Cricket: Jones' century pulls Kiwis up: Australia pegged back in Perth

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The Independent Online
Australia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .398

New Zealand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .390-6

AN INNINGS of 143 by Andrew Jones took New Zealand to within eight runs of Australia with four first-innings wickets in hand at the close of the third day of the first Test in Perth yesterday.

Jones's seventh century in 32 Tests was capitalised upon in the final session by the Nottinghamshire all-rounder, Chris Cairns, and the wicketkeeper, Tony Blain, who added 98 in an unbroken seventh- wicket stand. Cairns finished on 66 and Blain 35.

New Zealand were in almost total control in the morning session when Jones, resuming on 62, and his captain, Martin Crowe, put on 99 for the third wicket. Crowe fell for 42 half an hour before lunch, edging a ball from Paul Reiffel to Mark Taylor at first slip.

Ken Rutherford, his vice-captain, then joined Jones but seldom looked comfortable making 17 runs during a 53-minute stay. Craig McDermott put an end to it when he found the outside edge and wicketkeeper Ian Healy took the catch.

It was 28-year-old McDermott's 200th Test wicket in his 50th Test, only the eighth Australian to reach that figure. He joins Jeff Thomson on 200, behind Lillee, Benaud, McKenzie, Lindwall, Grimmett and Hughes.

Jones, however, did not become McDermott's 201st victim and by the time he slashed at a wide one from Mark Waugh to give Healy another catch he had been at the crease for 351 minutes and hit 11 fours.

On the previous day the Australians had taken their first-innings score on from 229 for 6 to 398 all out, with Healy again playing a prominent role. He turned his overnight score of 30 into an unbeaten 113 while Paul Reiffel chipped in with a half-century.

With the pitch at the WACA Ground playing better than at any time in the game, the odds seem to favour a draw over the remaining two days. However, if the Kiwis are able to establish a significant lead, Australia will not be able to afford to stumble in their second innings against an attack refreshed after a long rest.

AUSTRALIA - First Innings 398 (I A Healy 113no, M A Taylor 64, P R Reiffel 51, S R Waugh 44; C L Cairns 4-113, M L Su'a 2-72, D K Morrison 2-113).

NEW ZEALAND - First Innings

M J Greatbatch c Healy b McGrath. . . . . . . . . . . . .18

B A Pocock c Boon b McDermott. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34

A H Jones c Healy b M Waugh. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143

*M D Crowe c Taylor b Reiffel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42

K R Rutherford c Healy b McDermott. . . . . . . . . . .17

D N Patel c S Waugh b Reiffel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

C L Cairns not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66

T E Blain not out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

Extras (b1 lb6 nb8). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15

Total (for 6). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .390

Fall: 1-25 2-100 3-199 4-239 5-275 6-292.

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