Australia takes charge of New Zealand Test after Cameron Green | Australian cricket team

Australia dismissed New Zealand for 179 to take control of the first Test on day two on Friday after Cameron Green scored a brilliant 174 in a defiant final-wicket partnership that took the visitors to a total of 383.

The Black Caps lost heaps of wickets as they faltered in the face of the Australian attack with Glenn Phillips’ aggressive serve of 71, only to save the home side from even greater embarrassment in front of a sell-out crowd.

Australia refrained from forcing follow-on but the wickets continued to fall as skipper Tim Southee dismissed Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne cheaply while the shadows on the ground grew longer.

Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon was dropped by Southee in the slips on the last ball of the day and will play on with six balls to spare, but not alongside Usman Khawaja, who was unbeaten on five. Australia are 13 for two and lead by 217 runs.

New Zealand, seeking only their second victory over their neighbors in 24 Tests this century, had started the day hoping to quickly remove the final Australian wicket, but Green and Josh Hazlewood refused to give in for two hours.

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

At the other end, Hazlewood contributed 22 from 62 balls as the pair combined for 116 runs before seamer Matt Henry finally removed the Australian paceman to take his second Test five-wicket haul with figures of 5-70.

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

Tom Latham played on and walked away five balls later, and two balls later Kane Williamson ran for a duck after colliding with his batting partner Will Young at mid-wicket and Labuschagne’s direct hit destroyed the stumps.

Three balls later, Rachin Ravindra was also sent back with zero runs after Nathan Lyon took a great catch off Hazlewood’s bowling.

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Australian captain Pat Cummins sparked the next collapse when he caught Daryl Mitchell behind with the last ball of an over and Mitchell Marsh ended Young’s innings with the first ball of the next over, giving the hosts a 29-5 lead.

Phillips and Tom Blundell kept the sinking ship afloat with a pair of 84, but Lyon (4-43) put an end to that when he caught the latter on an inside edge for 33.

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

Hazlewood eventually found the way to dismiss Phillips with a short throw, the batsman beat Starc to the deep and when Lyon stopped Henry’s fighting innings on the 42nd, the end was not long in coming. The second and final Test in Christchurch begins on March 8th.

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