Cricket: Boon stays in tune as Slater canes Kiwis

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The Independent Online
Australia 329-2 v New Zealand

MICHAEL SLATER continued his rehabilitation in Hobart yesterday, amassing his highest score in Tests, 168, to help Australia take command on the first day of the second Test against New Zealand.

Prior to the second innings of the drawn first Test in Perth, his first in Australia, Slater had endured a poor run in the Sheffield Shield, belying the belligerent form that prompted so many plaudits during last summer's Ashes series. A 99 at the Waca showed this to be merely a blip, however, and the Bellerive Oval witnessed further evidence of a precocious talent as Australia closed the day on 329 for 2.

Not that the young opener was alone in demoralising a Kiwi attack depleted by Chris Cairns's late withdrawal with a heel injury.

Joined by David Boon after Murphy Su'a had elicited a rash drive to gully from Mark Taylor (27), Slater added 235 with his senior partner, a second-wicket record in Tests for Australia against New Zealand. In front of his home crowd, a comparatively subdued Boon had fashioned an unbeaten 105 by the close, passing 6,000 Test runs when he reached 64.

Slater flirted with danger, surviving three chances - Andrew Jones's wayward throw spared him from being run out on 99 - before driving a wide half-volley from Dipak Patel into the covers half an hour before the close. By then he had collected 17 fours from 235 balls.

AUSTRALIA - First Innings

(Australia won toss)

M A Taylor c Jones b Su'a. . . . . . . . . . . .27

M J Slater c Morrison b Patel. . . . . . . . . 168

D C Boon not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105

M E Waugh not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Extras (nb10 b1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Total (for 2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329

Fall: 1-65 2-300.

Bowling: Morrison 18-3-63-0; Su'a 17-2-66- 1; Doull 15-0-60-0; De Groen 20-5-66-0; Patel 18-3-55-1; Harris 2-0-18-0.

To bat: * A R Border, S R Waugh, I A Healy, P R Reiffel, S K Warne, T B A May, C J McDermott.

NEW ZEALAND: M J Greatbatch, B A Pocock, A H Jones, * K R Rutherford, C Z Harris, D N Patel, T E Blain, M L Su'a, S B Doull, R P De Groen, D K Morrison.

(Photograph omitted)

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