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Boxing Day Test Australia v New Zealand live blog day three as it happened


December 28, 2019 18:10:57

Australia is primed for a big, series-clinching win in the second Test against New Zealand after skittling the tourists for just 148 at the MCG.

At stumps, Australia was 4-128, a lead of 447 having declined the chance to enforce the follow-on after dismissing New Zealand for a paltry 148.

Travis Head (9) and Matthew Wade (9) were the unbeaten batsman on the crease, after New Zealand claimed four dismissals for the day.

The day belonged to Australia’s bowlers — led by Pat Cummins (5-28) — who were ruthless in dismantling the New Zealand innings.

The tourists started the day on 2-44 but were soon three down, when Cummins had Ross Taylor (4) caught by Joe Burns in the slips, via a ballooning rebound off the palms of Marnus Labuschagne.

Australian bowling’s crown jewel found himself on a hat-trick next ball when he trapped Henry Nicholls LBW.

He didn’t complete the threesome but his work for the afternoon was far from done.

It was James Pattinson (3-34) who struck next, finding the edge of BJ Watling’s bat with a scorching delivery to complete a bountiful first hour for Australia.

Opener Tom Latham (50) and Colin de Grandhomme (11) offered some resistance after the first drinks break, until the big seamer played a rising delivery from Mitchell Starc to Warner at gully.

After lunch, the hosts cleaned up the remaining four wickets required, with Cummins leading the way again. He finally out-foxed the solid Latham, who was caught behind by Tim Paine, before Pattinson had Santner out the same way next over.

If Australia were thinking of enforcing the follow on, some frolicsome slogging from the tail may have pushed them to resist the urge.

Eventually Cummins completed his five-for with the wicket of Tim Southee, caught behind, before Starc completed the rout by taking out Trent Boult’s leg stump. New Zealand was all out for 148, trailing by 319.

Back at the crease, Australia’s batsmen enjoyed a mix-and-match performance with the willow as they set about hurriedly adding to New Zealand’s potential target.

David Warner (38) mistimed a cut shot to club Neil Wagner straight to cover, before Marnus Labuschagne (19) was run out after taking on the fielder trying for a quick single.

The struggling Mitch Santner then got his first wicket of the series when Joe Burns (35) cut the ball straight into the keeper’s gloves, before Wagner proved Steve Smith’s nemesis again, Smith glancing straight to short fine leg to be dismissed for 7.

With two whole days to play, Australia could add even more runs to its total in the first session before sending the Black Caps into bat as it hunts a 2-0 series lead.

Look back at how the action unfolded in our live blog.








First posted

December 28, 2019 10:02:02

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