Going into day 3 of the second test, NZ were 4-2 down to Australia after yesterday's 'tension in the twilight.' NZ are not a team to roll over when they are behind however, and we were confident of a good day in today's singles.
The match-ups today were:
- Jenny vs Ian Dumergue
- Joe vs Malcolm Fletcher
- Aiken vs Robert Fletcher
- Chris vs Stephen Forster
With the two late starts being Harps vs Greg Fletcher and myself vs Simon Hockey.
For NZ, the match of today was surely Aiken's massive victory over world number 1 Robert Fletcher. Aiken hit 4th turn in game 1 after Robert failed H1 3rd turn, and proceeded to 4-back. Robert missed the lift and Aiken finished his delayed TP. Game 2 started with a supershot opening from Aiken, with misses on turns 3 and 4. Aiken hit an aggressive shot 5th turn and repeated the result of game 1 for a great victory.
Malcolm had most of the play against Joe - Joe hit numerous long shots but never quite had the rub of the green, and Malcolm won in straight games.
Ian and Jenny had a very high quality match (13 turns total) with Ian winning 2-0. Neither player made any errors, and Jenny can count herself a little unlucky with the end result.
Chris vs Stephen was probably the longest match of the day. Stephen took a tight first game by +5, only for Chris to comeback strongly with a TP in the second. In the decider, both players had some play, but Stephen reached the peg first to put Australia 7-3 up overall.
Harps vs Greg also had plenty of play for both sides. Harps had at least one ball round in each game, but Greg maintained the upper hand and played some tidy croquet to eventually win in straight games.
Myself vs Simon was the final match to start. I got off to a fast start by hitting 5th turn and going to 4-back. Simon hit the long lift from B Baulk centre-ball but got caught out by a hill at H4 when making his own leave and had to separate his two balls. I regained the innings and finished with a TP. In game 2, Simon had the first break but again got caught by the hill at H4 when making his leave. I hit the lift and popped his H1 ball to H3. Simon hit back in yet again, but made an error at H4, leaving me a short shot for a standard TP to make it 8-4 to Australia after day 3.
NZ will be aiming for a 3-0 result in the doubles tomorrow to try and close the gap to Australia.