Australia extended their domination against hapless New Zealand in the Boxing Day Test match as they decided to bat after taking a 319-run lead in the first innings. Pat Cummins picked up a 5-wicket haul to run through New Zealand who were bowled out for only 148. Tom Latham scored a fifty opening the innings while no other batsman touched 20. Australia ended the 3rd day on 137/4 in their 2nd essay with a lead of 456 runs.
All the statistical highlights from yet another day dominated by Australia in the MCG Test match:
A tour of low scores for New Zealand:
2012 – New Zealand bowled out for less than 200 for the 3rd time in as many innings in the current tour. This is the first time since 2012 that the Kiwis folded for a score below 200 in three consecutive Test innings. They were bowled out for 154 in their last game on the tour of West Indies and could only make 159 and 164 in the first Test in the subsequent Test series in India.
The last instance of the Kiwis getting bowled out three or more consecutive times below 200 in the same Test series was against the Proteas during the 2007 2-match Test series in South Africa. New Zealand had made scores of 118, 172, 188 and 136 across four innings on that tour.
A year to remember for both Cummins and Wagner:
42 – Neil Wagner has picked up 42 wickets in 2019 in the Test cricket; the most by him in a calendar year surpassing 41 Test wickets in 2016. In fact, only Trent Boult (46 in 2013) picked more Test wickets in a calendar year for New Zealand since 2009 than Wagner’s tally this year.
59 – Pat Cummins’ 59 wickets in the longer format this year are the most Test wickets by a fast bowler in a year since Stuart Broad’s 62 scalps in 2013. The 59 wickets by Cummins are also the most by an Australian pacer in a year since Mitchell Johnson’s 63 wickets in 2009. Cummins currently has 99 wickets in International cricket.
Wagner @ 200:
46 – Number of matches Neil Wagner needed for completing 200 wickets in Test cricket. He is now the 2nd fastest player from New Zealand to complete 200 Test wickets after Sir Richard Hadlee (44 Tests).
46 – Neil Wagner became the quickest left-arm pacer to reach 200 wickets in Test cricket. Mitchell Johnson was the previous fastest left-arm quick to this milestone taking 49 Tests. In fact, Wagner is the 2nd fastest left-arm bowler ever to get to 200 Test wickets. Ravindra Jadeja needed only 44 Tests, a milestone which he completed in this home season.
Yet another cheap 5-fer by Cummins:
3 – In the last four years, only three 5-wicket hauls were recorded at the cost of fewer than 30 runs in Test cricket for Australia. All the three were by Pat Cummins in the space of 12 months – 5/28 vs NZ, 6/23 vs SL and 6/28 vs IND.
He thus became only the 4th Australian to have taken three 5-wicket hauls conceding less than 30 runs in Test cricket. Dennis Lillee and Bert Ironmonger also have three such 5-fers while Glenn McGrath had four including three 5-wicket hauls which came while conceding less than 25 runs.
End of Boxing Day streak for Smith:
92 – Steve Smith scored a total of 92 runs in this Boxing Day Test match hosted by Melbourne Cricket Ground. He scored one century apiece in each of his last four appearances in Boxing Day Tests.
Had Smith got a hundred in either of the innings, he would have been the first player in the history of Test cricket with centuries in five consecutive Test matches at a venue. 14 players including Smith have scored hundreds in four consecutive Tests at a ground.
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