Uphill battle to save test for Black Caps

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Black Caps face a mammoth task to escape from Perth with a draw after three days of the first test against Australia. Despite making inroads into the home side’s second innings, the tourists face a daunting deficit of 417, which will get bigger as the Australians still have four wickets in hand.

Earlier in the day, the Black Caps were bowled out for a paltry 166. Almost half of those runs were scored by Ross Taylor but even his departure for 80 seemed like a failure as the Australian bowlers took advantage of some poor shot selection.

It doesn't matter if it's old or new, the pink ball gets its groove on under the lights! @alintaenergy | #AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/dL5qRxOYu6

Mitchell Starc proved to be too hot to handle, picking up 5-52 with the ball. The paceman’s average is now well under 20 for the Australian test season so far, and he now has 19 wickets in just two and a half tests.

The Australians did not enforce the follow-on, preferring to push their lead out in the second innings. While David Warner started well, he was caught by 12th man Tom Blundell off Tim Southee’s bowling for 19.

Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne put on 87 for the second wicket, before Neil Wagner had the first innings centurion caught for 50. It was the first time in four innings that Labuschange had failed to reach three figures.

From there the Australians suffered a mini-collapse, losing four wickets cheaply to leave them 167 for 6 at stumps. It will not be worrying them too much, now the lead is over 400 the chances of the Black Caps winning are virtually impossible and they now have the better part of two days to bowl them out.

If the first innings is anything to go by, that probably will not take long.

NZ v Australia, first test day three:

Australia first innings: 416 all out

Second innings: 167-6 (J Burns 53, M Labuschange 50)

NZ first innings: 166 all out (R Taylor 80, M Starc 5-52)