Vettori blames poor first innings for Hamilton Test defeat

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Hamilton, Mar 31(ANI): New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori has said that a poor batting display in the first innings was a crucial factor in his side's 176-run defeat against Australia in the second Test in Hamilton on Wednesday.

"It's similar to the first test, we played really well at times, but to beat Australia it has to be over five days and there were pockets where we let ourselves down," Stuff.co.nz quoted Vettori, as saying.

"Not supporting Ross Taylor in the first innings with the bat was probably the crucial bit because we bowled so well in the first innings to give ourselves a chance, but we needed to have a sizeable lead to put pressure back on Australia," he added.

Taylor had scored the fastest century in New Zealand history with a brilliant 138, but it had failed to provide any momentum to the home side, as they only managed a 33-run first-innings lead after being bowled out for 264 in reply to Australia's first innings of 231.

Meanwhile, Australian skipper Ricky Ponting paid tribute to left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, who took 12 wickets at 18.33 in the one-day series and 12 wickets at 23.08 in the two tests.He has come a long way, this tour in particular has been the best and most consistent I've seen him bowl. There were probably some question marks over our test cricket before the summer started, having been a bit inconsistent during the Ashes series and not nailing the crucial moments," Ponting said.

"If anything we've gone the other way when there's been big moments we really have stood up and nailed them. When we've had opposition teams down we've stayed on top," he added. (ANI)

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