New Zealand v Australia: first Test, day three – as it happened


Key events

After taking two of the three New Zealand wickets to fall this afternoon, Nathan Lyon leaves Basin Reserve on day three knackered but happy:

“Great day of Test cricket,” Lyon said after play. “I’m a big fan when the ball spins. Hats off to Glenn’s five-for. I didn’t think it would spin after the South Africa Test. The Wellington wind can be challenging at the start. But I actually quite enjoyed it once I got into a rhythm and ended up getting nice shape on it.

“Gotta give credit where it’s due,” the veteran offspinner went on. “I thought Rachin batted well. First time I bowled to him and watched him during the World Cup, I thought: ‘He’s gonna be a superstar’. But I know if we put pressure on and challenge their defence for a long time, we’ll crack them.”


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STUMPS DAY 3: New Zealand are 113-3 needing 237 runs for victory

And so ends another scintillating day’s Test cricket. After falling short with bat and ball on the opening two days, New Zealand won Day Three handsomely. Against all odds, they have fought back and given themselves a real chance of winning this Test.

Australia started the day wobbling at 12-2 but also leading by a whopping 217 runs. And a swashbuckling 41 from nightwatchman Nathan Lyon put the home side further on the back foot. But once Lyon left the scene, the Australians fell apart. A brilliant spell of spin from Glenn Phillips did much of the damage as the allrounder followed up his sparkling 71 from 70 balls in the first innings to take a first five wicket haul in Tests.

It reduced the Test champions to a meagre total of 164, but still 369 runs in front. That lead looked insurmountable when the Kiwis collapsed to 35-2 and then 59-3, losing key man Kane Williamson for another cheap score. But that’s when Australia’s brief ascendancy ended. Rachin Ravindra slugged away to stumps for a fine fifty and Daryl Mitchell scratched around with a flurry of streaky shots but somehow he survived.

It leaves this first Test delicately balanced for day four. New Zealand need 237 runs. Australia require seven wickets. The way this devilish pitch is playing we’ll have our victor this time tomorrow. Join us then and we’ll see how this epic match plays out.

41st over: New Zealand 111-3 (Ravindra 56, Mitchell 12) Final over of the day. Will Ravindra risk an attacking shot? He’s surveying the field, looking for men on the fence. It’s been a good day for New Zealand – a wonderful blitz with the ball and a brave fightback with the bat. Will Ravindra ice it with a six? Hazlewood certainly won’t go easily into the evening. He sends a bouncer Ravindra’s way first up and then follows up with another chin-tickler on the third. Ravindra is tempted! He swings hard but it misses the meat of the bat and goes skyward. For a moment Hazlewood thought he’d hit the jackpot as fielders converged from all corners. But the ball plops short of all of them. And that’s Day 3 done. The Black Caps duo walk off to fight another day and Australia ponder whether they can take seven wickets for 237 tomorrow to seal a first Test win.


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40th over: New Zealand 109-3 (Ravindra 55, Mitchell 11) Can Lyon spring a late surprise? He keeps challenging Ravindra to hit out, tossing it up outside off, making him shuffle to the pitch of the ball. But he can’t be tempted. Instead, the young man tucks one around the corner to bring up the fifty partnership from 116 balls.

39th over: New Zealand 106-3 (Ravindra 52, Mitchell 11) Josh Hazlewood gets a last shot at a wicket but Mitchell has the shutters down and the slippers on. He blocks four until letting the fifth delivery clip his thigh pad and skid to the boundary. No shot. Dead ball. Another maiden.

38th over: New Zealand 106-3 (Ravindra 52, Mitchell 11) The home side seem to have shut up shop, playing out a maiden from Lyon.

37th over: New Zealand 106-3 (Ravindra 52, Mitchell 11) Starc is getting slow-clapped by a Wellington crowd who have enjoyed a fantastic day’s cricket and are now riding high on the back of Ravindra’s sparkling rearguard action. These fans won’t give a fat rat’s but Starc is on the brink of some sweet history himself – he’s one shy of Dennis Lillee’s historic bowling mark of 355 Test wickets. History has to wait though as the Black Caps pick off four runs from the over.

36th over: New Zealand 101-3 (Ravindra 50, Mitchell 8) As shadows lengthen at Basin Reserve the Australian chatter rises a notch. Day three has entered its final half-hour and Cummins recognises it by reintroducing his main weapon, Nathan Lyon. Mitchell is facing up and he squirms his way through six deliveries without losing his wicket.

