SPORT

Australia on verge of a whitewash

READY TO GROUND THE KIWIS: Australians celebrate the fall of another New Zealand wicket in Adelaide on Monday.

READY TO GROUND THE KIWIS: Australians celebrate the fall of another New Zealand wicket in Adelaide on Monday.  

ADELAIDE, NOV. 29. Australia moved within five wickets of a series sweep against New Zealand, which struggled to 149 for five at stumps on Monday and needs to survive three sessions to salvage a draw in the second cricket Test.

The New Zealanders have the improbable task of making 315 on the final day to win the match and level the series after a loss in Brisbane last week by an innings and 156 runs.

The top-ranked Australians are more likely to pick up five wickets for a 2-0 series result.

Jacob Oram, who scored an unbeaten 126 in the first Test, was unbeaten on 40 and Brendon McCullum was not out 34 at stumps on the penultimate day.

The pair joined with New Zealand at 97 for five when Nathan Astle (38) was dismissed trying to hit out against Darren Lehmann. Astle belted a cover drive to the boundary off Lehmann and was out next shot, brilliantly caught by Justin Langer in the covers.

All of Australia's bowlers took a wicket, with the regular quartet destroying the top order to have New Zealand reeling at 36 for four at tea and part-time spinner Lehmann taking the only wicket of the evening session.

Ricky Ponting set the New Zealanders 464 to win when he declared Australia's second innings closed at 139 for two about 15 minutes after lunch on Monday.

Opener Mathew Sinclair (2) was adjudged lbw to Jason Gillespie with the total at 11 and Stephen Fleming (3) was bowled by Glenn McGrath to make it 18 for two.

The New Zealanders lost two wickets on consecutive balls with the total at 34 when Michael Kasprowicz had Mark Richardson (16) caught at third slip and Scott Styris (8) edged Shane Warne to first slip.

Earlier, the New Zealanders removed Langer (46) and Matt Hayden (54) after Australia resumed at 57 without loss.

Ponting was unbeaten on 26 when he declared, giving the New Zealanders almost five full sessions to bat.

Langer's milestone

Langer, who scored 215 in Australia's first innings of 575 for eight declared, surpassed 6,000 career Test runs before he was adjudged lbw to Paul Wiseman with the total at 93.

Hayden needed medical treatment when he was on 47 after he swung hard at Daniel Vettori and top-edged the ball into his chin. The Australian opener continued and raised his 17th Test half century before he was caught behind off Vettori's bowling with Australia at 119 for two. — AP

SCOREBOARD

Australia — 1st innings: 575 for eight decl.

New Zealand — 1st innings: 251

Australia — 2nd innings: J. Langer lbw b Wiseman 46, M. Hayden c McCullum b Vettori 54, R. Ponting (not out) 26, D. Martyn (not out) 6; Extras: (lb-6, nb-1) 7; Total: (for two wkts. decl.) 139.

Fall of wickets: 1-93, 2-119.

New Zealand bowling: Martin 6-1-11-0, Oram 5-1-17-0, Franklin 5-0-18-0, Wiseman 22-3-52-1, Vettori 18-2-35-1.

New Zealand — 2nd innings: M. Richardson c Langer b Kasprowicz 16, M. Sinclair lbw b Gillespie 2, S. Fleming b McGrath 3, S. Styris c Clarke b Warne 8, N. Astle c Langer b Lehmann 38, J. Oram (batting) 40, B. McCullum (batting) 34; Extras: (b-1, lb-6, nb-1) 8; Total: (for five wkts.) 149.

Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-18, 3-34, 4-34, 5-97.

Australia bowling: McGrath 7-2-14-1, Gillespie 11-3-27-1, Kasprowicz 8-4-15-1, Warne 18-5-55-1, Darren Lehmann 9-0-31-1.

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