Posted by: nestaquin | February 21, 2009

2008/09 Australian Season Trans-Tasman Trophy Retrospective

katThe Australian international summer began with a two Test contest for the Trans-Tasman Trophy and the visitors began the better by winning the toss and bundling Australia out for only 214 before stumps on the first day.

For Australia the star of the opening day was Michael Clarke who arrived in the eighth over of the morning with his team reeling at 23/3 after Tim Southee scuttled the experienced Australian top-order with a superb opening spell of pace, nip and swing on a fresh ‘Gabba strip. Clarke was last out for 98 and with the Black Caps surviving a vicious five over assault from Brett Lee and Stu Clark before bad light halted play hopes were high in the Kiwi camp of snaring their first victory in Australia since 1985.

Those dreams were quickly shafted when Brett Lee removed Aaron Redmond first ball of the morning and a steady stream of wickets followed as the Kiwi batsman could never settle into partnership against the home team’s four-pronged seam attack.

Mitchell Johnson was simply outstanding on his native soil and he thoroughly deserved his figures of 8-3-30-4. He has a knack for destroying opposition momentum in a matter of overs and he didn’t disappoint snaring three wickets in six balls to ruin New Zealand’s chances of parity with Australia’s first innings total. The other three quicks, Lee, Clark and Watson, all dismissed two batsmen each and the Kiwis were bitterly disappointed to be all out for 156 in 50 overs just before tea.

The Australian second innings began 58 runs in front but again the Kiwi seamers in friendly conditions dominated with Chris Martin and Iain O’Brien prominent. Matthew Hayden went first ball and in similar circumstances to the first dig Australia were in trouble early on. At stumps on Day two they were shaky but still favourites at 131/6 with Simon Katich obstinate, cunning and patient on 67 not out.

The third day will be remembered for one of the most outstanding innings in the history of Trans-Tasman rivalry. On a still juicy pitch Simon Katich carried his bat for 131 not out and in doing so ensured that Australia would win the Test. He defended stoutly, left intelligently and spanked the bad ball to the boundary. It wasn’t pretty but it was effective and quite remarkable when you consider that none of the other recognized batsman reached 20.

Australia’s ten and eleven, Johnson and Clark, added a century with Katich and those runs crushed any chance of a Kiwi revival and at stumps they only had four wickets in the shed and an insurmountable 184 still required to win.

The Black Caps collapsed in less than an hour on the fourth morning to lose by 149 runs with only Ross Taylor offering any resistance to the intense pressure applied by Stuart Clark and Mitchell Johnson.

AUSTRALIA: Hayden, Katich, Ponting, Hussey, Clarke, Symonds, Watson, Haddin, Lee, Johnson, Clark

NEW ZEALAND: Redmond, How, Ryder, Taylor, McCullum, Flynn, Elliot, Vettori, Southee, O’Brien, Martin

Eric Hollies Medal Points

1000 – Simon Katich – Carried his bat on a seaming wicket in a low scoring match to set up the win.

800 – Mitchell Johnson – Match figures of 25-9-69-9 and fruitful ninth wicket partnerships in both innings tells the tale.

600 – Michael Clarke – Outstanding first innings knock to keep his side in the match.

600 – Ross Taylor – Top scored in both innings.

480 – Tim Southee – Bowled intelligently and with heart, ripping Australia’s top order to shreds to give his team the ascendancy on the first day.

360 – Daniel Flynn – Offered stout middle-order resistance in both innings while all fell around him.

bingThe second Trans-Tasman Test in Adelaide was one that the Black Caps would rather forget as they were trounced by an innings and 68 runs after winning the toss and batting in near perfect conditions.

At the end of the first day the Kiwis had accumulated 262/6 with every batsman barring Ross Taylor gifting his wicket to a loose stoke. It was a wasted opportunity on a pitch that was true and balanced, however, Aaron Redmond’s 83 was a manic schizophrenic innings of resolute defence, curly nurdling and crazy slogs that saved the Black Caps from instant humiliation. Australia toiled hard in the field for their rewards and with the inclusion of NSW Second XI spinner Nathan Hauritz even finished their allotted 90 overs for the first time in a year.

The next morning began disastrously for the visitors as they folded with the addition of only eight runs to their overnight total with Lee cleaning up the tail to finish with 25-8-66-4. Johnson, Clark, Hauritz and Symonds also took wickets and Australia began their chase of New Zealand’s sub-par 270 with relish.

By the end of day three the home team amassed 535, a lead of 265 with Ponting in rare form scoring 79, Hussey scratchy but effective with 70, Clarke again impressive with 110 and Haddin belligerent with the top score of 169. On such a placid pitch there was little the Kiwis could do except attempt to dry up the scoring and Vettori led the way bowling 60-20-124-2. Of the pacemen, Iain O’Brien was the most consistent but his partners Southee and Martin were mostly ineffective.

Staring down the barrel of a two-nil defeat the Black Caps, with the exception of Brendan McCullum, rolled over in the second innings for only 203 and for the second consecutive Test match they were beaten inside four days. Brett Lee again bowled full and fast and was rewarded with a five-for while Johnson and Hauritz shared the rest in the absence of an injured Stu Clark.

AUSTRALIA: Hayden, Katich, Ponting, Hussey, Clarke, Symonds, Haddin, Lee, Johnson, Hauritz, Clark

NEW ZEALAND: Redmond, How, Ryder, Taylor, Fulton, Flynn, McCullum, Vettori, Southee, O’Brien, Martin

Eric Hollies Medal Points

1000 – Brett Lee – Destroyed New Zealand in both innings on a placid pitch in perfect batting conditions. Match figures of 50-13-171-9.

800 – Brad Haddin – A superb dominant breakthrough innings of 169 that included 24 fours and a brace of sixes that had the Black Caps mystified and deflated.

600 – Michael Clarke – A gritty mature six and half hour hundred that complimented near century and double century partnerships with Hussey and Haddin.

600 – Brendan McCullum – Refused to give the Australians an inch and fought tooth and nail with bat and in the field throughout.

480 – Daniel Vettori – Bowled himself to a standstill and concede just two runs an over in 60 overs when all around him had lost faith and motivation.

360 – Aaron Redmond – A fine two paced first innings 83 that had Ponting and his bowlers unsure of how to halt his approach.

Later: The summary of the epic three Test series against South Africa.


  1. Hard to believe it all happened. Lee, Clark, Symonds?

    What a summer it’s been for the Aussies. That was a helluva knock from Katich – though that walk across the stumps is as ugly as Chanderpaul’s these days.

  2. You can add Hayden and Watson to that list too.

  3. a good round up as always nesta. unfortunately i dint get to see a single ball of that tour, except the 2020.

    kiwis showed a bit of fight in the 2nd test but the aussies just over powered them in the end. with that confidence under their belt aus steamrolled them in the 2nd.

    this was just a way for aus to find a way to believe that they still had what it takes to win test matches ahead of the big SA series.

  4. Just one thing.

    It was Redmond, not How, who top-scored in that test.

    He was dropped for his efforts.

  5. Thanks Leg, fixed the error and it would seem from your comment that the selectors also have the openers confused. And if I may return the favour, McCullum top scored for the Kiwis in the second Test with 84 not out in the second dig.

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