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PIX: Starc dominates for Australia as New Zealand crumble

Last updated on: December 13, 2019 20:30 IST

Images from Day 2 of the first Test between Australia and New Zealand in Perth on Friday.

Marnus Labuschagne

IMAGE: Mitchell Starc took four wickets. Photograph: ICC/Twitter

Australia quick Mitchell Starc tore through New Zealand’s batting-order shortly before stumps on a dramatic day two, as the hosts gained a stranglehold of the first Test on Friday.

In reply to Australia’s first innings of 416, New Zealand teetered at 109 for five at the close with veteran Ross Taylor unbeaten on 66 and BJ Watling yet to score.

 

Marnus Labuschagne

IMAGE: Marnus Labuschagne bats during day two of the first Test match. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images


A fired up Starc took four wickets, including the prized scalp of Kane Williamson (34) followed by Henry Nicholls (7) and nightwatchman Neil Wagner (0) in successive balls.

A flagging New Zealand had lost both their openers within the first 10 deliveries. Australia, however, will be sweating on the fitness of quick Josh Hazlewood who was forced off the field in the fourth over after pulling up short in his run up with an apparent left hamstring injury.

IMAGE: Pat Cummins is bowled by Jeet Raval. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Both teams could be without a paceman after debutant New Zealand quick Lockie Ferguson, himself a replacement for injured spearhead Trent Boult, damaged his calf on day one.

After a dour opening two sessions, the day-nighter came alive under lights as Australia’s menacing attack conjured sharp bounce and pace off the Perth Stadium pitch.

New Zealand started disastrously when opener Tom Latham fell for a duck on the fifth delivery of the innings after spooning a return catch to a fired up Starc.

It got worse for the tourists when Jeet Raval was bowled by a full Hazlewood delivery in the next over for one.

IMAGE: New Zealand's players celebrate the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The match seemingly turned with Hazlewood’s injury and Australia captain Tim Paine had limited options with his team lacking an all-rounder.

Part-timer Matthew Wade was handed the ball but had little success.

Williamson and Taylor took advantage during a determined 76 run partnership until New Zealand’s captain fell to a spectacular one-handed, diving catch by Steve Smith at second slip.

The dismissal re-established Australia’s control after they posted a impressive first-innings total stretching 146.2 overs.

Travis Head

IMAGE: Travis Head hits a boundary. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The hosts batted sedately for much of the opening two sessions to deflate New Zealand and ensure they had use of prime bowling conditions under lights.

Marnus Labuschagne (143) and Travis Head (56) combined in a 76-run partnership to wrest control of the contest.

South Africa-born Labuschagne fell seven runs short of becoming the third Test batsman to notch three consecutive scores of over 150.

New Zealand's tireless quicks Neil Wagner and Tim Southee claimed four wickets apiece.

Oppressive conditions continued on day two with the temperature reaching 40 degrees Celsius. Smoke from a bushfire raging at nearby Belmont Racecourse, about 1km behind Perth Stadium, wafted into the 60,000-seat arena in the first session but did not appear to affect players or spectators.

New Zealand have only won one Test in Australia since their sole series triumph across the Tasman Sea in 1985-86.

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