Saturday, June 15, 2024

Kiwis build lead as Aussies capsize


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Hobart: New Zealand led Australia by 153 runs after day two of the fast-moving second Test on Saturday, aiming to build a decisive second innings lead after rattling the hosts out for just 136.

A total of 23 wickets have fallen in two days on a drying greentop wicket at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval, with a result looking likely before Tuesday’s scheduled last day.

The Black Caps, looking to redeem themselves after a nine-wicket defeat in last week’s first Test in Brisbane, were 139 for three at the close after taking a 14-run first innings lead.

At stumps, runs were coming easier for the Kiwis on an improving pitch with skipper Ross Taylor on 42 and Kane Williamson not out 34 in an unbroken 66-run stand.

The highest fourth innings run chase at Bellerive is Australia’s 369 for six against Pakistan in 1999.

Three Kiwi wickets fell after tea, with openers Brendon McCullum snapped up by Phil Hughes off James Pattinson for 12 and Martin Guptill caught behind off Peter Siddle for 16.

Jesse Ryder carelessly fell to a leg-side stumping by Brad Haddin off part-timer Mike Hussey for 16 after he momentarily lifted his back foot out of the crease.

Pacemen Siddle and Pattinson helped the Australians avoid their lowest Test score against the Kiwis with a 56-run eighth-wicket stand after the home side lurched to lunch at 81 for seven.

Australia laboured in their pursuit of the Kiwis’ first innings of 150 and at one stage were on track for their lowest Test total against New Zealand of 103 set in Auckland in 1986.

But Siddle (36) and Pattinson (17) saved their blushes with their partnership as the Bellerive pitch began to play more easily after its first-day demons.

New Zealand’s all-pace attack kept the Australians under the gun with Chris Martin (3-46), Trent Boult (3-29) and Doug Bracewell (3-20) among the wickets. (AFP)


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