Australian victory put on hold as bad light stops play

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The Independent Online

Australia's quest for a perfect summer season of cricket will head into a fourth day on Monday after New Zealand put the brakes on the tourists' victory chase in the third cricket test in Hamilton, New Zealand today.

At stumps on the third day, Australia was 137-3 in its second innings, still needing another 73 runs to claim a series whitewash over New Zealand. Stumps was called about 30 minutes before the scheduled end of play.

Australia was charging to the victory target of 210 in the final session, with Justin Langer (71 not out from 75 balls) and Matthew Hayden (37) racing through an 83-run partnership from just 87 balls.

But Hayden's dismissal, followed by Mark Waugh's controversial exit for 18, ensured the fading light would beat Australia on the third day.

Waugh was given out caught at bat-pad by Mathew Sinclair from the bowling of Paul Wiseman (2-42), but the ball appeared to balloon off his pad.

The match was expected to finish inside three days when New Zealand fell to 111-5 in its second innings, before Chris Cairns (71) launched another gutsy fightback.

The talented allrounder hit 10 fours and two sixes in his knock, taking New Zealand to a competitive 229 in its second innings. But the wicket was holding up well for the batsmen, enabling Australia to bat confidently in pursuit of the target.

Earlier, wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist broke the Australian record when he took five catches in New Zealand's second innings. That gave Gilchrist 10 dismissals for the match, passing the national record of nine held jointly by Rod Marsh, Ian Healy and Gil Langley.

Scoreboard at stumps on the third day of the third cricket test between New Zealand and Australia in Hamilton, New Zealand:

Australia won the toss

New Zealand 1st Innings, 232 Australia 1st Innings 252

New Zealand, 2nd Innings

Matthew Horne run out 0 Craig Spearman c Gilchrist b Lee 35 Mathew Sinclair lbw Miller 24 Stephen Fleming c Gilchrist b Miller 2 Nathan Astle c Gilchrist b Warne 26 Craig McMillan c M. Waugh b Warne 30 Chris Cairns b McGrath 71 Adam Parore c Gilchrist b McGrath 16 Paul Wiseman c Gilchrist b Lee 16 Daryl Tuffey not out 1 Shayne O'Connor lbw b Lee 0 Extras (4lb 4nb) 8 TOTAL: 229.

Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-49, 3-53, 4-71, 5-111, 6-130, 7-165, 8-220, 9-228, 10-229. Bowling: Glenn McGrath 20-7-50-2 (2nb), Brett Lee 18.4-2-46-3, Colin Miller 20-5-58-2, Shane Warne 25-11-61-2 (1nb), Steve Waugh 3-0-10-0 (1nb). Batting time: 345 minutes. Overs: 86.4.

Australia, 2nd Innings

Michael Slater lbw b O'Connor 9 Matthew Hayden c Spearman b Wiseman 37 Justin Langer not out 71 Mark Waugh c Sinclair b Wiseman 18 Steve Waugh not out 1 Extras (1lb) 1 TOTAL: 137 for three wickets.

Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-96, 3-124. Bowling: Chris Cairns 7-1-41-0, Shayne O'Connor 5-1-22-1, Paul Wiseman 9-0-42-2, Daryl Tuffey 7-1-31-0. Overs: 28.

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