Cricket: Fleming in captain's form

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Australia 373 and 25-1

New Zealand 349

New Zealand removed the first-innings century-maker Mark Taylor cheaply to complete a good third day for the tourists as Australia struggled to a lead of 49 with nine wickets standing in the first Test in Brisbane.

Taylor, who scored a disciplined 112 in his first knock, was tempted in to a rash stroke outside his off stump and edged Chris Cairns to Nathan Astle in the gully for 16. By the close Australia had reached 25 for 1 in 16 overs, having earlier dismissed the stubborn Kiwis for 349 for a 24-run first-innings lead.

New Zealand had steadily chipped away at Australia's 373 total, with four batsmen scoring half-centuries in a determined display. The captain, Stephen Fleming, missed his second Test century by just nine runs after a knock lasting almost five hours, while the all-rounder Cairns followed up his four wickets with a composed 64.

The opener Blair Pocock compiled a patient 57 while the Test debutant, Craig McMillan, smashed a six over Shane Warne's head to bring up his half-century before he fell to the spinner for 54.

Third day; New Zealand won toss

AUSTRALIA - First Innings 373 (M A Taylor 112, P R Reiffel 77).

NEW ZEALAND - First Innings

(Overnight: 134 for 3)

B A Young c Taylor b Kasprowicz 1

B A Pocock c Taylor b Warne 57

N J Astle run out 12

*S P Fleming lbw b Kasprowicz 91

D L Vettori c S Waugh b Blewett 14

C D McMillan lbw b Warne 54

C L Cairns b McGrath 64

A C Parore c Taylor b Warne 12

C Z Harris b Warne 13

S B Doull not out 2

G I Allott c Elliott b McGrath 4

Extras (b4, lb4, nb17) 25

Total (132.2 overs) 349

Fall (cont): 4-173, 5-210, 6-279, 7-317, 8-343, 9-343.

Bowling: McGrath 32.2-6-96-2 (nb10); Kasprowicz 24-6-57-2 (nb6); Warne 42-13-106-4; Reiffel 21-6-53-0 (nb1); M Waugh 7-2-18-0; Blewett 6-2-11-1.

AUSTRALIA - Second Innings

M T Elliott not out 7

*M A Taylor c Astle b Cairns 16

I A Healy not out 1

Extras (nb1) 1

Total (16 overs, for 1) 25

Fall: 1-24.

Bowling: Doull 5-1-10-0; Allott 5-2-10-0 (nb1); Cairns 3-2-5-1; Vettori 3-3-0-0.

Umpires: S Randell (Aus), V Ramaswamy (Ind).

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