NZ pacer Chris Martin makes his birthday special with a three-wicket haul

Dec 11, 2011, 04:51 IST | AFP
New Zealand pacer Chris Martin makes it a memorable day as Australia get dismissed for 136 on bowler-friendly Hobart pitch; visitors gain 14-run lead

Journeyman New Zealand paceman Chris Martin got the perfect birthday gift on Saturday with a bowler-friendly Hobart pitch to help rout Australia for 136 in the second Test. Martin celebrated his 37th birthday with three for 46 as the Black Caps took a 14-run first innings buffer and swelled it to 153 with seven second innings wickets intact after the second day's play at Bellerive Oval.

Chris MartinĀ appeals against Michael Clarke in Hobart on Saturday.

It has been a Test match for the bowlers so far, with 23 wickets tumbling in just two days and batsmen finding it hard to score runs on a drying greentop pitch. Martin is savouring the Bellerive wicket and said he would like to bundle it up and take it with him around the world's other Test cricket venues. "It's been a long time to have a pitch like this one in a Test match," said the 64-Test veteran.

Seams exciting
"If you look around the world there's not too much variety in pitches. A day's Test cricket like that definitely makes people watch. "I've toured places like India and the subcontinent and it's always been a really tough long day with plenty of runs, but if you're a connoisseur of swing, seam bowling, then today's really an enjoyable day's cricket."

Australian paceman James Pattinson on Friday derided New Zealand's first innings of 150 batting first on the Bellerive minefield as "under par" but the home side could not better it as they fell 14 runs short. "I suppose 150 on that pitch on the first day has turned out to be a reasonable score. It's quite difficult to say how the rest of the Test match will go but with 150 runs in front we're feeling pretty good."

Martin said the Black Caps were hurting after their nine-wicket surrender to Australia in the first Test in Brisbane last weekend and were desperate to redeem themselves in Hobart. "Any time you roll Australia for under 150 I think you've felt like you've had a good day. But to put it in perspective, for us to bounce back after the way we played in Brisbane would be massive for us," he said.

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