Black Caps falter in first innings run chase

By Jamie Wall

After a promising start, it’s back to business as usual for the Black Caps on their increasingly disastrous tour of Australia. They’re teetering on 235 for seven, still over 200 runs from the home side’s first innings score at the Sydney Cricket Ground today.

Tom Blundell and Tom Latham put on 68 for the first wicket, with Blundell the first wicket to go when Nathan Lyon bowled him around his legs for 34. The recalled Jeet Raval got a bit of confidence back with a well paced 31, but he was trapped with a great ball from Lyon that hit his pad straight in front of his off stump.

Latham battled to 49 and instead of going on and anchoring the innings, chipped a straight forward catch to Mitchell Starc at mid on off the bowling of Pat Cummins.

Ross Taylor didn’t last long, gone for 22 off 20 balls when he was hit with another successful LBW appeal, this time off Cummins.

The bright spot has been a confident half century from Auckland’s Glenn Phillips on debut. Only a few days ago the middle order batsman was sunning himself at the beach before being called in to the side to replace Kane Williamson.

Phillips pulled away a short ball from Cummins to deep backward square for four to bring up the milestone, but the big Australian fast bowler had his revenge only two balls later. Cummins sent down a stunning delivery to clip the top of Phillips’ off stump, ending a promising start but a what will surely be a fond memory.

So now the Australians are into the tail of the Black Caps’ innings, which is dangerously familiar territory for the tourists. Tim Paine will most likely be wanting to send his batsmen back out to drive home the advantage tomorrow, with another defeat looming for the Black Caps.

Australia v NZ, third test

Day three, tea:

Australia first innings: 454 all out (M Labuschange 215, s Smith 63, N Wagner 3-66)

NZ first innings: 235/7 (G Phillips 52, T Latham 49, P Cummins 2-38)