Centuries from Joe Burns and Steve Smith ensured Australia bounced back from Brendon McCullum’s record-breaking innings to gain the upper hand on day two of the second Test with New Zealand at Christchurch.
Even though McCullum blasted the fastest-ever Test century off just 54 balls yesterday, the tourists were able to bowl New Zealand out for 370 and opener Burns and skipper Smith shared a mammoth stand of 289 to guide their side to 363 for four – a deficit of just seven.
Burns, who made 170, was imperious in going to his third Test hundred and highest score while world number-one batsman Smith, with 138, continues to scale new heights as he struck a 10th ton in his last 32 innings.
The pair were brought together in the fourth over of the day after Usman Khawaja edged Trent Boult to first slip, adding just six to his overnight score of 18.
That made it 67 for two and New Zealand thought they had Australia 77 for three when Burns was given out caught behind off a rising delivery from Matt Henry on 35.
However, Burns reviewed the decision straight away, with replays showing the ball flicked his bicep and the dismissal was overturned.
And it was all Australia from there as they made New Zealand’s attack toil on a flat wicket.
There were no further scares for Burns as he brought up his century off 191 balls which contained 12 fours.
Smith survived a run-out scare on 42, where a direct-hit from Henry Nicholls would have sent him back to the pavilion, and also took a nasty blow to the helmet before tea but he reached three figures off 195 balls when steering a wide delivery down to third man for his 12th boundary.
Both men continued serenely after reaching their landmarks, with Burns passing 150 for the first time in his career before his 321-ball vigil came to an end, hooking Neil Wagner to square-leg.
Smith followed in identical fashion in Wagner’s following over but Australia saw it out to the close without further damage.