Nathan Lyon, seamers help Australia gain 217-run lead against NZ

Sports Friday 01/March/2024 12:27 PM
Nathan Lyon, seamers help Australia gain 217-run lead against NZ

Wellington: Glenn Phillips' counterattacking knock and Matt Henry's 34-ball 42 entertained amid collapses of New Zealand's first innings on Day 2 as a terrific bowling performance from Nathan Lyon, seamers helped Australia take a 217-run lead in challenging conditions at Basin Reserve on Friday.

With a compelling Day 3 awaiting, at the time of Stumps Australia's score read 13/2 - lead by 217 runs - with Usman Khawaja (5) and Nathan Lyon (6) standing unbeaten at the crease.

Australia's near-perfect day was marred by loss of early wickets as Blackcaps skipper Tim Southee ended his side's poor day with the wickets of Steve Smith (0) and Marnus Labuschagne (2).

After being put to the sword by Green, a frazzled New Zealand slid even lower in the first Test, losing three wickets for no runs in the space of six deliveries.

Mitchell Starc wanted to bowl full, but it was a good-length delivery that left opener Tom Latham unsure whether to play or not, as he chopped onto his stumps, triggering a collapse. Kane Williamson was run out after two balls due to a mix-up. He went for a single, only to collide with Will Young, who was watching the ball, as Marnus Labuschagne smashed the stumps with a direct throw from close range.

Daryl Mitchell and Will Young provided little fight before falling to successive deliveries, leaving the full audience astonished as New Zealand approached tea in severe difficulty at 42 for 5.

Rachin Ravindra, Will Young and Mitchell could not do much either and the Kiwis were left tottering at 29/5.

Glenn Phillips and Tom Blundell batted with intensity after Tea, but Blundell's departure left Phillips looking for a partner. He discovered a competent alley in Matt Henry, and they performed well to keep the runs coming. Phillips, on the other hand, was removed after scoring 71, leaving Henry to battle alone before being dismissed for 42. Nathan Lyon was brought late in the assault, but he quickly settled in and finished with four wickets, bundling hosts for 179.

Earlier, Australia resumed their overnight score of 279/9, with Cameron Green (103) and Josh Hazlewood (0) at the crease. Green played sensibly, not going for broke right away with the field stretched and only one slip in place.

The all-rounder scored only seven runs in the opening 30 minutes, but swung a short ball from Henry over deep square leg and into the crowd to push Australia to 300. The identical shot propelled him above his greatest Test score of 114. He proceeded to dominate New Zealand's frantic assault with power hitting, reaching 150 after blasting a short delivery from Will O'Rourke for six on the leg side.

With Australia nine wickets down, the play was prolonged by 30 minutes, and Matt Henry eventually broke the deadlock when he caught Hazlewood chipping to mid-off.

Brief score: Australia 383 & 13/2 (Usman Khawaja 5*, Nathan Lyon 6*, Tim Southee 2-5) vs New Zealand 179 (Glenn Phillips 71, Matt Henry 42; Nathan Lyon 4-43).