The Black Caps face an uphill battle on day three of the first test against Australia in Perth. The visitors are 109 for 5 in response to Australia’s first innings total of 416 all out.
With temperatures reaching the mid-40s at Optus Stadium, the long first day and a half in the field clearly took their toll on the Black Caps’ batsmen. Both Tom Latham and Jeet Raval were dismissed in the opening overs, with Latham popping a simple caught and bowled back to Mitchell Starc. Not long after, Raval had his stumps rattled by Josh Hazlewood.
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor came together to put on 75 for the third wicket and looked to have righted the innings, however, Steve Smith removed the Black Caps’ skipper with one of the best catches you will ever see.
Fielding at second slip, Smith dived full length to his right and hauled in a thick edge from Williamson’s bat. It made the score 77 for 3 late in the day, but unfortunately for the Black Caps Henry Nicholls could not survive till stumps. He was caught behind off Tim Paine’s bowling, then Neil Wagner was bowled for a golden duck after being sent in as a night watchman.
Not for the first time in his career, A SENSATIONAL CATCH by Steve Smith. And the big wicket of Kane Williamson too.
How good is he! Wow.pic.twitter.com/1S3P7azr3p
— The Field (@thefield_in) December 13, 2019
Taylor is still there on 66, and has been joined by BJ Watling. Both men have a pedigree for being able to grind out big scores, and they will need big efforts to avoid the Black Caps’ heading for a defeat.
Earlier, Marnus Labuschagne top-scored for the Australians with 143. Tim Southee and Neil Wagner picked up four wickets each on a pitch that is quickly becoming a goldmine for the bowlers in this day-night test match.
NZ v Australia, day two:
Australia first innings: 416 all out (M Labuschange 143, N Wagner 4-92, T Southee 4-93)
NZ first innings: 106-5 (R Taylor 66*, K Williamson 34)