Australia 238 for 3 (Khawaja 115*, Smith 71, Voges 40*) lead New Zealand 183 by 55 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Usman Khawaja barely looked in any trouble while making his first overseas Test century © Getty Images
Usman Khawaja glided imperiously to his fourth Test hundred in as many first innings as Australia took command of the Basin Reserve and began stretching their lead over New Zealand.
Helped along by a composed and patient Adam Voges, Khawaja picked gaps regularly off both front and back foot to register his first Test century overseas. Given the opposition and the conditions he faced on day one, it was arguably his finest.
The pitch in Wellington has eased into an ideal batting surface, and Brendon McCullum’s bowlers struggled to find a way past Australia’s in-form batting pair. Tim Southee and Trent Boult found little movement to assist them, but the pace and bounce was reliably consistent for stroke play.
Mark Craig had one lbw appeal against Khawaja after he had passed three figures, but DRS showed the ball was only clipping leg stump and Richard Illingworth’s not-out verdict stood. As if to compound Craig’s frustration, Khawaja cut the next two deliveries for four.
Southee had drawn a play and miss from Khawaja in the day’s first over, but the final ball was sliced firmly backward of point for a pressure-releasing boundary. From there Khawaja was particularly punishing through the covers, and swivelled to pull powerfully when Doug Bracewell dropped short.
Voges was more circumspect, settling into the crease for a long occupation, but drove and cut with alacrity when the opportunities arose. He was happy enough for the most part to play in Khawaja’s slipstream, an eminently sensible approach given how well Australia’s No. 3 is playing.
Khawaja waited six balls on 99 before Craig gave him an obligingly short delivery to tug behind square leg. The milestone was cause for ebullient celebration, before Khawaja got quickly back to business. He and Voges are not done yet.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo