New Zealand strug­gle as wick­ets tum­ble again in day-night Test

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

ADE­LAIDE: New Zealand held a ten­u­ous 94-run lead in the ab­sorb­ing day-night third Test af­ter a sec­ond day of tum­bling wick­ets at the Ade­laide Oval yes­ter­day. The Ki­wis, trail­ing 1-0 in the se­ries, strug­gled to build a de­fend­able to­tal to present Aus­tralia in the fourth in­nings af­ter an­other fast-paced day’s cricket of 13 wick­ets be­fore 42,372 fans. At the close, the Black Caps were find­ing bat­ting dif­fi­cult un­der lights and were 116 for five with a re­sult loom­ing to­day’s third day in the sched­uled five-day Test.

New Zealand had lost their top bats­men and at the crease were BJ Watling on seven with debu­tant Mitchell Sant­ner not out 13. “Definitely no fig­ure. What­ever we end up with we’re just go­ing to have to get some wick­ets but more im­por­tantly hav­ing that new ball as close to twi­light as pos­si­ble,” se­nior bats­man Ross Tay­lor said. “If we can keep them out there and keep our bowlers from bowl­ing not as many overs tomorrow, then we give our­selves the best chance.” Josh Ha­zle­wood led the Aus­tralian at­tack with three wick­ets in the ab­sence of in­jured spear­head Mitchell Starc as the pink ball again dom­i­nated the bat.

Ha­zle­wood re­moved both open­ers with mes­mer­iz­ing ball move­ment un­der lights. Martin Gup­till sliced to Mitch Marsh in the gully for 17 and Tom Latham was tempted by a wider de­liv­ery and was caught be­hind for 10. Ha­zle­wood had Kane Wil­liamson dropped on one by Adam Vo­ges in the slips but the star Kiwi bats­man soon feath­ered a catch to Nevill off Mitch Marsh for nine to com­plete a low-scor­ing match. Cap­tain Bren­don McCul­lum fol­lowed for 20, leg be­fore wicket to Marsh and Perth Test dou­ble cen­tu­ry­maker Tay­lor fell the same way to Ha­zle­wood for 32. “The wicket’s not that bad to have so many wick­ets taken in two days,” Ha­zle­wood said. “We had a mid­dle-or­der col­lapse to­day. We should prob­a­bly be still bat­ting now. We’ll try and fix that for the sec­ond in­nings.”

The sec­ond day turned on a con­tentious chal­lenge de­ci­sion in Aus­tralia’s fa­vor be­fore din­ner, en­abling them to go on and grab a 22-run in­nings lead. Nathan Lyon sur­vived a re­view in which ‘Hot Spot’ re­vealed a mark on the back of his bat be­fore he had scored. The re­view was churned over for min­utes be­fore the TV um­pire Nigel Llong de­cided there was not enough to go on de­spite the Hot Spot ev­i­dence to give Lyon out, caught off spin­ner Sant­ner, with Aus­tralia reel­ing at 118 for eight and trail­ing the Ki­wis by 84 runs. Lyon walked three-quar­ters of the way off the ground be­liev­ing he was out be­fore he re­turned to con­tinue bat­ting and join in a record Aus­tralian trans-Tas­man se­ries 74-run ninth­wicket stand with Peter Nevill. Lyon was even­tu­ally out for 34 as the Aus­tralians hit back to take an in­nings lead with in­ca­pac­i­tated Mitchell Starc smash­ing two mas­sive sixes off spin­ner Mark Craig. Starc, who came into bat at No 11 af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with a stress foot frac­ture on Fri­day, thrilled the home crowd with his prodi­gious hit­ting. Nevill was the hero and was the last man out for his high­est Test score of 66 leav­ing the hob­bling Starc un­beaten on 24 which in­cluded two sixes and three fours.

Doug Bracewell fin­ished his side’s best bowler with three for 18 off 12.1 overs. It was rough jus­tice for the Ki­wis, who have been on the re­ceiv­ing end of some con­tro­ver­sial um­pir­ing de­ci­sions. Aus­tralia were in dire trou­ble at 116 for eight at tea af­ter a ram­pant Kiwi bowl­ing per­for­mance in the first ses­sion. The Black Caps snared Steve Smith’s prized wicket when he charged off-spin­ner Craig only to be caught by wick­et­keeper Watling. The Ki­wis had the Aus­tralians well on the back foot with Peter Sid­dle out four balls later in the same Craig over and then Ha­zle­wood was bowled by Sant­ner for four in the fi­nal over be­fore tea. Just 62 runs were scored by Aus­tralia for the loss of six wick­ets in the first ses­sion off 29.5 overs. — AFP

ADE­LAIDE: Aus­tralia’s bats­man Peter Sid­dle fails to play a ball off New Zealand’s spin bowler Mark Craig as wick­et­keeper BJ Watling (left) looks on dur­ing the sec­ond day of the day-night cricket Test match at the Ade­laide Oval yes­ter­day. —AFP

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