x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Katich has Kiwis toiling on flat pitch

Riding on Simon Katich's 106, Australia finished day three on 333 for 4 in the second innings of the Hamilton Test.

Simon Katich of Australia puts the ball past the hands of BJ Watling at Seddon Park.
Simon Katich of Australia puts the ball past the hands of BJ Watling at Seddon Park.

Riding on Simon Katich's 106, Australia finished day three on 333 for 4 in the second innings of the Hamilton Test. The tourists now have an overall lead of 300 runs. The Kiwi bowlers toiled hard on the pitch that didn't have much to offer, as Australian batsmen steered their team to a dominant position. Opener Shane Watson (65) and Michael Hussey (67) scored fine half-centuries to consolidate the innings. Vice-captain Michael Clarke (42) and Marcus North (42) put on an unbeaten 86-run stand and the duo can take the match away from the hosts. New Zealand bowlers struggled through the day on an unresponsive pitch, taking just four wickets. The wickets were equally shared by medium-pacers Tim Southee and Brent Arnel. Both spinners Daniel Vettori and Jeetan Patel went wicketless despite bowling 60 overs on the day.

Australia began the third day's proceedings with a lead of just two runs and the two openers Watson and centurion Katich forged 85 runs before Southee struck twice in a span of just five balls. From 91 for 2, Katich and Hussey combined well and put together 155 runs in 55 overs to take the team score to 246 for 3. Australia dominated most of the three sessions, except towards the end when Arnel took 2 wickets for 16 runs. He had both Katich and Hussey caught behind with the second new ball.