Bris­bane weather stalls Aus­tralia’s progress

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BRIS­BANE: Aus­tralia took a big step to­wards vic­tory when they re­moved dan­ger­man Kane Wil­liamson just be­fore tea on the fourth day of the first test against New Zealand yes­ter­day but the Bris­bane weather pre­vented any fur­ther progress.

Wil­liamson’s de­par­ture for 59 helped to re­duce New Zealand to 142 for three at the break — 361 runs in ar­rears-but a rain storm wiped out the fi­nal ses­sion and en­sured the match would go into a fifth day.

Ross Tay­lor, who has made 20 not out, and New Zealand skip­per Bren­don McCul­lum (4) will re­sume on Mon­day look­ing to bat out the fi­nal day and save the test. Aus­tralia de­clared their sec­ond in­nings closed on 264-4 be­fore the start of play on Sun­day but home hopes of a quick win to take a 1-0 lead in the three­match se­ries fell foul of a com­bi­na­tion of the weather and ob­du­rate Black Caps bat­ting.

New Zealand’s vic­tory tar­get of 504 was al­ways a highly im­prob­a­ble goal but any­thing looked pos­si­ble while firstin­nings cen­tu­rion Wil­liamson re­mained at the crease.

The 25-year-old, who scored 140 in the first in­nings, looked to be head­ing com­fort­ably for the break when Nathan Lyon took his sec­ond wicket to make what could be a cru­cial break­though.

Wil­liamson at­tempted a pull shot but the spin­ner’s de­liv­ery turned to hit his thigh and the third um­pire con­firmed the lbw de­ci­sion on re­view.

Lyon ear­lier broke a 54-run part­ner­ship be­tween Wil­liamson and Martin Gup­till when the opener got a thick edge which skip­per Steve Smith caught in the slips.

“I thought we bowled re­ally well af­ter lunch to­day, give New Zealand credit they made us work hard,” Aus­tralia coach Dar­ren Lehmann told Chan­nel Nine.

“Cou­ple of key wick­ets for Nathan Lyon there so not a bad day. We’d like to have a bit more cricket but you can’t con­trol the weather.” Gup­till’s 23 came from 133 balls in 186 min­utes and he had missed catches from Joe Burns and Lyon be­fore lunch to thank for last­ing that long.

The other opener, Tom Latham, was the first bats­man to fall, mak­ing 29 from 71 balls be­fore be­ing trapped lbw by a Mitchell Starc yorker with 44 runs on the board.

The break­through came min­utes be­fore driz­zle and bad light brought up an early and ex­tended lunch break. Mitchell John­son’s first five overs were maid­ens and it was not un­til the fi­nal ball of his sixth that he fi­nally con­ceded runs when Gup­till clipped three off his pads through mid­wicket.

The hosts made 556 for four de­clared in their first in­nings be­fore dis­miss­ing New Zealand for 317 on day three at the Gabba. — Reuters

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