*** ----> Australia take charge of first Test after New Zealand collapse | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Australia take charge of first Test after New Zealand collapse

AFP |  Wellington                                                

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Australia seized control of the opening Test yesterday after a miserable day for New Zealand left the hosts 217 runs adrift in Wellington and with a mountain to climb to stay in the match.

The visitors finished on 13-2 in their second innings with nightwatchman Nathan Lyon not out six and opener Usman Khawaja on five after Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne departed cheaply.

Tim Southee bowled Smith with his third ball, then had the out-of-form Labuschagne caught behind by Tom Blundell.

However, Southee dropped Lyon in the slips late on from Matt Henry to cap a frustrating day for New Zealand at the Basin Reserve.

Cameron Green earlier smashed an unbeaten 174 to claim only his second Test century, backing up the 114 he scored in India a year ago, as Australia raced to an imposing first-innings 383 before bowling out New Zealand for 179.

Green, 24, lit up the morning session in a superb 116-run last-wicket partnership with plucky Josh Hazlewood, who survived 62 balls for his 22.

“It was good to be at the other end and watch that sort of innings,” Hazlewood said of Green’s performance. “For his career, this could be huge. To get his second hundred for Australia was outstanding.”

The Australian bowlers struck early, dismissing Tom Latham (5) before Kane Williamson and Rachin Ravindra fell for ducks within the space of five balls to leave them tottering at 12-3.

Glenn Phillips offered the most resistance before he was dismissed for 71, caught by Mitchell Starc off Hazlewood.

Australia then quickly picked off New Zealand’s tail. Phillips’ sixth-wicket partnership of 84 with Tom Blundell (33) was the meagre highlight.

“The pitch was moving around a little bit and they were hitting really good areas so it was up to us to get the pressure back up on them,” said Phillips.

“Obviously the way Green played with Hazlewood, they did really well and put up a massive partnership. It’s not ideal for us but that’s what Test cricket is like.”