The much-anticipated Day-Night Test between Trans-Tasman rivals- Australia and New Zealand- finally got underway at the Optus Stadium in Perth. And, what a contest it has turned out to be thus far! Once again, as was the case in Australia’s last day-night Test against Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval, the home side won the toss and in unrelenting Perth heat, had no hesitation in batting first.
And, the moment of the day came by that man again- Yep! That guy who is the New Zealand of New Zealand, who is always under the radar despite having bamboozled batting units on a consistent basis: Neil Wagner. And, he can field too, especially against his own bowling.
This is exactly what the tall left-arm pacer did at the backend of the opening session of the first day when he claimed a one-handed stunner of his own bowling to dismiss a dangerous-looking David Warner. It was a low full-toss from Wagner which the southpaw was trying to chip away, only to see Wagner pull-off a sensational one-handed low catch.
One of the best caught-and-bowled catches you'll see! @bet365_aus | #AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/4XmXMkovZ3
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 12, 2019
Relentless Neil Wagner tightens the screws on Smith
The catch by Neil Wagner to dismiss David Warner against the run-of-play, not only helped lift the spirits of the Kiwis after it was increasingly looking like the Australians will claim the first session, it also meant that Warner, who averaged a gobsmacking 502 in the current home season, would not register another Brobdingnagian score, something he has been notorious for while batting on home soil.
Earlier, Warner and Burns were tested by Lockie Ferguson’s pace but the latter got carried away with the short-pitch stuff and hence, in an attempt to compensate for the short-pitch length, he overcompensated by dishing out juicy half-volleys.
After the opening pair of Southee and Lockie Ferguson were unable to provide initial breakthroughs, Kane Williamson introduced Colin de Grandhomme, who via his wobbly seam and just enough movement, got past Joe Burns defences to trap him leg-before-wicket. However, as it turned out Burns was incredibly unlucky as the replays confirmed the ball was comfortably going down the leg-side.
Post the opening session, Wagner bowled what can be termed as a relentless spell to Steve Smith, epitomizing the beauty of Test cricket with the bowler going at full throttle and giving nothing away and the batsman trying to hang in there and survive.
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