35th over: New Zealand 101-3 (Ravindra 50, Mitchell 8) Mitchell to Mitchell as Starc charges into his fifth over and Daryl Mitchell looks for an eighth run from 40+ balls. His intent has been impressive today but his execution certainly hasn’t been. His seven runs have come from top-edges and miscues and he’s lived dangerously with lots of reckless slogs and risky reverse sweeps. Now he almost runs himself out turning for a second run. Luckily Ravindra sends him back and dispatches Starc to the midwicket boundary to bring up a very well made half-century from 77 balls. Technically, that’s the first Test fifty on Ravindra’s record, given the only time he reached that mark he went on to amass 240. A hearty cheer from his home crowd for a fine innings.

34th over: New Zealand 96-3 (Ravindra 46, Mitchell 7) Almost a run-out! Mitchell whacked Head straight back down the ground. The ball kept low and Head lunged, almost getting a finger on it before it cannoned into the stumps at the non-striker’s end and scudding away for a run. Replays show Head didn’t get a touch and Ravindra delivers him a stern reprimand, stepping down and lifting Head’s fourth ball high and hard and over the fence. Six! Good batting by Ravindra who’s strike-rate sits above 60.


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33rd over: New Zealand 89-3 (Ravindra 40, Mitchell 6) Starc struts back for a spell. He’s been copping it sweet fielding on the boundary for an hour, a crowd of Kermit the Frogs, Where’s Wallys and Oompa Loompas giving him heaps for his fielding indiscretions and Australian passport. Now the big fella is fuming. His first ball is fast and furious – but wide. Ravindra climbs into it and sends it to the boundary in a flash. Cracking stroke! Starc recovers nicely, shooting the next three through in the channel before firing one at a three-quarter length and drawing a thick edge which reaches Smith on the half-volley.

32nd over: New Zealand 84-3 (Ravindra 36, Mitchell 6) Travis Head is back. He fires his first delivery in at middle stump but Ravindra leans back and slashes square for a single. Mitchell now gets a look and what he sees is worrisome. Head jags a ball back from a fifth-stump line and gets it to spear into the batter’s belly. Next ball skids on ankle-high. Mitchell blinks first, trying for slog sweep but sending it fizzing to short leg for no run.

31st over: New Zealand 82-3 (Ravindra 35, Mitchell 6) Cummins bounces Mitchell and Mitchell hooks Cummins. But only for a single. The run rate is crawling at under 2.5 per over but Ravindra gives it a spike, swivelling beautifully into a Cummins half-tracker and bulleting it the boundary at long leg. Great shot and he works a smart single from the final delivery to hang onto strike and let his twitchy partner Mitchell settle awhile.

30th over: New Zealand 77-3 (Ravindra 30, Mitchell 5) “Good ball Gazza!” Alex Carey likes what he’s seeing. ‘Gary’ Lyon is into his 13th over and has 2-24. Ravindra is still looking to attack, skipping back to cut hard, but mostly not finding the gaps. Maiden.

29th over: New Zealand 77-3 (Ravindra 30, Mitchell 5) Big edge from Ravindra! But it’s just wide of a leaping Smith at slip. Cummins crashed that one in a little faster and the batter got on his toes to steer it through covers but it was too quick for the middle of the bat and slipped through the cordon for a boundary. New Zealand now trail by 292 runs.

28th over: New Zealand 72-3 (Ravindra 25, Mitchell 5) Missed chance! Mitchell swept lavishly but only succeeded in top-edging. Carey was too low to take the catch and so it sailed over his head and ran to the boundary for four byes. Streaky stuff from the Black Caps No 5. Lyon keeps probing on a length, searching for one to spit out of the rough. But Ravindra sees out the over intact.

27th over: New Zealand 68-3 (Ravindra 25, Mitchell 5) Cummins can smell blood here. He slides a couple more past Mitchell’s twitchy blade and leaden feet. Now the nerves manifest as a late withdrawal just as Cummins was into his leap. Wind? Or nerves? Finally he tucks one away for a single but Australia won’t mind that in the slightest. It puts him on strike for Lyon’s next over.

26th over: New Zealand 67-3 (Ravindra 25, Mitchell 4) Stumping chance?! Mitchell danced down the wicket and took a wild swing at Lyon’s second delivery on a length. But again the bounce undid him and he missed it. Luckily so did Carey so he survives. Replays show the ball actually bounced off the back of the batters leg so not a catching opportunity but certainly a missed stumping chance. They run a bye and that’s good for New Zealand because Daryl Mitchell is playing crazy cricket at the moment.

