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RESULT
1st Test, Wellington, February 29 - March 03, 2024, Australia tour of New Zealand
383 & 164
(T:369) 179 & 196

Australia won by 172 runs

Player Of The Match
174*, 34 & 1/16
cameron-green
Report

Green's 174* helps Australia secure big lead as New Zealand collapse for 179

Despite losing Smith and Labuschagne cheaply in their second innings, Australia remain in a dominant position

Australia 383 (Green 174*, Marsh 40, Henry 5-70) and 13 for 2 (Lyon 6*, Khawaja 5*, Southee 2-5) lead New Zealand 179 (Phillips 71, Henry 42, Lyon 4-43, Hazlewood 2-55) by 217 runs
Steven Smith and Marnus Labuschagne fell cheaply in a dramatic end to day two, but Australia remained in firm control of the first Test after their disciplined attack tore through New Zealand in challenging conditions at Basin Reserve.
Having been put to the sword in Australia's first innings by Cameron Green, who finished unbeaten on 174 and combined in a record tenth-wicket partnership of 116 with Josh Hazlewood, a flustered New Zealand wilted in response and were bowled out for 179 in 43.1 overs.
With a first-innings lead of 204, Australia elected not to make New Zealand follow on and they faced a tough eight overs before stumps. Captain Tim Southee provided a much-needed tonic for New Zealand by dismissing Smith, who chopped onto his stumps for a duck on the third ball of the innings.
Having taken just two wickets in his last five Test innings, Southee was on a roll when he strangled Labuschagne down the leg side for 2. Labuschagne trudged off in despair as he fell in single figures for the fourth straight innings in Test cricket.
Nathan Lyon, the nightwatcher, survived a torrid period before stumps as he copped a painful blow to his body and was dropped on the last ball of the day's play by Southee at third slip off Matt Henry.
Opener Usman Khawaja also made it through and, despite the late drama, Australia remained in a strong position after a dominant day's play.
Australia's frontline seamers, along with allrounder Mitchell Marsh, were relentless and each picked up a wicket, while Lyon produced sharp turn and probed dangerously outside off stump to finish with 4 for 43. In the process, he moved past Courtney Walsh's 519 Test wickets and into seventh position on the all-time list. Green did not bowl after his marathon 275-ball innings.
New Zealand had high hopes of mustering a strong reply amid sunny conditions with the pitch appearing to be flattening out, as is often the case at Basin Reserve. But it didn't eventuate as their top-order failed to cope with uneven bounce as the ball reared from divots.
Mitchell Starc, playing his first Test in New Zealand, aimed to bowl full but it was a good-length delivery that had opener Tom Latham uncertain about whether to play or not as he chopped onto his stumps to trigger a collapse of three wickets for no runs in the space of six deliveries.
Kane Williamson, who scored three centuries in four innings against South Africa, was run out in a horrible mix-up just two balls later. He set off for a single only to collide into Will Young, who was ball-watching, as Labuschagne hit the stumps with a direct throw from short range.
In the next over, Rachin Ravindra was enticed to drive by a full and wide delivery from Hazlewood only to slice to Lyon, who held onto a good catch at point.
Due to the predicament, Daryl Mitchell had to curb his aggressiveness and scored just 7 off his first 35 deliveries until whacking a short delivery from Pat Cummins to the boundary. But on the next ball, he nicked off a brilliant length delivery from Cummins, who is also playing his first Test in New Zealand.
Coming to the crease at 29 for 5, Glenn Phillips decided to counterattack and shared a rapid 84-run partnership with Tom Blundell to momentarily stop Australia's charge.
But Lyon took over to halt the fightback despite the efforts of Phillips, who made 71 off 70, and a late cameo of 42 from Matt Henry.
New Zealand's spirit was seemingly crushed by the earlier onslaught from Green, who smashed 71 runs to completely dominate a prolonged first session.
After stamping himself as Australia's No. 4 with a brilliant century on the opening day of the series, Green toyed with New Zealand's flagging attack through a combination of power and placement. He and Hazlewood, who made 22 off 62 balls, overtook Australia's previous highest last-wicket stand against New Zealand, of 114 when Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie famously combined at the Gabba in 2004.
Their partnership was considerably the highest of the innings. The last time that a tenth-wicket stand topped an Australia innings was in 2015 against West Indies when Adam Voges and Hazlewood added 97 runs in Roseau.
It was a bitter disappointment for New Zealand, who at one point seemed likely to bowl Australia out for under 200. Their quicks were ragged at times with New Zealand conceding 41 extras. Henry finally dismissed Hazlewood during the extra 30 minutes in the first session to claim a deserved five-wicket haul.
Resuming at 279 for 9, Australia eyed a score of 300 but Green played smartly and didn't go for broke immediately with the field spread and only one slip in place.
After scoring only seven runs in the first 30 minutes, Green muscled New Zealand's frustrated attack around with power-hitting and brought up his 150 after hammering a short delivery from Will O'Rourke for six on the leg side.
When Hazlewood did face up, he defended well and also unfurled several attractive strokes in his highest Test score in five years, having gone 27 innings without making more than 11.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

Language
English
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ICC World Test Championship

TEAMMWLDPTPCT
IND96217468.51
AUS128319062.50
NZ63303650.00
SL42202450.00
PAK52302236.66
WI41211633.33
SA41301225.00
BAN41301225.00
ENG103612117.50