Kasper strikes early for Aussies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kasper strikes early for Aussies

By Jim Morton 18/11/2004 08:11:01 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand kept to its go-slow promise but was still struck down as home-town hero Michael Kasprowicz gave the Gabba faithful something to cheer about in the first Test.

Kasprowicz, playing his first Test in Brisbane for six seasons, was easily the pick of the Australian bowlers as the tourists concentrated on occupation over enterprise at the crease.

The big Queenslander took 3-54 on a meandering opening day of the Trans-Tasman series that saw NZ play the patience game to finish at 7-250 at stumps.

Some welcome late day sparkle by skyscraping all-rounder Jacob Oram (63 not out from 108 balls) gave the Black Caps hope of a 300-plus total, which will be essential for them to achieve their aim of taking the match into the final day.

The spongy and sometimes two-paced Gabba wicket will only quicken up over the next two days to provide perfect batting conditions for the intimidating Australian top-order.

"We've walked off today and the general feel is pretty satisfied," Kasprowicz said of the Australians' efforts.

"It's an excellent batting wicket out there. It's actually nice to be bowling on a wicket where there's a bit of bounce after coming from India."

Kasprowicz put early smiles on the faces of the 18,693-strong crowd by taking the key wickets of Mark Richardson (19) and Stephen Fleming (0) in his third over.

He had both edging into the cordon with seaming deliveries that left the left-handers for NZ to be 2-26 before the first drinks break.

He later had Scott Styris (27) caught behind edging a full outswinger.

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