Cricket: Black Caps batting nightmare continues

By David Leggat

Ross Taylor of New Zealand leaves the field after being dismissed by Peter Siddle of Australia. Photo / Getty Images
Ross Taylor of New Zealand leaves the field after being dismissed by Peter Siddle of Australia. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand's test batting nightmare continued on the opening day of the second test against Australia in Hobart.

However this time, unlike their double disaster of the first test at Brisbane, they were undone by conditions seamer pray for.

Having been sent in on a bright green, grassy strip, New Zealand were dismissed for just 150 in 45.5 overs.

At stumps, after rain intervened early in the final session, Australia were off to a rickety start, at 12 for one, as their top order has similar issues against the seaming ball.

Only Dean Brownlie, once again, stood tall for New Zealand, making 56. He was the only batsman to reach 20 but this time the accusing finger could not be pointed quite so forcefully at many of his team mates.

The ball jagged about disconcertingly and at times it was a struggle for the batsmen to even lay bat on ball.

The chief problem at Brisbane had been an unwillingness to let unthreatening deliveries pass outside their off stump.

This time only wicketkeeper Reece Young and seamer Tim Southee played genuinely poor shots.

Three batsmen chopped the ball onto their stumps; openers Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill got good deliveries; Jesse Ryder may have been unlucky with his lbw, captain Ross Taylor didn't play a shot to a ball which cut back into him and Kane Williamson tickled a catch down the legside.

Brownlie's poise and balance were impressive as he struck his third half century in fifth test innings, which included nine fours.

Peter Siddle was the pick of the Australian attack, taking three for 42 with sustained hostility and accuracy.

James Pattinson followed his five wickets in the second innings at Brisbane, with five for 51, although the figures slightly flattered him while left armer Mitchell Starc will seldom get a couple of easier wickets than he did today.

Just how demanding the conditions were was apparent when Chris Martin and Trent Boult - on debut and in for experienced allrounder Dan Vettori, who aggravated a hamstring strain shortly before the start - put Australia's top order through the wringer.

Martin had Phil Hughes caught by Guptill in the slips for the third straight innings and with a smidgeon of luck could have had Usman Khawaja out before the rain arrived.

The second day shapes as mightily fascinating. Right now you wouldn't bet on day five being needed.

- NZ Herald

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