Kiwis building a lead
The second Vodafone Test is delicately poised at stumps on Day 2 with New Zealand holding a 153 lead over a misfiring Australian outfit, finishing at 3-139. The Kiwis rolled Australia for just 136 midway through the second session today to take a 14-run lead into their second innings on a pitch that became more conducive to run scoring as the day progressed. The gremlins that saw 20 wickets fall during the first five sessions of the match seemed to diminish as the afternoon wore on, runs coming more freely in a sign that the best batting conditions are yet to come. After Jesse Ryder (12) was expertly stumped by Brad Haddin from the part-time seam bowling of Mike Hussey to reduce New Zealand to 3-73, Kiwi skipper Ross Taylor (42) and youngster Kane Williamson (34) settled in and took advantage of a quickening outfield with a number of well-struck boundaries in their unbroken 66-run partnership. The Black Caps' innings had opened cautiously prior to tea, Brendon McCullum (12) and Martin Guptill (16) pushing the Kiwis out to a 50-run lead before being dismissed by James Pattinson and Peter Siddle in consecutive overs. The Victorian pace duo had earlier shared an important 56-run stand during the Australian batting innings and proved equally as effective when combining with ball in hand. Australian skipper Michael Clarke rotated his attack regularly, but once the new ball had lost its sheen and hardness the batsmen were able to play without the doubt caused by sideways movement during the opening day and a half. Taylor was given a life on 14 when dropped in the gully by Phil Hughes off Hussey's bowling, but other than an occasional LBW shout there was little else in the way of chances for an Australian side desperate to keep their fourth innings run chase to a minimum. Given the amount of time left in the match and the improving nature of the Bellerive strip, the Kiwis will be hoping for a lead in the vicinity of 400 runs by stumps tomorrow.