25th over: New Zealand 66-3 (Ravindra 25, Mitchell 4) After a quick drinks break, Pat Cummins has taken back the ball for a final blast. Australia have 20 overs left today to break this Black Caps batting order. Cummins has Mitchell playing and missing, hopping and propping. But he finally escapes with a single squirted on the leg-side.

24th over: New Zealand 64-3 (Ravindra 24, Mitchell 3) Reverse sweep! That’s a rash shot for a man who’s faced five balls and has three top-order cobbers back in the pavillion. Smith appeals for a stumping but Mitchell shrugged off the rush of blood and got back in time. After a few lucky swipes without connection he top-edges one for two. I’m all for aggressive counter-attack but this is dangerous by Mitchell so early in his innings.

Take some advice from the Shaky Isles’ silkiest voice, Daryl!


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23rd over: New Zealand 61-3 (Ravindra 23, Mitchell 1) As reward for the wicket of Young, Travis Head gets another over but he can’t jag another scalp. Mitchell takes him for a single but Ravindra goes into attack mode. Can’t get hold of one though.

Mark Waugh looked up from his form guide just enough to take 182 Test catches…

22nd over: New Zealand 60-3 (Ravindra 23, Mitchell 0) Daryl Mitchell is the new man at the crease but Ravindra has the strike. He lashes Lyon square for a single but that’s it. New Zealand are back on their heels after that wicket, still 309 runs short of victory.

WICKET! Young c Smith b Head 15 (New Zealand 59-3)

He’s done it! Head – the man with the golden arm – has struck from nowhere! Will Young may have relaxed a bit with the part-timer into the attack. He leaned into a ball he could probably have left and it spun just enough to catch the edge and Steve Smith took a brilliant reflex catch low down to his left. Good bowling by Head, great captaincy by Pat Cummins and amazing slip fielding by Smith – that’s his 183rd catch and takes him past master slipper Mark Waugh and to No 2 on the all-timers tally (behind Ricky Ponting)!


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21st over: New Zealand 59-2 (Young 15, Ravindra 22) Here’s a surprise! Travis Head has been thrown the ball ahead of the allrounders Cameron Green and Mitchell Marsh. Interesting tactic from Pat Cummins but a smart gamble I reckon. Travis Head has a habit of jagging cheeky wickets…

20th over: New Zealand 59-2 (Young 15, Ravindra 22) Crack goes Ravindra! Lyon’s fourth ball wasn’t that short but Ravindra leapt back and made space to hammer it square and find the boundary. Good batting by the young man. The sun is out here in Wellington and the Black Caps are making hay. They almost have the chase total under 300…

19th over: New Zealand 55-2 (Young 15, Ravindra 18) Slack by Starc! Ravindra clipped it to fine leg for a single but the big quick misjudged the slide and fumbled it into the rope for four. Hazlewood is not a man easily angered though. He holds his nose and spins on his heel to go again. Meanwhile Starc is copping it from the beer-swigging Banana Splits on the boundary. Apparently Day 3 is fancy dress day. He gets a big Bronx cheer when he successfully fields the final ball as Ravindra runs a single.


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18th over: New Zealand 50-2 (Young 15, Ravindra 13) Lyon bowls a bouncer! Well, almost. He landed it outside off to Ravindra and it leapt a mile so Ravindra had to jerk his head out of the way and Carey took it above his head. Still some serious venom in this pitch! Ravindra rips one of his own, finding some width and whipping it to the boundary. There’s a huge appeal on the next – a looping Lyon yorker that Ravindra tries to swat down the ground. The umpire shakes his head but Cummins makes the T. Bad call. There’s no edge and it’s hit Ravindra on the full on the toe outside the line. He celebrates by bouncing back in the crease and cutting hard but he can’t find the gap.

17th over: New Zealand 43-2 (Young 15, Ravindra 8) Finally runs! After two maidens, Young steps out and drives Hazlewood through covers for two runs. There’s a healthy crowd in at Basin Reserve, most in jumpers to protect them from the Wellington winds and a few dressed as bananas.

16th over: New Zealand 43-2 (Young 13, Ravindra 8) Turn and bounce for Lyon! That was close to an edge. Ravindra lunged to meet the first delivery but it spun past the edge. Lyon grins at the young man and gets a grimace in return. Ravindra clobbers the next one but straight to the man at cover. Lyon keeps ripping them in from outside leg stump but Ravindra plays each with soft hands and survives unscathed.

