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A potential draw ended as a thriller

12th November 2001 was the last day of the most thrilling Test matches between the trans-Tasmanian neighbors Australia and New Zealand.

Last updated: 12.11.2019
Australia vs New Zealand | Sports Social Blog

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12th November 2001 was the last day of the most thrilling Test matches between the trans-Tasmanian neighbors Australia and New Zealand. Astonishingly more than 150 overs over day two, three and four were washed out due to rain but still, it turned out to be as one of the tightest Test matches between these two days.

This was the time when Australia were clearly the strongest team in the world and New Zealand were not expected to trouble them much, especially at the Gabba which was traditionally a fortress for the Australian team. As expected, Australia took the upper hand early as they posted 486/9 before declaring. There were hundreds from their openers Matthew Hayden (136) and Justin Langer (104) as well from Adam Gilchrist who scored 118 runs in quick times. To add to New Zealand’s concerns their two main fast bowlers Dion Nash and Shayne O’Connor were injured. The only catch was that it was already the third day of the match.

New Zealand did not start well and at 55/4 Australian captain Steve Waugh must have had thoughts of making them follow on. However, their lower middle order contributed as Nathan Astle top scored with 66. Chris Cairns scored 61 and Nash


despite his injury hung on for 25. Finally, on day five New Zealand reached 287/8 and captain Stephen Fleming declared immediately. Maybe he wanted Nash to take Rest.

Australia did not go for the easy option and did not play for the draw. They sent up Gilchrist to open with Hayden and although there were a couple of wickets, Ricky Ponting scored 29-ball 32 and they declared for 84/2 in 14 overs.

New Zealand’s target was 284 in 57 overs whereas Australia were looking for early wickets. Glenn McGrath came as a first change and picked up the first wicket but Mark Richardson played an innings against his regular defensive batting and scored 57 off 69 balls before Shane Warne took two wickets to made them 90 for 3. Captain Fleming and Astle carried on the attacking approach and added exactly 100 runs in 111 deliveries. Warne provided the breakthrough by dismissing Astle and Fleming was run out brilliantly by his counter-part Waugh. By then the target was just 71 runs off 49 balls. Chris Cairns and Craig McMillan kept playing their shots. This is when McGrath showed his class, he kept bowling a line slightly outside off stump to make scoring difficult for Kiwi batsmen and on the other side Brett Lee got Cairns caught at the boundary by Ponting.

Finally, with 15 required of the last over, McMillan and Parore could only take five off McGrath and the match ended with New Zealand six down and ten runs below target. A potential boring draw turned into a trilling draw thanks to the both captain’s aggressive mindset.

Check out the Scorecard here:

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