Wellington Test: Australia Crush New Zealand With Day to Spare

Nathan Lyon Australia
Nathan Lyon bagged four wickets to guide Australia to a massive win.

© AP

Wellington: Australia inflicted a crushing innings defeat on New Zealand with a day to spare in the first Test in Wellington when they dismissed the home side for 327 on Monday.

In a Test that will be remembered for two majestic innings by Adam Voges and Usman Khawaja, as well as an umpiring howler, Australia won by an innings and 52 runs.

Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird, Mitchell Marsh and Josh Hazlewood all shared the spoils as the last six New Zealand wickets fell for 149 on day four.

New Zealand had been set a target of 379 just to get in credit in their second innings after Voges’ 239 set up Australia’s first innings of 562.

The recognised New Zealand batsmen made starts, but were unable to turn them into big scores.

After getting to 218-7 it was left to the last three batsmen to add 109 runs. Tim Southee was in a one-day mood with 48 off 23 and Mark Craig contributed an unbeaten 33.

At the top of the order, Tom Latham scored 63 and Henry Nicholls, on debut, added 59 while Martin Guptill made 45 and Kane Williamson 22.

Williamson and BJ Watling are renowned as doughty batsmen capable of occupying the crease for a long time but neither was able to live up to their reputation in the face of a tight bowling attack.

Lyon occupied one end with his off-breaks and the quicks were rotated at the other with a plan for each of the batsmen.

Battle of wits

Watling has featured in two world-record stands for the sixth wicket at the Basin Reserve in the past two years.

He batted for 510 minutes with Brendon McCullum in a 352-run stand that saved a Test against India in 2014 and last year batted for 479 minutes in an unbeaten 365-run stand with Williamson to beat Sri Lanka.

But he was undone in 40 minutes by Australia when he attempted to cut a Lyon delivery and was beaten by the turn with the ball taking an inside edge to ricochet into the stumps.

Nicholls resumed the day at 31 and won a battle of wits with Hazlewood who fired down a series of good length deliveries, seaming the ball away and tempting the left-hander to chase the shot.

When Nicholls refused to take the bait, Hazlewood switched to a short delivery which was pulled to the square-leg boundary.

Bird eventually claimed the 24-year-old with a good length delivery that bowled him as he tried to turn it to the on side.

Southee and Craig delayed the inevitable, putting on 59 for the ninth wicket.

Lyon finished with four for 91 as the most successful Australian bowler, while Mitchell Marsh took three for 73.

Australia had been in charge of the Test from the time Steve Smith won the toss and New Zealand were out within two sessions on a green-topped wicket.

As the wicket flattened out, Australia were able to score more freely with their cause helped by umpire Richard Illingworth wrongly calling no ball when Voges was bowled by Doug Bracewell on seven.

The 36-year-old went on to make 239 and evoke comparisons with Donald Bradman, while Khawaja added 140 to have New Zealand effectively out of the game after the first innings.

The second Test starts in Christchurch on Saturday and will be the last international for New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum.

Source: NDTV

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