Aussies in drivers seat at second Test - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies in drivers seat at second Test

By Jim Morton 28/11/2004 08:40:59 PM Comments (0)

A "boring" Glenn McGrath denied he could be rated better than Dennis Lillee after eclipsing his unofficial international wicket tally to put Australia on the verge of a Trans-Tasman whitewash.

McGrath said he could never match Lillee for his aura and aggression after taking his 459th Test wicket to pass the legendary quick's total of Test and unofficial international scalps.

McGrath grabbed 4-66 and sparked a New Zealand middle-order collapse to see the tourists bundled out for a 251 in the second Test on a benign Adelaide Oval pitch.

The meagre total on day three left the Black Caps 324-runs in arrears of Australia's first-innings score of 8(dec)-575).

By stumps, the world champions, who opted against enforcing the follow-on, had extended their lead to 381 with openers Matthew Hayden (21) and Justin Langer (31) sharing an unbroken 57-run stand.

On passing Lillee's Test wicket-taking tally of 355 in the final Test of the 2001 Ashes tour, McGrath felt he couldn't be compared because the tearaway West Australian's career haul didn't include the wickets he captured in World Series Super Test and World XI matches.

Lillee took 79 Super Test scalps, when the game was split by Kerry Packer's World Series takeover, and 24 World XI wickets from a memorable 1971-72 series.

McGrath equalled Lillee's 458 wicket mark when he delivered the pivotal blow on the third day by having NZ skipper Stephen Fleming caught behind for 83.

It sparked a 5-60 collapse that has Australia on the way to a 2-0 series win.

"Even for people to class me alongside (Lillee) is a huge wrap but I would never say I was equal to him," said McGrath, Test cricket's fourth highest wicket-taker.

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