Kiwis fight back as day four task set

AUSTRALIA will be searching for seven wickets on day four of its Trans-Tasman Test against New Zealand, while the hosts require 258 more runs for victory after another enthralling day of action at Basin Reserve.

Having been cruising at 4-113 at lunch on day three with a lead in excess of 300 runs, the tourists suffered a 6-51 collapse in the middle session to be all out for 164. The task remained mighty for New Zealand, who will look to pull off the biggest-ever chase at the Wellington venue.

Glenn Phillips spearheaded his side’s fightback with a maiden Test five-for, claiming 5-45 to tear through Australia’s middle order. He did much of the damage after lunch, even landing on a hat-trick delivery after dismissing Travis Head and Mitch Marsh consecutively.

Phillips’ feats left Matt Henry (3-36) to mop up the tail in an innings where nightwatchman Nathan Lyon top-scored with 41. The prolific offie did his job, and some, in the morning to help extend the Aussies’ lead before New Zealand began to build pressure by bowling in partnerships.

Young quick Will O’Rourke (0-11) impressed at the other end from Phillips, though had his day cut short after pulling up lame in his eighth over. First innings centurion Cameron Green was the next best Australian batter, notching 34 in an 80-ball stay.

Having been set 369 for victory, the Kiwis were made to bat out six overs before tea and lost out-of-form opener Tom Latham to the spin of Lyon. Kane Williamson and Will Young were also removed by spin – the latter off Head’s bowling – before Rachin Ravindra began to consolidate.

Ravindra will resume play on day four with 56 runs next to his name, alongside Daryl Mitchell (12). Plenty rests on the shoulders of the 24-year-old batting prodigy, whose only other Test score above 50 yielded a whopping 240.

With rain forecast for day five in Wellington, expect Australia to go all out for a result. New Zealand is up against it to chase down the runs or survive the three sessions tomorrow, but will inevitably fight to the end.


Stumps, Day 3
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 10-164 (51.1)
Nathan Lyon 41 (46), Cameron Green 34 (80), Travis Head 29 (36)
Glenn Phillips 5-45 (16), Matt Henry 3-36 (12.1), Tim Southee 2-46 (11.1)

Australia led by 368 runs.

4th Innings: New Zealand 3-111 (41.0)

Rachin Ravindra 56* (94), Will Young 15 (52), Daryl Mitchell 12* (63)
Nathan Lyon 2-27 (16), Travis Head 1-10 (4), Josh Hazlewood 0-17 (7)

New Zealand trails by 258 runs with 7 wickets remaining.

Session Breakdown:
1st: Australia 2-100 (27)
2nd: Australia 6-51 (16.1) | New Zealand 1-15 (6.0)
3rd: New Zealand 2-96 (35.0)

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