Hobart, Dec 12: With an eight-ball burst that removed Australia's three most senior batsmen and irreversibly swung momentum in the second test, Doug Bracewell etched the family name further into New Zealand cricket folklore.
Bracewell took 6-40 including the final wicket as Australia fell eight runs short of its 241-run target on Monday giving New Zealand its first win on Australian soil since 1985 and squaring the two-test series.
By inflicting Australia's first ever defeat at Bellerive Oval, Bracewell lived up to the expectations created by his family connections.
His uncle, John Bracewell, was involved in New Zealand's previous test win in Australia in 1985. His father, Brendon, also played six tests for New Zealand.
Australia was coasting at 159-2 until Bracewell provided the critical breakthrough just before lunch on day four.
He removed ex-Australia captain Ricky Ponting and then returned in his next over to dismiss skipper Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey, both for ducks, on consecutive balls. After the interval, he took another two wickets in one over as Australia lost seven wickets for 40.
The 21-year-old paceman continued to swing the old ball as he tore through the Australian innings.
And when David Warner (123 not out) spearheaded a gritty, rearguard 34 runs for the final wicket, it was Bracewell who extinguished Australia's last hope when he bowled No. 11 batsman Nathan Lyon for nine. He leaped into an unbridled celebration with his teammates.
“What a game. Pretty proud at the moment,” said Bracewell, who took a five-wicket haul on his test debut in Zimbabwe last month. “To grab another five-for, it's very rewarding.”
“Really chuffed,” he added, after apologizing for letting a curse word fly in a live national radio broadcast. “We're going to celebrate really hard.”
Bracewell now has 16 wickets in three tests at an average of 19.25, but none are likely to compare with Monday's performance.
Before the series, New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor said that while Australians hadn't seen much of Bracewell, they were likely to notice signs of a player who could become one of the great allrounders.
He disappointed in the series opener in Brisbane last week, where he thought he'd dismissed Australian captain Clarke only to have the batsman recalled because he'd overstepped the mark. Other chances were wasted when fielders put down catches in New Zealand's nine-wicket loss.
Now Taylor is tipping the second-test performance will become one of the most memorable ever for New Zealanders.
“Dougie, you can't speak more of,” Taylor said. “He bowled poorly for his standards in Brisbane. To come in and get 6-40 in your first series against Australia, I'm sure it'll be one of the great spells in New Zealand cricket history.”
The Bracewells already have a big reputation in New Zealand. Brendon Bracewell, Doug's father, took 14 wickets in six tests between 1978-85. John Bracewell played 41 tests and later, as national coach, led the Black Caps to a limited-overs series win against Australia leading into the 2007 World Cup.
But it was his influence with the bat and chiefly as an offspinner that left a lasting impression on the trans-Tasman rivalry.
John Bracewell was in the team that clinched the 1985 series 2-1 with a six-wicket victory at Perth in December. Three months later, he took 6-32 to help dismiss Australia for 103 in an eight-wicket win at Auckland that clinched the home series 1-0 for New Zealand.
Although still far from the polished article, Taylor predicts young Doug Bracewell will have a lasting impact on the game.
“He's a special talent,” Taylor said. “Still a young lad. Still pretty raw. He hasn't showed what he can do with the bat yet, but he's going to be a good allrounder.”
New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee acknowledged Bracewell's influence on the Bellerive test.
“He had an oustanding test—he's got a very bright future,” Southee said. “He did very well in Zimbabwe and won us that game there, too.
“Everyone is on cloud nine. It's a great part of history.
“To turn it around like we have is amazing and shows the true courage among the team.”