Black Caps wilt in Melbourne heat as Australia cruise to series win

By Sports Desk December 29, 2019

Australia claimed a series win over New Zealand after easing to victory in the Boxing Day Test, despite a fighting display from centurion Tom Blundell.

New Zealand wilted in the Melbourne heat at the MCG, where Australia wrapped up a crushing 247-run win on day four of the second Test on Sunday.

Blundell rallied for the Black Caps, celebrating his second Test hundred in three matches with a resilient 121 runs, but he had no support from his team-mates after Nathan Lyon (4-81) and James Pattinson (3-35) starred.

Marnus Labuschagne (1-11) ended Blundell's unforgettable innings late in the evening as Australia only required nine wickets to skittle New Zealand for 240 – Trent Boult not batting due to a fractured finger.

Australia declared,168-5, 10 overs into the penultimate day – the hosts setting New Zealand a mammoth 488 for victory as temperatures soared.

Already humbled by 296 runs in Perth, the Black Caps faced an uphill battle to keep the series alive in their first Boxing Day appearance in Melbourne in 1987, and Pattinson wreaked havoc on Sunday morning.

After a lively and tenacious start by Pat Cummins (0-47), Mitchell Starc (0-59) and Australia, Pattinson made an immediate impact with the wicket of opener Tom Latham for 8.

Pattinson – back in the team as a replacement for injured quick Josh Hazlewood – flourished on his home ground, claiming another two wickets before lunch to leave New Zealand reeling on 38-3.

After trapping captain Kane Williamson for a duck – his seventh against Australia – Pattinson then removed Ross Taylor (2), who chopped onto his own stumps.

Blundell dug deep following lunch with a half-century as New Zealand showed some fight, only losing one wicket in the middle session after Henry Nicholls (33) fell to Lyon.

BJ Watling (22) and Mitchell Santner (27) were the only other players to provide support for Blundell en route to a century on another forgettable day for New Zealand.

Related items

  • Super Kings too strong for struggling Royals Super Kings too strong for struggling Royals

    Chennai Super Kings made it 12 wins in the past 15 Indian Premier League meetings with Rajasthan Royals as they eased to a 45-run triumph on Monday.

    Moeen Ali contributed with both bat and ball as the Super Kings proved far too strong for their opponents at the Wankhede Stadium.

    The Royals had prevailed in four of their previous five games at the Mumbai ground - including last time out against Delhi Capitals in a thriller - but fell away badly in reply to Chennai's total of 188-9.

    Jos Buttler provided the only innings of note from the top order in the run chase, making 49 from 35 deliveries with five fours and a pair of sixes.

    Rajasthan were in contention at 87-2 in their reply, but Buttler's departure - bowled by Ravindra Jadeja - sparked a collapse that saw five wickets fall for eight runs. They finished up on 143-9.

    Jadeja finished with 2-28 but fellow spinner Moeen was the pick of the attack, the England all-rounder taking 3-7 from his three overs having earlier made 26 in Chennai's innings.

    Faf du Plessis top-scored with 33 as all the top five reached double figures, while the Super Kings demonstrated their strength in depth when Dwayne Bravo made 20 not out from number nine in the order.


    Royals run into trouble

    Despite a miserable overall record, Rajasthan had won back-to-back matches against Chennai. However, they were unable to equal their longest winning run against them.

    Buttler did his best but there was little support from the rest of the top order, the Super Kings' spinners emphatically turning the game in their favour.

    All-round balance helps Chennai

    Moeen Ali is the only player to reach three figures for runs and also claim a wicket so far in the 2021 IPL season.

    His signing by the Super Kings in the auction appears an astute piece of business, particularly as the left-handed batsman has capitalised on his opportunities to bat up the order.

  • Hero CPL joins forces with Caribbean Cricket Podcast Hero CPL joins forces with Caribbean Cricket Podcast

    The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has joined forces with the Caribbean Cricket Podcast to bring even more engaging and entertaining content to their ever-growing social media following.

  • Amid financial challenges, CWI restores full salaries across the board Amid financial challenges, CWI restores full salaries across the board

    Despite admitting that their finances were in dire straits, President of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Ricky Skerritt has revealed that staff and players are now receiving their full salaries again after agreeing to a 50 per cent pay-cut last year.

    It was in July 2020, at the height of the COVID19 pandemic which left CWI facing a major loss of income in the absence of regular cricketing activities, that CWI enforced pay cuts across the board, but the president now said all salaries are back to normal, even if only temporarily.

    “The cut doesn’t exist at the moment…but let me just remind you (the cut) was part of the crisis management strategy,” he told Line & Length on Sportsmax over the weekend.

    “We had put in place what we had called a financial strategy advisory committee which was a small task force combined from our finance committee and our audit risk along with the compliance committee, the CEO (Johnny Grave) and myself.

    “The pandemic isn’t over but we have relaxed one of those conditions, which is we are back to full remuneration,” said the 64-year-old Kittitian.

    According to auditors KPMG, the Board’s financial records show that CWI’s liabilities exceeds assets and raised the “material uncertainty” about the sports organization’s ability to keep operating indefinitely.

    “We draw attention to Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, which describes that the group’s revenue is cyclical in nature and depends on the popularity of the various reciprocal tours undertaken by West Indies teams,” the independent auditor’s report said.

    “As at September 30, 2020, the group’s current liabilities exceeded its current assets by US$14,836,946 and its total liabilities exceeded its total assets by US$10,747,720.

    “These events or conditions, along with other matters as set forth in Note 2, indicate that a material uncertainty exists that may cast significant doubt on the group’s ability to continue as a going concern. Our opinion is not modified in respect of this matter.”

    Skerritt, who was just handed another two-year term along with his vice president, Vincentian Dr Kishore Shallow, also indicated there were much better relations with stakeholders, players and staff over the last two years.

    “The whole process is to not distract players away from their focus on cricket as far as possible and doesn’t give any interventions or any intrusions from an administrative or management level that can cause the players any kind of distress or any kind of unnatural concerns to do with the environment they find themselves in whether on tour or not,” the CWI president said.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.