New Zealand collapse as Australia take control of Wellington Test

WELLINGTON   -  Nathan Lyon-led Australia bowling at­tack booked New Zealand on a modest 179 and attained a dominant 217-run lead at the conclusion of Day 2 of the on­going first Test here on Friday. 

The touring side were 13/2 with nightwatchman Nathan Lyon, unbeaten on six, and opener Usman Khawaja, five not out at the crease. Australia had a disastrous start to their second innings as Steve Smith (0) and out-of-form Mar­nus Labuschagne (2) perished cheaply, both falling victim to New Zealand cap­tain Tim Southee. 

Earlier, the hosts succumbed to 179 all out in response to Australia’s 383 de­spite a fighting 71 from Glenn Phillips. New Zealand had a dismal start to their innings as they lost half of their side with just 29 runs on the board. Mitchell Starc struck early to dismiss Tom Latham (five) cheaply before star batter Kane William­son and Rachin Ravindra perished for ducks in the span of just five deliveries, leaving the hosts reeling at 12/3. 

Will Young, who faced 50 deliveries for a fighting nine, put together a brief part­nership with Daryl Mitchell (11) before finally perishing in the 18th over. Follow­ing the slump, Tom Blundell was joined by Glenn Phillips and the duo combined to form New Zealand’s best partnership of the innings which yielded 84 runs. 

Blundell fell victim to Nathan Lyon after a cautious 33 but Phillips hung on and ticked the scoreboard single­handedly for New Zealand before be­ing caught by Starc off Josh Hazlewood. He scored a brisk 71 off 70 deliveries with the help of 13 boundaries. Follow­ing his dismissal, Lyon struck twice to sweep off New Zealand’s tail. 

“The pitch was moving around a little bit and they were hitting really good ar­eas so it was up to us to get the pressure back up on them,” said Phillips. “Obvi­ously the way Green played with Hazle­wood, they did really well and put up a massive partnership. It’s not ideal for us but that’s what Test cricket is like.” 

Australia’s hero with the bat on the opening day, Cameron Green, contin­ued where he left off and added a fur­ther 84 runs to his 11th-wicket part­nership with Hazelwood to bolster his side’s total to 383. Green remained unbeaten with 174 off 275 deliveries, hitting 23 boundaries and five sixes. Whereas, Hazlewood scored an un­beaten 22 off 62 deliveries which fea­tured four boundaries.


AUSTRALIA 383 (Green 174*, Marsh
40, Henry 5-70) and 13-2 (Lyon 6*, Khawaja
5*, Southee 2-5) lead

179 (Phillips 71, Henry 42, Lyon
4-43, Hazlewood 2-55) by 217 runs.

Azhar Khan is an accomplished senior sports journalist with extensive experience in the field. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @azharmasood786

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