15th over: New Zealand 43-2 (Young 13, Ravindra 8) Cummins’ cue is in the rack and Hazlewood has returned for a second spell. He only got two overs in his first so plenty of juice left in the Hoff yet. Straight away he nags at Young on that metronomic line, tempting him to step out and take it on, teasing on a length. The Black Caps opener doesn’t want a bar of it though, leaving everything and playing out a maiden.

14th over: New Zealand 43-2 (Young 13, Ravindra 8) It’s Lyon v Ravindra. Wily veteran against cocky youngster. The young man has a challenge on his hands but his feet are moving and his eye is sharp. He rocks back and slaps a couple square. Can’t do anything with the five others though as Lyon teases and prods at his defences. Honours even.


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13th over: New Zealand 41-2 (Young 13, Ravindra 6) Bang goes Ravindra! It was a short snarling delivery from Cummins and the youngster took it on, pulling it to the rope. Good batting! Ravindra taps a single from the next one. That 240 came against South Africa three weeks ago and announced him on the world stage. His other 10 innings have only yielded 134 runs but he’s away today against the best ace attack in the world.


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12th over: New Zealand 36-2 (Young 13, Ravindra 1) New batter Rachin Ravindra is off the mark straight away with a similar shot to the one that got him caught for a duck in the first innings, stepping back and swiping through the covers. This time he strikes past the fielder for a single. Hopefully we get a good look at the exciting 24-year-old in this innings. He’s only played five Tests but he’s already got a highest score of 240.

WICKET! Williamson c Smith b Lyon 9 (New Zealand 35-2)

Massive breakthrough! Lyon switched to around the wicket and Kane Williamson went to work the first ball fine but it reared like a rattlesnake and caught a tentative edge. Steve Smith was waiting in a leg slip trap and he gobbled up the chance. Australia celebrate and the Basin Reserve sinks into stunned silence. That’s their ace card gone!


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11th over: New Zealand 35-1 (Young 13, Williamson 9) Cummins enters his third and Young is watchful but the third ball is a fraction short and he taps it behind square for a couple. Cummins snarls one past Young’s chin in response but the batter sways out of its path with ease. Australia pressing hard here but the home side are settling in nicely.

10th over: New Zealand 33-1 (Young 11, Williamson 9) Latham lashes Lyon for four! It was another short ball and it hopped up into Williamson’s sweet spot and he whipped it square for an easy boundary. The GOAT’s riposte is a ripper – literally. It turns prodigiously and Williamson loses sight of it. The next one spins sharply from outside off, too sharply for both batter and ‘keeper. It runs away for four leg byes. And then Williamson makes it three boundaries, pulling another short ball behind square for an easy four. Twelve from the over!


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9th over: New Zealand 21-1 (Young 11, Williamson 1) Cummins is tickling the speed gun into the 140s already as the Australian skipper bends his back for another breakthrough. Williamson uses it against him, taking a fast, angling ball on middle and working it to fine leg for a leg bye. A bouncer on the fourth and a boundary on the fifth as Latham cracks it square and Hazlewood fumbles on the boundary. The Hoff got there in time and tried to flick it back but it stuck in his palm and then spun back into the rope.

8th over: New Zealand 16-1 (Young 7, Williamson 1) Lyon on line from the get-go! Williamson has to lunge forward to nullify the spin. He baulks at the next ball, retreating as it spins back to strike the Black Caps champion above the knee roll. The fourth ball is short and Williamson pulls it to the fence to open his account with a run. But that’s it from the over.

7th over: New Zealand 15-1 (Young 7, Williamson 0) And we’re back! Pat Cummins will take the first over after the break. Australia are going in for the kill here. Lyon at one end, Cummins at the other. They know Kane Williamson is the danger man an they want him cooling his jandals back in the sheds. But it’s Young on strike and he’s struggling with Cummins’ nagging line, playing and missing outside off and then hopping into a ball that jags back viciously and thunders into his pads. Young edges the fifth but it’s well short of the three-slip cordon. Great Test cricket this!

TEA: New Zealand 15 for 1 and need 354 runs for victory.

What a session that was. A clatter of Australian wickets and a solitary New Zealand one. Nathan Lyon is already shaping as the lynchpin to an Australian victory. He snared four wickets in the first innings and watched with wet-lips as his Kiwi adversary Glenn Phillips bagged five. Now from his very first over he’s knocked over Tom Latham and almost sent Kane Williamson back to the pavillion twice. Quite the six demon bag!

