Pressure mounted on Phil Hughes after he again failed with the bat as Australia chased New Zealand’s modest 150 on an eventful opening day of their second Test at the Bellerive Oval yesterday.
The under-fire opener lasted just five balls before he was again caught in the slips off Chris Martin for 4, as Australia reached 12 for one before rain ended play early.
For the third straight time in the series Hughes was caught by Martin Guptill off Martin’s bowling, scoring just 21 runs in the process, heaping pressure on his Test place ahead of this month’s series with India.
A total of 11 wickets tumbled in 50 overs on a bowler-friendly Bellerive wicket with Michael Clarke winning perhaps the most crucial toss of his eight Tests as Australia’s captain and sending the Black Caps into bat.
At the close, David Warner was on 7 and Usman Khawaja, who had lived dangerously, was on 1. Martin had 1-12 off 2.2 overs.
Black Caps skipper Ross Taylor set three slips and three gullys for Hughes, who now has been caught behind the wicket in 20 of his 30 Test dismissals, raising questions about his technique.
Pace newcomer James Pattinson earlier starred with five wickets for the second consecutive innings as New Zealand were skittled out in 45.4 overs.
Pattinson followed up his man-of-the-match five for 27 in last weekend’s nine-wicket win in the first Gabba Test to snare five for 51 and he will be on a hat-trick with his first delivery in the Black Caps’ second innings.
Dean Brownlie was the only Black Caps batsman to offer resistance with 56 off 85 balls as the Kiwis rolled over for 150, the same score they posted in the second innings in Brisbane.
It was Brownlie’s second half-century of the series following his unbeaten 77 at the Gabba.
Peter Siddle played a strong supporting role to Pattinson with three for 42 off 13 overs, while Mitchell Starc claimed two for 30.
The Black Caps, who lost influential all-rounder Daniel Vettori on the morning of the match with hamstring trouble for Trent Boult to make his Test debut, were 83 for six at lunch.
The wicket was always going to test the first side out to bat and New Zealand duly labored.
Guptill survived just three balls before he edged Siddle to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin for 3 in the day’s second over.
Jesse Ryder, promoted to No. 3, was out for a six-ball duck after Pattinson called for a review after English umpire Nigel Llong turned down his LBW appeal.
see Record on page 18