Australia take charge after Green’s rearguard action

Published March 2, 2024
AUSTRALIAN off-spinner Nathan Lyon bowls during the first Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve on Friday.—AFP
AUSTRALIAN off-spinner Nathan Lyon bowls during the first Test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve on Friday.—AFP

WELLINGTON: Australia dismissed New Zealand for 179 to take control of the first Test on Friday’s second day after Cameron Green had scored a brilliant 174 not out in a defiant final-wicket partnership to drive the tourists to 383 all out.

The Black Caps lost wickets in clumps as they reeled in the face of Australia’s attack with Glenn Phillips’s aggressive 71 serving only to save the home side from deeper embarrassment in front of a sell-out crowd at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

Australia chose not to enforce the follow-on but the wickets kept falling with skipper Tim Southee dismissing Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne cheaply as the shadows across the ground lengthened.

Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon was dropped by Southee in the slips off the last ball of the day and will resume on six not out alongside Usman Khawaja, who was unbeaten on five. Australia are on 13 for two, leading by 217 runs.

New Zealand, looking for only a second win over their neighbours in 24 Tests this century, had started the day hoping to quickly remove the final Australian wicket but Green and Josh Hazlewood refused to yield for two hours.

All-rounder Green, who had reached the century mark for the second time in Tests on the penultimate ball of day one, continued to play his shots, smashing 23 fours and five sixes in a marathon 275-ball innings.

Hazlewood contributed 22 off 62 balls at the other end as the pair combined for 116 runs before seamer Matt Henry finally winkled out the Aust­ralian paceman to claim his second test five-wicket haul (5-70).

“Obviously Greeny did the bulk of the work but it was good to be at the other end watching that sort of innings,” said Hazlewood.

“For his career, it can be huge, I think, his second hundred for Australia on that sort of wicket against that sort of attack. Outstanding.”

Australia’s final tally was bolstered by 41 extras, which inclu­ded 20 wides, but New Zealand’s profligacy was not to be limited to their fielding and they were quickly reduced to 12-3.

Tom Latham played on to depart for five and two balls later Kane Williamson ran himself out for a duck after bumping into his batting partner Will Young while Labuschagne was wrecking the stumps with a direct hit.

Three balls later and Rachin Ravindra was also sent back with zero runs to his name after a fine Nathan Lyon catch off the bowling of Hazlewood.

Australia skipper Pat Cumm­ins triggered the next collapse when he had Daryl Mitchell caught behind with the final ball of one over and Mitchell Marsh ended Young’s innings with the first ball of the next to leave the hosts on 29-5.

Phillips and Tom Blundell steadied the sinking ship with a partnership of 84 but Lyon (4-43) brought an end to that when he had the latter caught for 33 off an inside edge.

Two balls later, Scott Kugge­leijn became the off spinner’s second victim and the home side were again on the ropes at 113-7.

Hazlewood finally found the way to evict Phillips with a short delivery the batsman top-edged to Starc in the deep and when Lyon stopped Henry’s pugnacious innings on 42, the end was not long coming.

“Cam Green and Hazlewood did really well and that’s obviously not exactly ideal for us,” said Phillips.

“The pitch is still doing a little bit and that new ball definitely brings us into the game quite a lot.”

The second and final Test in Christchurch begins on March 8.

SCOREBOARD

AUSTRALIA (1st Innings, overnight 279-9):

S. Smith c Blundell b Henry 31

U. Khawaja b Henry 33

M. Labuschagne c Mitchell b Kuggeleijn 1

C. Green not out 174

T. Head c Blundell b O’Rourke 1

M. Marsh c Blundell b Henry 40

A. Carey c Williamson b Kuggeleijn 10

M. Starc c Latham b O’Rourke 9

P. Cummins lbw b Ravindra 16

N. Lyon c Blundell b Henry 5

J. Hazlewood c Ravindra b Henry 22

EXTRAS (B-12, LB-6, NB-3, W-20) 41

TOTAL (all out, 115.1 overs) 383

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-61 (Smith), 2-65 (Labuschagne), 3-88 (Khawaja), 4-89 (Head), 5-156 (Marsh), 6-176 (Carey), 7-211 (Starc), 8-244 (Cummins), 9-267 (Lyon)

BOWLING: Southee 27-4-92-0 (2nb), Henry 30.1-11-70-5 (2w), O’Rourke 27-10-87-2 (3w), Kuggeleijn 20-1-75-2 (1nb, 3w), Mitchell 4-0-17-0, Ravindra 7-1-24-1

NEW ZEALAND (1st Innings):

T. Latham b Starc 5

W. Young c Carey b Marsh 9

K. Williamson run out 0

R. Ravindra c Lyon b Hazlewood 0

D. Mitchell c Carey b Cummins 11

T. Blundell c Head b Lyon 33

G. Phillips c Starc b Hazlewood 71

S. Kuggeleijn c Green b Lyon 0

M. Henry c Labuschagne b Lyon 42

T. Southee c Head b Lyon 1

W. O’Rourke not out 0

EXTRAS (B-1, LB-3, NB-2, W-1) 7

TOTAL (all out, 43.1 overs) 179

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-12 (Latham), 2-12 (Williamson), 3-12 (Ravindra), 4-29 (Mitchell), 5-29 (Young), 6-113 (Blundell), 7-113 (Kuggeleijn), 8-161 (Phillips), 9-162 (Southee)

BOWLING: Starc 9-4-34-1 (1w), Hazlewood 12-0-55-2, Cummins 10-2-33-1, Marsh 4-0-10-1 (2nb), Lyon 8.1-1-43-4

AUSTRALIA (2nd Innings):

S. Smith b Southee 0

U. Khawaja not out 5

M. Labuschagne c Blundell b Southee 2

N. Lyon not out 6

EXTRAS 0

TOTAL (for two wickets, eight overs) 13

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-0 (Smith), 2-4 (Labuschagne)

STILL TO BAT: C. Green, T. Head, M. Marsh, A. Carey, M. Starc, P. Cummins, J. Hazlewood

BOWLING: Southee 4-2-5-2, Henry 4-1-8-0

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

IMF’s projections
Updated 18 Apr, 2024

IMF’s projections

The problems are well-known and the country is aware of what is needed to stabilise the economy; the challenge is follow-through and implementation.
Hepatitis crisis
18 Apr, 2024

Hepatitis crisis

THE sheer scale of the crisis is staggering. A new WHO report flags Pakistan as the country with the highest number...
Never-ending suffering
18 Apr, 2024

Never-ending suffering

OVER the weekend, the world witnessed an intense spectacle when Iran launched its drone-and-missile barrage against...
Saudi FM’s visit
Updated 17 Apr, 2024

Saudi FM’s visit

The government of Shehbaz Sharif will have to manage a delicate balancing act with Pakistan’s traditional Saudi allies and its Iranian neighbours.
Dharna inquiry
17 Apr, 2024

Dharna inquiry

THE Supreme Court-sanctioned inquiry into the infamous Faizabad dharna of 2017 has turned out to be a damp squib. A...
Future energy
17 Apr, 2024

Future energy

PRIME MINISTER Shehbaz Sharif’s recent directive to the energy sector to curtail Pakistan’s staggering $27bn oil...