morning get 400, 450 and
really be able to set the game up
from there." --- Reuters
Australia's Steve Smith celebrates reaching his century as
England's New Zealand-born Ben Stokes looks on.
Wildcats tame Breakers
It was a Black Friday for the Breakers as
they slumped to their ninth loss of the season,
beaten 71-62 by Perth at Vector Arena last
e defeat was the third of the campaign
against their great rivals, with the Wildcats
winning six of the past seven regular season
meetings between the foes.
e Breakers, of course, split those losses
with a sweep of Perth in the grand nal earlier
this year but, based on their form in the latter
half of 2013, the chance of a rematch is slim.
It would be one thing for the Breakers to drop
games against the 12-1 runaway leader if they
were taking caring of business against the rest
of the league. But sixth place and a 4-9 record
make it abundantly clear that is not the case.
e defending champion last night
experienced a severe power outage which
began with a horrid opening quarter, dealing
another blow to any play-o aspiration.
But Perth guard Damian Martin was
adamant that blow was far from fatal,
insisting after the game the Breakers would
get back to where they belong.
"Where the Breakers are sitting on the
ladder isn't a true testament of how good they
are," he said. " ere's still a lot of games to be
played and I'd be very surprised if they're not
playing play-o basketball."
at prospect been dented largely by the
defence so far this season but it was the home
side's o ence which struggled last night,
shooting 37% from the oor and 17% from
Mika Vukona was once again the best of the
Breakers, contributing 16 points and seven
boards. It would be hard to imagine where
they would be without the power forward.
His defence helped to restrict Perth's import
pairing of James Ennis and Jermaine Beal
to 21, a week after combining for 61 points
in their home victory over the champs, but
little else went right. e Breakers lost the
rebounding battle and allowed the Wildcats
too many second-chance points, ceding 19
o ensive boards.
"When you play the Wildcats and you don't
contest or challenge them in the e ort areas
you end up with a result like that," coach
Dean Vickerman said. " at's one of the
rst games this year that, for a long period of
time, our e ort levels were below where they
needed to be."
at de ciency was on display during a rst
quarter performance which would be kind to
call ugly. It was a minor miracle the Breakers
trailed by only 10 at the end of the period,
considering they made just one of their rst
e champs did not take long in the
second to double their points tally of eight.
But with Ennis showing what he is capable
of, unleashing a monster dunk over Gary
Wilkinson, Perth remained 16 points to the
good at half-time.
at de cit was halved early in the third
as part of an 9-0 run. All of a sudden it was
Perth with the putrid o ence, going seven
minutes without adding to their tally and
allowing the Breakers back into the contest.
But the home side struggled to truly
capitalise, also being held scoreless for a large
stretch of the quarter. at allowed Perth to
take a 13-point lead into the nal period, an
advantage it never threatened to squander.
Breakers 62 (Abercrombie 16, Vukona 15,
Johnson 14); Wildcats 71 (Ennis 16, Knight
15, Redhage 12). Half-time: 33-49. --- APNZ
PICTURE: Getty Images
Gary Wilkinson of the Breakers takes the
ball for ward against the Perth Wildcats
One of the last things the
Wellington Phoenix needs is a
visit from the Brisbane Roar.
As Ernie Merrick's side
searches for its rst win of the
season it needs a "gimme"; a
team it could hope to take the
points from --- any but the Roar.
Meeting Brisbane has never
been kind to the Phoenix. In
19 previous games, it has tasted
success only twice, while it has
earned ve draws and been dealt
12 losses by the perennially
strong Queenslanders. It makes
for Wellington's worst record
against any A-League side.
e Phoenix's long-standing
troubles in a couple of Australian
cities have skewed the win/loss
records against certain teams but
even when it is surrounded by the
comforts of home, Wellington
cannot nd favourable results
when it meets the Roar.
is evening, the Phoenix hosts
the Roar at Westpac Stadium
in what will be Merrick's ninth
o cial game in charge of the
It has gone close to winning
games this year and gone close
to drawing games it should have
won but lost at the death and it
has still yet to put a mark in the
win column this summer.
Phoenix skipper Andrew
Durante admitted yesterday
that a sense of frustration was
growing among the players as the
side sits ninth on the ladder with
only four points --- eight points
outside the top six.
" ere's obviously frustration,"
Durante said. "I think the
football we are playing deser ves
a lot more points than we've
got. I think last year around this
time, we were on about 12 points
and probably not playing great
"So football's funny, sometimes
you can play great football and
not get results. So it is frustrating.
e players are frustrated but we
have a really strong belief that
we are on the right path and we
are doing the right things and if
we stick to it --- which we will,
we are not going to revert to any
di erent style of football --- the
wins will come."
As if hosting the runaway
league-leaders was not enough
of a challenge, Merrick may be
without a couple of his front-line
mid elders as he was going to
wait until today to make a call on
Carlos Hernandez (quadriceps)
and Albert Riera (groin/
Veteran Paul I ll is also battling
with a minor groin problem he
aggravated in last week's 4-2 loss
to the Perth Glory in Western
Australia and may be used only
as a substitute tonight.
One spot of good news for
Merrick is that Manny Muscat
will return from suspension
to take over from Reece Caira
at left back and the Phoenix's
defensive unit looked its
strongest two weeks ago against
Western Sydney when Muscat
was involved in the back four.
Phoenix to face toughest opponent
After two and a half years as assistant
coach with the women's Black Sticks, Greg
Nicol has resigned to take up a new role in
Napier as director of coaching for Central
Nicol's family is from Napier and he said
when the opportunity came along to be back
with family and make a di erence in a region
that he has a long a liation with, he was
keen to take on the challenge.
Nicol said there was a lot he would miss
about being part of the Black Sticks team
and hoped to contribute to their success in
the future should the opportunity arise.
"For two and a half years the team has been
a big part of my life, I have seen the players
on a daily basis and I will really miss being
part of that team environment," Nicol said.
"Mark (Hager) has been in uential in
making change and the players now have
belief due to the results we have had --- we
were only one moment o medalling at
the Olympics last year which is a big step
forward. ere is a lot of talent in the group
and I think there is a real opportunity to
continue that success." --- APNZ
Black Sticks' assistant coach resigns
Ish Sodhi's development as a
spin bowler will get a signi cant
boost this month.
e New Zealand leg-spinner
will spend a couple of days in
Melbourne talking spin bowling
with Australian great Shane
e trip was organised by
executive Peter Roach, who
knows Warne from his days as a
Victorian rst-class player from
Sodhi, who played his fourth
test against the West Indies in
Wellington, admits Warne was
a hero growing up and he will
aim to be a sponge when they get
"I'd like to do a bit of bowling
under his eyes but the main thing
is cricket talk and what he can
o er in that regard because he's
got one of the greatest cricket
brains of all time. It would be
rude not to be able to pick it,"
Once this test series is over,
Sodhi will have a think about
what he wants to discuss with
the Australian, rated the greatest
spin bowler in history. e
21-year-old has had a rapid rise
to the national side and knows
there is much to learn.
"Right now I've got way too
many questions I'll ask him, so
I'll have to narrow it down."
Sodhi is going to Melbourne
on December 28 and returns two
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Sodhi to pick hero Warne's brain
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