Cricket

New Zealand Vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 1: Josh Hazlewood Puts Aussies In Driver's Seat

At the close of play, Australia were 124/4 (36) with nightwatchman Nathan Lyon (1 off 8) giving company to Marnus Labuschagne (45 off 80). New Zealand, who lost the first Test by 172 runs, made 162 all out

AP
Australia's Marnus Labuschagne bats on Day 1 of their second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch, March 8, 2024. Photo: AP
info_icon

Josh Hazlewood took 5-31 as Australia bowled out New Zealand for 162 on the opening day of the second Test on Friday, overshadowing the 100th test appearances of Kane Williamson and Tim Southee. (Scorecard | Cricket News)

Williamson made 17 in the course of an accelerating collapse of the New Zealand batting order in which Tom Latham's 38 was the highest score. Southee made 26 in a 55-run partnership for the ninth wicket with Matt Henry (29) which was the highest of the innings.

By stumps, Australia was 124-4 and the deficit had been reduced to 38. Marnus Labuschagne had played his way out of a slump and was 45 not out at the close and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon was unbeaten on one.

Australia had been 32-2 after Ben Sears dismissed Steve Smith (11) with his third ball in test cricket and Usman Khawaja was bowled by Henry. Labuschagne put on 49 with first test century-maker Cameron Green who was out for 25 in the last hour.

Henry dismissed Travis Head (21) when Australia was 107-4 and finished the day with 3-39. But, Labuschagne's fighting innings ensured Australia finished the day on top.

“What we pride ourselves on is how we go about our work and obviously it wasn't ideal with the bat,” Henry said. “But, we knew how we to operate out here with the ball to put Australia under pressure.

“But, there's a long way to go and it's going to be a big first session tomorrow.”

Hazlewood's inexorable line and length, just on off stump and ducking away, was too much for the New Zealand top order. His 12th five-wicket bag in tests included the wickets of Williamson, Latham, Rachin Ravindra, Daryl Mitchell and Henry, whose wicket was the last to fall in only the 46th over.

Mitchell Starc took the wickets of Will Young (14), Glenn Phillips (2) and Scott Kuggeleijn for a first-ball duck. With Phillips' wicket, Starc surpassed Dennis Lillee's career tally of 356 Test wickets, a significant Australian milestone.

Australia captain Pat Cummins sent in New Zealand on a greenish pitch after winning the toss Friday. At the end of the first hour, he might have questioned his decision: New Zealand was 35-0 and Latham especially was looking comfortable.

Cummins had tried his three frontline seamers and even thrown the ball to spinner Nathan Lyon in the first 12 overs. There didn't seem to be the life he had expected on the pitch at Hagley Oval.

But after the first hour, the pitch seemed to offer more and Hazlewood particularly knew how to get the best from it. He bowled on a good length or fuller on that middle and off line and caused the ball to seam away after angling in and forcing the batters to play.

It was a formula that accounted for most of the New Zealand top and middle order. Of the first eight New Zealand wickets to fall, seven fell to catches behind the wicket. Wicketkeeper Alex Carey took five catches in the innings, three off Hazlewood.

Hazelwood compelled the batter to play with his line through the air and when the batter was committed the trap was sprung. But, batters should have been able to take the risk and leave the good-length ball which, on a first-day pitch, was inevitably bouncing above stump height.

Fuller deliveries couldn't be left and Hazlewood produced a superb fuller delivery to Williamson which angled in and struck him on the back pad after beating the inside edge. Williamson reviewed, but despairingly. He had walked before the replay on the big screen showed the decision would not be overturned.

Just over an hour earlier, Williamson had walked to the crease on the fall of Young's wicket with New Zealand 47-0 to a standing ovation from a capacity crowd. He left in relative silence, the realization gradually dawning on New Zealand fans that the Black Caps batters were failing again.

New Zealand was bowled out for 179 and 196 on the way to a 172-run loss in the opening Test at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. Another innings of less than 200 has put it on course to a series loss.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement