Aussies on top after dominant day two

AUSTRALIA leads New Zealand by 217 runs after a dominant second day in the ongoing Wellington Test. After resuming play nine wickets down, the tourists added 104 runs in the morning session to post 383 overall, before skittling the Kiwis for just 179 and batting out a further eight overs.

Cameron Green, who dramatically brought up his second Test century in the final over of day one, went on to amass his highest red ball score (174*) in a record 10th-wicket partnership with Josh Hazlewood (22). The pair combined for 115 runs, proving a thorn in the hosts’ side all morning.

Their frustratingly plucky stand was the highest of any Australian 10th-wicket partnership against New Zealand. Green’s six to bring up his maiden 150 was just one of the many emphatic moments throughout a morning where he disrupted the rhythm and plans of New Zealand’s bowlers.

After an extra half-hour was lugged onto the morning session, Matt Henry was the man to break through for the Kiwis, snaring his fifth wicket at the end of a lacklustre 180-minute period. Having started the day with hopes of holding Australia to under 300, a much more daunting task emerged.

A diabolical runout was the symbol of New Zealand’s response, seeing Kane Williamson walk back to the sheds without scoring. Playing in his 100th Test, the former captain collided with Will Young and was left stranded as Marnus Labuschagne mercilessly threw down the stumps.

The comical dismissal came in the same over as Tom Latham‘s chop-on, leaving the Kiwis 2-12 after five sets of six. The theme of losing wickets in clumps continued, with another New Zealand batter perishing while the score sat at 12 runs, before two more walked back on the meagre mark of 29.

Keeper Tom Blundell and Glenn Phillips were left to guide their side to tea, with all four Australian seamers striking to that point. From 5-42 at the break, the Kiwi pair counterattacked in a partnership of 84 off 86 deliveries before Nathan Lyon began entered the fray.

After removing Blundell (33) and Scott Kuggeleijn within three balls of each other, the prolific off-spinner went on to claim an innings-best haul of 4-43. His feats came on a deck which New Zealand opted against playing its own spinner for, in Mitchell Santner.

Phillips’ fightback ended on 71, though he was supported by an exciting rearguard effort from Henry (42 off 34). Their efforts helped New Zealand scrap to a total of 179, still 204 runs in arrears and at risk of a follow-on – though, that option was not enforced by Australia.

The visitors were left with around half-an-hour of batting to see out the day and endured some nervy moments. Southee had his tail up and claimed the scalps of Steve Smith (0) and Marnus Labuschagne (2) to force the entry of nightwatchman, Nathan Lyon.

Lyon survived to the end of the eight-over period but not without a scare – dropped by Southee in the slips cordon on the final ball of the day. He will resume at the crease tomorrow alongside Usman Khawaja with Australia 217 runs ahead on 2-13.


Stumps, Day 2
Basin Reserve, Wellington

New Zealand won the toss & elected to bowl

1st Innings: Australia 10-383 (115.1)
Cameron Green 174* (275), Mitch Marsh 40 (39), Usman Khawaja 33 (118)
Matt Henry 5-70 (30.1), Scott Kuggeleijn 2-75 (20), Will O’Rourke 2-87 (27)

2nd Innings: New Zealand 10-179 (43.1)
Glenn Phillips 71 (70), Matt Henry 42 (34), Tom Blundell 33 (43)
Nathan Lyon 4-43 (8.1), Josh Hazlewood 2-55 (12), Mitch Marsh 1-10 (4)

Australia led by 204 runs.

3rd Innings: Australia 2-13 (8.0)
Nathan Lyon 6* (14), Usman Khawaja 5* (18)
Tim Southee 2-5 (4), Matt Henry 0-8 (4)

Australia leads by 217 runs.

Session Breakdown:
1st: Australia 1-104 (30.1)
2nd: New Zealand 5-42 (21.0)
3rd: New Zealand 5-137 (22.1) | Australia 2-13 (8.0)

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