6th over: New Zealand 15-1 (Young 7, Williamson 0) Appeal against Williamson straight away! Surely the Black Caps master can’t follow a silver duck with a golden one? Lyon delivered another loose one down leg side and Williamson hungrily gave chase. He took a massive swat at it and didn’t appear to make contact. But Carey gloved it way down the leg side and started whooping. On field decision is not out but Cummins is determined to review. But it’s a bad call from Captain Pat – there’s not a murmur on the Snicko. Kiwi pulses settle… but then they spike again as Williamson doesn’t judge the next and gets a double hit on it. Almost another freak dismissal! Strange, I know.


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WICKET! Latham c Carey b Lyon 8 (New Zealand 15-1)

Lyon strikes! Second ball was a rank long hop but it hopped high and Latham’s eyes lit up. He leaned back and swiped but it caught the edge and Carey gloved it on the up. Big wicket for the Australians. What can Kane Williamson produce?

Nathan Lyon strikes to dismiss Tom Latham as New Zealand start their fourth-innings chase in the first Test. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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5th over: New Zealand 15-0 (Latham 8, Young 7) Starc is still struggling for his line here. He’s scowling up a storm. But he’s not leaking runs either and two maidens on the trot is a pretty sweet silver lining. Nathan Lyon is moving in for a spell me thinks.

4th over: New Zealand 15-0 (Latham 8, Young 7) Play and miss! That was a whisker from Young’s outside edge. But he finds the middle of the bat on the second ball gets two behind square, and then a single from the next. Latham does even better, working a straighter ball off his hip and down to the fine leg fence for four.


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3rd over: New Zealand 8-0 (Latham 4, Young 4) Starc is spraying them in this over. Could be the Wellington wind which is at his back. Or could be faulty radar. Either way he’s way outside the ‘channel of challenge’. Starc is pawing at the popping crease with a scowl, displeased at his landing point. But somehow he’s delivered a maiden.

2nd over: New Zealand 8-0 (Latham 4, Young 4) Josh Hazlewood will steam into the wind for his opening spell, not that he’ll mind. There’s plenty of bounce left in this Basin Reserve pitch and the Bendemeer Bullet finds it immediately, luring Latham into a flourish outside off. He misses but not by much. The fifth is superb bowling – bang on line as per usual – and Latham follows it again and gets a little too close for comfort. He finally gets a bat on one, working a single from the final delivery.

1st over: New Zealand 7-0 (Latham 3, Young 4) The Black Caps are away! Mitchell Starc shaped a ball onto leg stump but Latham leaned into it and squirted it behind square for a rapidly-run three. Excellent intent from the Kiwis. Likewise from Starc who whistles the a bouncer past Will Young’s nose hairs. Welcome, Mr Young! But he gets an educated edge to the next one, opening the face and playing late. It skids past Cameron Green at gully and rockets into the third man fence. Seven runs from the first!

Glenn Phillips is delighted with his five-for and optimistic for the second innings:

“It’s a dream come true. Never thought it’d be in home conditions, thought it’d be in the subcontinent. It’s a surreal moment. Tim is an incredible captain, gives you lots of chances. I’ve had a serious set of coaching staff over the years.

“Partnership bowling helped today, we were great after lunch. Any celebration a six-year-old girl would do, that’s probably me. I’ve never thought of what to do after I get a five-for. Celebrating with the crowd was an unbelievable moment.

“I think we’re in the Test. We’ve got to combat the situation. There’s spin, how we play Lyon and the big fast bowlers will be a challenge. We’ve got a lot of time in hand and hope to get through.”

Glenn Phillips claimed 5-45 to drag New Zealand back into the contest against Australia. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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Australia all out for 164. New Zealand need 369 runs to win.

We’re only halfway through this Test match but already we’re entering the final innings. What a thriller it’s going to be. New Zealand need 369 for victory but will take enormous heart from bowling out this star-studded Australian lineup for 164, their sixth-lowest total ever in Tests against the Black Caps.

They’ve done it with the ball, can they do it with the bat? It’s a strong batting order but they badly fluffed their lines in the first dig, mixing horrible batting with terrible luck. Surely Kane Williamson – who had four consecutive centuries before he ran himself out second-ball yesterday – will lead the way. Or will the Australian fast bowling cartel click into gear and cause merry havoc as they did in the first innings?

Buckle ‘em up and batten ‘em down – we’re about to find out!


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