New Zealand v Australia, 1st Test, Wellington, 2nd day February 13, 2016

Voges, Khawaja centuries put Australia in command


Australia 463 for 6 (Voges 176*, Khawaja 140, Smith 71) lead New Zealand 183 by 280 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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WATCH - Another grim day for New Zealand

It was New Zealand's acute misfortune to be confronted by two of Test cricket's most prolific batsmen of the moment at a time when the Basin Reserve had flattened out from the early life that Australia's bowlers had exploited so ably on day one.

Usman Khawaja's imperious fourth Test hundred in as many first innings and Adam Voges' calm supporting hand helped Australia take command of the first Test, in a day of considered and relentless batting that Steven Smiths' team will hope to replicate many times over on foreign assignments.

Finding an ideal offsider in Voges, Khawaja picked gaps regularly off both front and back foot to register his first Test century overseas. Given the opposition and the conditions he faced on day one it was arguably his finest, ending only when Trent Boult briefly found some life with the second new ball.

Voges was more reserved, but endured beyond the dismissals of Khawaja and a hard-handed Mitchell Marsh to forge on in the latest chapter of his extraordinary latter-day Test career. He was aided on his quest by a studied Peter Nevill and a helpful Peter Siddle - between them they helped Voges add 164. How Zealand must have cursed the "no-ball" on the first evening.

The pitch in Wellington eased into an ideal batting surface, and Brendon McCullum's bowlers struggled to find a way past Australia's in-form batting pair. Tim Southee and Boult found little movement to assist them, with pace and bounce reliably consistent for stroke play. The new ball brought more danger.

Southee had drawn a play and miss from Khawaja in the day's first over, but the final ball was sliced firmly backward of point for a pressure-releasing boundary. From there Khawaja was particularly punishing through the covers, and swivelled to pull powerfully when Doug Bracewell dropped short.

Voges was circumspect, settling into the crease for a long occupation, but drove and cut with alacrity when the opportunities arose. He was happy enough for the most part to play in Khawaja's slipstream, an eminently sensible approach given how well Australia's No. 3 is playing.

Khawaja waited six balls on 99 before Mark Craig gave him an obligingly short delivery to tug behind square leg. The milestone was cause for ebullient celebration, before Khawaja got quickly back to business.

Craig had one lbw appeal against Khawaja after he had passed three figures, but the DRS showed the ball was only clipping leg stump and Richard Illingworth's not-out verdict stood. As if to compound Craig's frustration, Khawaja cut the next two deliveries for four.

After lunch the pair accelerated until their stand was worth 168 and Australia's lead well past 100. The new ball brought the prospect of greater interest for New Zealand, and after Khawaja stroked Boult's first ball to the cover fence the left-armer created trouble by varying his line and degree of movement.

Khawaja finally fell to a delivery that straightened down the line of middle stump for an lbw verdict from Richard Kettleborough, though not before he had pushed his Test average beyond the 50 mark. Next ball, Marsh narrowly avoided a similar fate, but with his second he pushed with characteristic firmness and offered Boult the chance to take a wonderfully athletic return catch.

Nevill's hands were softer, and by the interval he and Voges had consolidated. The older man duly reached the fifth century of a run that is now stretching the bounds of credulity. His methods are the result of a long and hard first-class apprenticeship, his temperament and bearing, somewhat redolent of Michael Hussey.

After a stand of 96, Corey Anderson found some extra bounce to prise out Nevill. The local broadcaster had given Siddle the compliment of an allrounder's designation when the match began, and he did not let them down. Like Nevill, he began carefully before freeing up, all the while adding splendid support to Voges.

By day's end, the stand was worth 68, the lead 280 and, most memorably, Voges had in his possession a Test batting average of 100.33. In that context, at least, New Zealand's grim day was understandable.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ryan on February 13, 2016, 23:59 GMT

    We needed Wagner. Craig should not have made the team. Santner's injury had more implications than just losing a spinner.

  • Nathan Lee on February 13, 2016, 23:51 GMT

    some of the most dissapointing cricket iv seen from my black caps since the world cup final - they should be all fired for that weak 1st innings effort

  • Ryan on February 13, 2016, 23:50 GMT

    Richard Illingworth needs to redeem himself and call a no ball when Kane Williamson is dismissed.

  • Yasein on February 13, 2016, 23:15 GMT

    Subtract around 240 from the Aussie total. Thats their real first innings total

  • Merv on February 13, 2016, 22:55 GMT

    Voges is like Mike Hussey - late career selection and making every post a winner. NZ should be able to save this match as Wellington can't be without rain for 5 days.

  • Daniel on February 13, 2016, 22:50 GMT

    cant wait for McCullum to get a pair in his last Test

  • Jay on February 13, 2016, 22:26 GMT

    What a shame that this great knock of Voges will always have a question mark hanging over it due to that fact he scored most of the runs after he was "out".

  • Android on February 13, 2016, 22:21 GMT

    Boult yet to see anything special. Australia have piled on runs against this kiwi attack on many occasions. very average

  • Android on February 13, 2016, 22:21 GMT

    Boult yet to see anything special. Australia have piled on runs against this kiwi attack on many occasions. very average

  • rob on February 13, 2016, 21:53 GMT

    @ Keralite: Jason Gillespie and Mitchell Johnson are both of indigenous descent. Dan Christian (has played some ODI's) as well. There are probably quite a few others but it's just not a big deal. The original aussies are a naturally gifted bunch and they are more than welcome to partake in any sport that takes their fancy. It's just that most of them prefer the various football codes. .. The fastest and best bowler I ever personally faced was a Koori bloke we all called Dangerous Dick. I always thought he could go all the way in cricket, but he was far more interested in rugby league and only played cricket occasionally. Such a pity because he was a far better cricketer than footy player. And that's how it goes.

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