Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ponting's decision to declare?

As expected, the second day also belonged top Australia when they amassed 459 runs on the board by scoring 143 runs extra compared to their score at the end of the first day's play. And as usual, the batting of the New Zealand side started collapsing like glaciers in snow mountains. The first four wickets of the New Zealand side fell with less than 50 runs on the board. The scoreboard of the New Zealand batting read 43 runs when the fourth New Zealand wicket fell. No needs to be given any sort of appreciation for tumbling the New Zealand wickets for it was the Kiwis who flattered.

The Australian bowlers did nothing extra ordinary to bowl the New Zealand batsmen out for a partly score. Since the fall of the fourth wicket at the score of 43 on the board, the New Zealand team didn't lose another wicket until the end of the day. The scorecard at the end of the day read 108 runs for the loss of four wickets meaning 65 runs in addition to 43 were scored without losing a wicket. The first three New Zealand batsmen went back to the pavilion scoring single digit scores of 9, 0 and 5 respectively. However, the scorecard read 31 runs when the 3rd wicket fell.

The trio New Zealand batsmen scored just 14 runs if their individual scores are taken which means that the additional 17 runs should have been scored by extras. Even Australia lost just 4 wickets on their first day's play like New Zealand. Australia lost 4 wickets on day 1 after scoring 316 runs and New Zealand also lost 4 wickets but with a score that was just 208 runs less than what the Aussie batsmen could pile up on day 1. The Kiwi batsmen could not even score half of what the Australian batsmen could do on day 2. This was rather expected taking into consideration their caliber in test cricket.

Earlier, the Australian batsmen put up a score of 459 runs on the board as mentioned above. In the process, the Australian team lost just one wicket of Michael Clarke who scored 168 runs that is needless to be said. After Clarke retreated, Ponting declared the innings with a score of less than 500 on the board and with as many as 5 wickets in hand. This can rather be considered to be an unusual gesture in today's test cricket especially when a total of 400+ on the board can no longer be considered as safe. And, this was done outside home as far as Australia are concerned. With the likes of Haddin, North and Johnson, Ponting could have delayed the declaration to avoid cursing himself later. But, the decision can well be understood by Ponting alone.

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