Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Aussies Slump to a Shocking New Low

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Aussies Slump to a Shocking New Low

Article excerpt

Byline: Henry Swarbrick Cricket brought to you in association with

fORMER skipper Ian Chappell believes Australia have reached a new low after today's dramatic collapse in Hobart gave New Zealand their first victory on Aussie soil for 26 years.

The hosts began the penultimate day requiring 169 for victory with all 10 wickets standing. But their last eight batsmen fell for just 74, condemning them to a seven-run defeat, despite an unbeaten 123 from opener David Warner.

Playing only his third Test, paceman Doug Bracewell took six wickets to bowl out the hosts for 233 and inflict a defeat Chappell conceded was "a low point" for the nation he skippered in the 1970s.

Australia, who dominated all forms of the game during the last two decades, almost saved themselves in the second and final Test with a last-wicket partnership of 34 between Warner and Nathan Lyon.

Their narrow defeat, which levelled the series, follows a similarly tense conclusion to last month's clash in South Africa, where teenager Pat Cummins saw Michael Clarke's men over the line for a two-wicket win which tied the series. That victory seems a long time ago, though, and this defeat, against the No8 Test team in the world, means that only the West Indies and Bangladesh have now lost more five-day matches than Australia since the start of 2008.

Captain Clarke, so used to victory under his predeccesor, Ricky Ponting, was full of frustration.

He said: "We were on the winning side in South Africa, today we just missed out. It probably sums up where we're at as a team. You've seen some really good patches of individual excellence and as a team we're playing really well in patches but then you see the other side as well, where we're letting ourselves down.

"We can't seem to find that middle road. We're inconsistent at the moment, which is a real pain. …

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