Katich ton hands Australia advantage
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 29th March 2010
A patient century from Simon Katich and half-centuries of contrasting pace from Watson and Hussey pushed Australia forward as the visitors were put in the boxer's seat in the second and the final Test of the two match series. With six wickets in hand Australia secured a whooping 300 run lead over the hosts.
Resuming the day at 35 for no loss the Australian side powered by the openers Watson (65, 106b, 2x6, 9x4) and Katich (106, 279b, 12x4) pushed the visitors ahead. Watson was the aggressor of the two as he launched into the Kiwi bowlers and he succeeded in scattering the bowlers to all parts of the ground. But his aggression got better of him as a pull shot of Southee landed safely in the lap of Watling at deep square leg. Ponting (6, 4b, 1x6) after a hooked six patted one from Southee straight into the hands of Watling at short leg.
Katich was joined at the crease by Hussey, who were both celebrating their 50th Test match. With time on their side the pair batted with sedately to frustrate the Kiwi bowlers. Though Vettori and Patel built up pressure at both the ends the spin duo were unable to deliver the killer blow. The pair added 155 in 55.1 overs with Katich making a patient century. Just when all looked lost for the hosts Brent Arnel struck twice in space of 15 balls. First he induced an outside edge from Hussey (67, 160b, 1x6, 8x4) and then with a similar looking delivery removed centurion Katich.
The Australian innings was wobbling at 247 for 4 and it seemed that they had squandered their vantage position. It was at that moment an elegant Clarke (42 batting, 65b, 4x8) and a determined North (42 batting, 73b, 7x4, 1x6) added an unbeaten 86 in 22 overs to stretch the Australian lead.