Australia bowlers shine on day-night test debut
ADELAIDE: New Zealand’s pacemen struck back with two late wickets under the floodlights at Adelaide Oval but Australia’s bowlers shined in the sun as the inaugural day-night test opened yesterday. Batsmen had spoken of the pink ball with trepidation in the leadup to the historic match and 12 wickets tumbled in front of a festive crowd of 47,441. After winning the toss, New Zealand squandered a positive start with poor shot selection to be dismissed cheaply for 202 early in the twilight of the late session of the third and final test.
Pacemen Tim Southee and Doug Bracewell swung the ball around devilishly to remove Australia openers David Warner (1) and Joe Burns (14). But captain Steve Smith (24 not out) and Adam Voges (nine) dug in to guide the hosts to 54-2 at stumps under an inky black sky. Australia, 1-0 up in the series, took the lead in nudging a 138-year-old format into primetime hours so it was fitting that the home side held a slender advantage at the close. Their satisfaction was tempered, however, with an injury to pace spearhead Mitchell Starc who limped off late in the middle session and never returned. Scans confirmed he had suffered a stress fracture in his right foot and he will bowl no further in the test. “It’s very disappointing for him. He’s been on fire,” Siddle, who took 2-54 and celebrated his 200th test wicket, told reporters. “I think we’ve got enough bowling in our lineup anyway to take the 10 more wickets needed so I think we’ll be fine.” Starc, who has carried an ankle injury for months, was the pick of Australia’s bowlers with 3-24, but was in clear discomfort from the first ball.