Vettori tips spin to be major weapon

New Zealand’s captain Daniel Vettori knows he will need to play a key role on the slow, low Caribbean pitches for his side to break its habit of falling just short of success in major tournaments. Spin is expected to be an important weapon at most of the venues for the ICC World Twenty20 and New Zealand have chosen a squad with several slow-bowling options.

Vettori will lead the attack for the two pool games against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in Guyana, while Nathan McCullum is expected to be his major backup in the spin department. The allrounder Rob Nicol is another slow-bowling option for New Zealand, who will rely on Shane Bond to spearhead a pace group that also includes the allrounder Jacob Oram.

Unsettled New Zealand must stand up

Match Facts
March 27-31, Seddon Park, Hamilton
Start time 11am (2200 GMT)

The Big Picture

At 1-0 down in a two-Test series, there’s not much to lose for New Zealand in Hamilton. They must throw everything at the Australians and that means a significant lift in both batting and bowling. That they were bundled out for 157 in the first innings in Wellington was a big concern and apart from Tim McIntosh’s second-innings 83, their top order looked shaky. The veteran Mathew Sinclair might boost that department but they will still require greater penetration from their bowlers, who between them took only five wickets for the whole Test.

Vettori at home in 100th Test

Daniel Vettori is keen to put his 100th Test celebrations behind him early on Saturday and switch his focus to beating Australia. Vettori will become the second New Zealander to reach the milestone after Stephen Fleming – he will do it at his home ground in Hamilton – but finishing the home summer on a high is the captain’s No. 1 priority.

Vettori and McCullum keep New Zealand afloat

Daniel Vettori showed he could have a long-term future at No. 6 after his committed half-century pushed New Zealand closer to making Australia bat again. Vettori was unbeaten on 60 at lunch while Brendon McCullum was 39 as they reached 266 for 5, 36 runs short of eliminating the deficit.

Vettori, who scored 46 in the first innings, has been promoted two spots in the order this season and he was delivering in a crucial situation on a day disrupted by fierce wind gusts. Rain delayed the start and the hosts resumed their second innings on 187 for 5, knowing they didn’t have much batting power after Vettori and McCullum. The local bowlers were still in the dressing room at the break after the pair put on 83 for the sixth wicket.

Australia eye Chappell-Hadlee Trophy

johnsonMatch Facts

Thursday, March 11
Start time 1400 (0100 GMT)

The Big Picture

The most important match of the series, as the players described it, went to Australia. They now hold a 2-1 lead with two matches to play and victory in Auckland will ensure they retain the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy that they won at home in December 2007 and retained through a drawn series in Australia last February. Their win on Tuesday in Hamilton was easily their most complete performance of the tour as their bowlers fired early and dismissed New Zealand, before the top-order batsmen clicked and a centurion was found. Michael Clarke’s dash home to see his fiancée didn’t upset their balance and they will be looking to turn the final game in Wellington into a dead rubber.

Australia survive late Vettori scare

johnsonDaniel Vettori stuck his stiff neck out with a brilliant innings that nearly delivered victory for New Zealand but Ryan Harris chopped him off to end the plucky fight as Australia levelled the series 1-1. There were some very nervous moments for Australia as they let New Zealand recover from 131 for 6 to almost reach their goal of 266 before the visitors’ blushes were saved.

It came down to 13 required from 11 balls when Vettori walked across his stumps and attempted a shot he had used to great effect throughout his innings. However, this time when he tried to flick Harris behind square leg his stumps were rattled, his fightback finished at 70 from 49 balls, and Australia avoided going down 2-0 with three to play.

Bangladesh flounder chasing 404

timThe Bangladesh top order collapsed timidly, for the second time in the match, leaving New Zealand on the verge of victory at the end of the fourth day in Hamilton. A brilliant spell from Daniel Vettori was supported well by his spinning parter Jeetan Patel, and reduced the tourists to 88 for 5, still 316 runs away from an unlikely victory. The spin pair bowled consecutive wicket-maidens shortly before the close of play, taking the game well and truly away from Bangladesh.

Daniel Vettori willing to play through pain

vettoriNew Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has put off surgery on his bowling shoulder, fearing it could keep him out of cricket for up to 12 months. Vettori suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder during the ICC World Twenty20 in June but has managed to bowl despite the pain and is currently among the best allrounders in world cricket.

“I can still bowl with it. It sometimes hurts but I can manage it,” Vettori told the Waikato Times. “It’s frustrating, but it’s not stopping me from doing my main parts. Surgery would fix it but that would also mean six months to a year out. That’s something I don’t want to deal with.”

Daniel Vettori century stretches NZ lead

vettoriThe Test was evenly balanced at tea. New Zealand were trailing by 57 runs with only five wickets in hand, Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori were yet to settle in, Danish Kaneria was in hot form having run through the middle order and the second new ball wasn’t far away. Either team could have grabbed the ascendancy. It was Vettori and McCullum who broke the shackles of the first two sessions with a combination of intelligence and exhilarating strokeplay, and seized control of the game.

Vettori and Tuffey rattle Pakistan

vettoriThe weather took time to clear up and New Zealand took time to wake up, but by the end of a shortened, disrupted first day at what was the Basin Reserve’s 50th Test, both had taken firm hold of this match.

Incessant rains over the last few days had forced both sides to practice indoors in the run-in and a wet outfield delayed the start until lunch. Overcast conditions, a pitch only just uncovered and some bounce quickly lulled Daniel Vettori into sending Pakistan in after winning the toss. And after an unusual first bout of Pakistan control, New Zealand struck back to leave Pakistan at 161 for 6, bad light stopping play early.