Century helps Haddin escape Gilchrist's shade

N Zealand 270 & 35-0 Australia 535
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The Independent Online

Australia's wicketkeeper Brad Haddin claimed "relief" was his primary emotion after he reached his maiden Test century against New Zealand at Adelaide Oval yesterday

Haddin has been under media scrutiny after taking over the gloves from Adam Gilchrist and had yet to make a big score in his previous 15 Test innings. But he silenced his critics with a crushing 169 on the third day of the second Test.

Haddin "trusted" his attacking game even with Australia losing two quick wickets before his arrival at the crease. He felt it was that instinctual approach that may have been missing during his lean last series.

"I think in India, with the bat in the back end of that tour, I started doubting myself, probably putting too much pressure on myself," he said.

Australia were bowled out for 535 late on the third day with Haddin's knock the highlight, along with the 181-run sixth wicket partnership with Michael Clarke, who contributed 110 to Australia's total.

New Zealand trailed by 265 after the first innings but chipped off 35 runs after a positive nine-over stint before the end of play with Aaron Redmond (15) and Jamie How (13) unbeaten.

Brett Lee found the edge on several occasions but went for 16 runs off his first over as Australia failed to end a superb day on a high with a Kiwi scalp.

Clarke and Haddin came together when Michael Hussey and Andrew Symonds were dismissed in quick succession by Chris Martin in the morning. Clarke, who was bowled for 98 in the First Test at the Gabba, had a scare as he closed in on triple figures. He pushed the ball out on to the leg side and hesitated mid-pitch before completing the single that notched up his ninth Test century.

The right-hander was eventually dismissed when he slashed at a wide delivery from Ian O'Brien and was caught by Jesse Ryder in the gully to end his 239-ball innings, which featured 11 boundaries.

Haddin did not ease his way into the nineties after smashing three boundaries off four Ryder deliveries to race to 97 before he completed his century with a midwicket four a couple of overs later. Haddin had some luck with Daniel Flynn dropping the simplest of catches at mid-on when he was on 72.

He continued to dominate after tea and used the slog-sweep to bring up his 150 before he was finally out, caught on the midwicket fence by Peter Fulton.