New Zealand 370 and 197 for 4 (Williamson 89*, Anderson 35*, Pattinson 3-46) lead Australia 505 by 62 runs
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Kane Williamson kept New Zealand’s hopes alive © AFP
Tempers simmered as Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson weathered Australia’s opening burst before pushing New Zealand into a narrow lead on the fourth morning of the second Test, at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
James Pattinson and Josh Hazlewood again bowled with pace, direction and reverse swing in the first hour and went exceptionally close to dismissing both batsmen more than once. Hazlewood’s last appeal – and Australia’s last review – moments before lunch drew another denial and considerable frustration from Steven Smith’s men.
The clearest chance of the morning, though, went down when Mitchell Marsh dropped Anderson at gully, and the tourists went to the interval clearly angry at not being able to dislodge the overnight pair.
Old-ball swing had been key to Australia claiming four wickets on the third evening, and it was again evident as Pattinson and Hazlewood resumed their barrage. Williamson and then Anderson were both subject of concerted lbw appeals, but on each occasion DRS replays showed contact with bat first.
Anderson’s escape was queried by the Australians, but was quickly followed by a ball angled across and a sliced drive that burst through Marsh’s hands. By the standard set in this match, including Marsh’s own unrewarded catch off a no-ball on day one, it was a bad miss.
Further close calls followed: Williamson edged Hazlewood the merest fraction short of Peter Nevill’s gloves, and right on lunch the bowler appeared to strike New Zealand’s No. 3 in front with a swinging yorker from round the wicket.
The Australians appealed vehemently and reviewed instantly, but HotSpot replays picked up the faintest inside edge from Williamson before the ball struck his pad, leaving Smith’s men to angrily confront the on-field umpire and express their surprise.
Through all this Williamson and Anderson remained, giving New Zealand something of a foothold in the match against increasingly feverish opponents.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo