After two days of batting brilliance hogging the limelight, the bowlers fought back on Day 3 of the second Test – but it’s Australia who are firmly in control at Hagley Oval.
Monday morning began with a minute’s silence to mark the fifth anniversary of 2011 Christchurch earthquakes, which claimed the lives of 185 people.
The visitors resumed on 4/363, and Adam Voges (60) and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon (33) set up building a sizeable first-innings lead before part-time spinner Kane Williamson belatedly sent Lyon on his way, ending an impressive 81-run partnership.
Voges and Mitch Marsh (18) fell to Neil Wagner, while Corey Anderson had James Pattinson (1) before Wagner mopped up the tail with the wickets of Peter Nevill (13) and Josh Hazlewood (4) to finish with career-best figures of 6/106.
Australia’s last five wickets fell for 41 runs in the space of 12 overs, but their lead was still 135.
New Zealand’s bid to eradicate that advantage received an early blow as Pattinson removed Martin Guptill for a duck, before Tom Latham – who had played impressively for his 39 – was also caught-behind off Pattinson.
Henry Nicholls (2) lasted just 10 balls before becoming a rampant Pattinson’s third victim, leaving the Black Caps in trouble at 3/72 – and bringing Brendon McCullum to the crease one last time in the Test arena.
After seeing off a period of immense pressure, McCullum unleashed with a couple of boundaries and a sizzling six, but departed next ball for 25 (off 27 balls) thanks to a brilliant catch by David Warner off Hazlewood’s bowling.
A stoic Williamson (45 not out) and Corey Anderson (9 not out) managed to see the Kiwis through to the end of the day’s play without any further casualties, but at 4/121 they still faced a deficit of 14 runs – and a long way to go to claw their way back into the contest.
-McCullum’s total of 170 runs is the most by any captain in their last Test, beating the 158 runs (66 and 92) made by Karl Nunes for West Indies v England in 1930.
-The 17 catches taken by fielders in the first two innings is a Test record, eclipsing the 16 taken in the India-NZ clash at Hyderabad in 1988-89.
-Australia have scored 500-plus on six occasions in eight Tests this summer – the most by any nation in any season.