New Zealand have pulled off a dramatic seven-run win over Australia in the Second Vodafone Test in Hobart
An inspired spell of fast bowling from Doug Bracewell has propelled New Zealand to an unlikely victory at Hobart's Blundstone Arena, despite a heroic maiden century from David Warner.
Bracewell wrecked the Australian batting order with an outstanding return of 6-40 and was well supported after lunch by Tim Southee, who took 2-77 to propel their side to a series-levelling victory in the second Vodafone Test.
Rookie opener Warner finished unbeaten on 123, carrying his bat through the Australian innings, but the home side fell eight runs short of the victory target of 241 set by New Zealand on day three.
Bracewell and Southee bowled unchanged after lunch and combined to remove the last eight Australian batsmen for just 74 runs either side of the break.
Resuming after lunch on 5-173, signs were promising for the home side early in the second session as Warner found the five runs he needed to post his maiden Test century as he combined with Brad Haddin (15) for a steadying 33-run partnership after Bracewell had taken 3-0 prior to lunch to send a wobble through the Australian camp.
But when Haddin went driving at a wide one and was caught at slip by Ross Taylor it triggered a slide of 4-7 as Peter Siddle (2), James Pattinson (4) and Mitchell Starc (0) fell in the space of two overs.
Bracewell was finding significant hoop through the air from the Southern end of Blundstone Arena and fellow right-arm quick Southee was doing an equally impressive job at the other end.
With Warner seemingly hampered by a back complaint during the morning session, he was forced to carry a huge burden after the break in first reaching his century and then trying to guide his side home with wickets tumbling at the other end.
His brave rearguard ended when Nathan Lyon was the last dismissed, bowled by Bracewell for nine.
Skipper Taylor sensed the time was right to attack after lunch with Southee introduced to the attack and aside from a tough chance that was grassed by Jesse Ryder from Siddle, his packed slip cordon did the business by snaring six catches in the Australian innings.
Lyon joined Warner at the crease with 42 required for victory and survived two reviewed LBW decisions as the pair chased what was becoming an increasingly unlikely victory.
But when Lyon was finally bowled, New Zealand celebrated their deserved victory mid-pitch while Lyon slumped to his haunches, the unbeaten Warner a solitary figure at the other end, no doubt wondering how his chanceless maiden Test century could end in such disappointing circumstances.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 12 December, 2011 3:09PM AEST