Australia firmly in charge after Voges 239

Brendon McCullum fell on the stroke of stumps to leave New Zealand in a dire position after a day in which Adam Voges soared to his second double-century of the summer and Australia’s bowlers worked diligently to find a way through New Zealand’s top order, on a docile pitch at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

Mitchell Marsh’s knack for taking important wickets was enhanced when McCullum was pinned in front in the final over, the umpire Richard Kettleborough giving the decision after a moment’s deliberation. McCullum’s referral was somewhat forlorn, much as New Zealand’s prospects for saving the match now appear.

Australia’s last five wickets had added 263 in total, leaving the hosts with an enormous task to save McCullum’s 100th Test. Martin Guptill, Tom Latham and Kane Williamson all made starts but were teased out by excellent spells from Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood, leaving McCullum and Henry Nicholls in terse occupation of the crease at stumps.

Full report to follow

New Zealand 183 and 106 for 1 (Latham 43*, Williamson 17*) trail Australia 562 (Voges 239, Khawaja 140, Smith 71) by 273 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Adam Voges struck his first six in Test cricket since June as he took charge of Australia’s late push © Getty Images

Adam Voges soared to his second double century of the summer before New Zealand started gamely in their effort to stave off defeat against Australia on the third afternoon of the first Test in Wellington.

Australia’s last five wickets added 263 in total, leaving New Zealand with an enormous task to save Brendon McCullum’s 100th Test. Tom Latham and Martin Guptill added 81 before the latter skied Nathan Lyon and was well held by a running Mitchell Marsh at cover.

Latham was fortunate to survive an edge off Marsh’s bowling, which the wicketkeeper Peter Nevill failed to clasp when diving across in front of Steven Smith at slip. Australia may regret the missed chance, on a pitch offering precious little to the bowlers since the first day.

New Zealand had managed to round up the tail before lunch but could find no way past Voges, who sailed on through to 239, which left his Test batting average at an eye-popping 97.46 after 19 completed innings.

One point of interest about the morning’s play was that all four wickets fell to catches in front of the wicket, including Corey Anderson’s stunning return catch to dismiss Lyon. This suggested the arrival of some variable pace in the pitch. Four caught-and-bowled dismissals for the innings equalled the Test record.

Peter Siddle and Voges had started the day in a positive vein, working the ball around with the occasional boundary as their stand took on impressive proportions, notwithstanding one blow on the helmet for Siddle when he ducked into a Trent Boult bouncer. The partnership was worth 99 and Siddle 49 when he pushed Doug Bracewell to mid-on.

Josh Hazlewood played one handsome cover drive before trying to repeat the shot and spooning a catch, but Lyon hung around long enough to watch Voges reach 200, courtesy of an obliging full toss from Mark Craig. Lyon’s exit via Anderson’s acrobatics left time for an entertaining last-wicket pairing before Voges finally succumbed, 614 runs after his last dismissal.

Latham and Guptill negotiated one over before the interval, and showed good intent to score when play resumed. Guptill was particularly expansive, swatting Siddle for a trio of boundaries, and a swift half-century stand was raised.

However the introductions of Marsh and Lyon brought some different questions, with faint traces of reverse swing evident. Latham reached out to drive at Marsh and edged, only for Nevill to react slightly late and not quite get the ball in the middle of his left glove. It was the first chance of note he had missed in his brief Test career so far.

Guptill was spoiling to get at Lyon, but like so many batsmen before him, underestimated the spinner’s flight, drift and drop. A ball arcing away skewed off the outer part of the bat, and Marsh did exceptionally well to hold the skier over his shoulders. Kane Williamson made a typically sturdy start to his innings before tea arrived.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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