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Dominant Australia overpower New Zealand on second day

First Test, Wellington (day two):
Australia 459-5 dec v New Zealand 108-4
Match scorecard

Michael Clarke (left) and Marcus North
Clarke (left) and North put on a 253 run fifth-wicket partnership

Australia built on a powerful batting display by tearing through New Zealand's openers to take charge after day two of the first Test.

After making 100 on Friday, Michael Clarke (168) continued his fine form to build a record 253-run, fifth-wicket partnership with Marcus North (112 no).

Captain Ricky Ponting declared on 459-5 midway through the middle session.

New Zealand fell to 43-4 before captain Daniel Vettori (42) restored hope for the home side who were 108-4 at stumps.

Having dominated the first four sessions thanks to Clarke, North, Simon Katich (79) and Ponting (41), it was the turn of the Australian bowlers to turn the screw after lunch at the Basin Reserve - and they wasted no time.

Doug Bollinger (2-21) trapped opener BJ Watling for a duck with his fifth ball and Mitchell Johnson followed that up with some nifty footwork to have Peter Ingram run out for five.


By tea New Zealand had limped to 20-2 with Ross Taylor and Tim McIntosh unbeaten on four and seven, respectively.

Then early in the final session, Ryan Harris (1-23) bagged his maiden Test wicket when McIntosh pushed a thick edge to Michael Hussey to leave New Zealand in real trouble on 31-3.

They sank further into the mire when Taylor was caught by North off the first ball of Bollinger's new spell.

So it left New Zealand captain Vettori to once again perform a rescue mission with his side in a perilous position at 43-4.

The all-rounder was eventually eight runs shy of his 22nd half-century when play ended as he and Martin Guptill (19 no) mustered a fight back, putting on a valuable 65 runs to leave the home side trailing by 351 runs.

It had been a hard morning for New Zealand's bowlers with Clarke and North taking total control - surpassing the previous Australian record of 213 for a fifth-wicket stand against New Zealand set by Greg Matthews and Greg Ritchie in the 1985-86 season.

There were some tough periods but it was just nice that Pup (Clarke) and I stuck together and helped each other through it

Marcus North

And Clarke - who has been under intense media scrutiny during the break-up of his relationship with model Lara Bingle - brought up his 150 as the visitors cruised to 405 for four at lunch.

It was the second time in as many Tests the 28-year-old right-hander had reached the milestone following his highest Test score of 166 scored against Pakistan in Hobart in January.

But Vettori eventually got the breakthrough when he got one past Clarke and Brendon McCullum whipped the bails off to break the stand at 253.

North then brought up his well-deserved ton with an eighth boundary. His fourth Test century took 192 balls and also including two sixes.

Shortly after that Ponting called his batsmen in and let his bowlers loose on New Zealand's fragile top order.

"Coming to New Zealand with no form under my belt whatsoever and spending three days working with Ricky really gave me the boost I needed," said North.

"Without a doubt getting in that mindset has certainly contributed to me getting a hundred in this first Test. It was nice to get those three figures.

"There were some tough periods but it was just nice that Pup [Clarke] and I stuck together and helped each other through it."

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see also
Clarke ton puts Australia on top
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Clarke named in Aussie Test squad
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Sinclair recalled by New Zealand
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Haddin ton sets up Australia win
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Aussies level series in Auckland
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New Zealand edge past Australia
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Australia cruise to Twenty20 win
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Australia in New Zealand 2010
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Clarke appointed Twenty20 skipper
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