It can well be said that Australia dominated the second day of the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand at the MCG. The honours were shared on the first day, but Travis Head’s second Test ton along with some fiery shows from the bowling unit turned the tide. The Black Caps, having found themselves in a rabbit hole, need to pull out something extraordinary to stage a comeback.
Head and Paine frustrate the hosts
The Kiwis made a brilliant start to the day as Neil Wagner’s bouncer got rid of Steve Smith (85), who could only add eight runs to his overnight score. From there on, Head and Tim Paine (79) took charge and put on 150 runs for the sixth wicket. The duo not only took the Aussies unscathed to Lunch, but also played out the post-Lunch session, taking their team to a decent 431 for five.
In the last session, Wagner separated the pair, removing Paine, who smacked nine fours in his knock. Thereafter, Paine got to his century off 222 balls. But he fell prey to Wagner after scoring 114 with 12 fours. The hosts’ batting had a mini-collapse as the lower order batters couldn’t show much resistance. Tim Southee picked up Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon to end Australia’s innings at 467.
Pacers put pressure on New Zealand
The New Zealand batters had a tough time in the middle during their 18 overs on the day. Openers Tom Latham (9*) and Tom Blundell (15) played out 34 balls. However, Pat Cummins found Blundell’s outside-edge to strike first blood. Skipper Kane Williamson didn’t have the best of times in the Day-Night Perth Test. To his dismay, the Tauranga-born couldn’t make amends even in at the MCG.
He mistimed a pull-shot off James Pattinson and perished after getting nine. At the other end, Latham put his head down and was determined to play out the rest of the overs. For the third wicket, Latham had the experienced Ross Taylor for company. The Kiwis are still trailing by a mammoth 423 runs and a lot will depend on Latham and Ross for the visitors to put the skids under the Aussies.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the day’s play
I believe @Sdoull , management (Gav Larsen too) of the @BLACKCAPS have questions to answer why the selection of Ferguson? The selection of Santner? The dropping of Raval? The BCs have had a winning formula for a few years and now panic! 😔
— Scott Styris (@scottbstyris) December 27, 2019
— Jason Gillespie 🌱 (@dizzy259) December 27, 2019
— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) December 27, 2019
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) December 27, 2019
So Babar Azam played much better than Kane williamson in Austrillia shows how classy babar is..#AUSvNZ
— SHAHZAD ALI (@alis60597) December 27, 2019
— ICC (@ICC) December 27, 2019
Scrap the WTC. What I'd love to see right now is a 5 Test series between India and Australia. 2 Tests in India, 2 in Australia, and a 5th at Lord's. Home country gets to choose the venues (so Australia can choose Perth and Brisbane if they wish). #AUSvNZ
— Akash Fotedar (@akashfotedar5) December 27, 2019
Tough going at the MCG. Can almost guarantee that if Australia had bowled close to 150 overs then Nathan Lyon would have bowled nearly 40 of them. That’s one problem for NZ. Lack of a spinner..
— Simon Doull (@Sdoull) December 27, 2019
— Brad Hogg (@Brad_Hogg) December 27, 2019
52 – Tim Paine (@CricketAus) has produced the most dismissals (52) of any wicketkeeper in men's Tests in 2019; in fact, it is the third most by a keeper in the format in a calendar year of this decade (Jonny Bairstow – 70 in 2016 & Matt Prior – 56 in 2010). Assured. #AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/qGyrHvGG9n
— OptaJason (@OptaJason) December 27, 2019
Wish the Aussies could play four quicks so Patto played every game. Such a jet #ausvnz
— Tim Michell (@tim_michell) December 27, 2019
THAT WILL BE STUMPS ON DAY 2!
Travis Head is the man who leads his side off the field! Rightly so, today's day belongs to him. Majority of the credit has to be giving to him as it is because of his ton, Australia are in the position they are in at the moment.#AUSvNZ l #NZvAUS
— Wesley00005 (@Wesley000051) December 27, 2019
Another good day for Australia at the MCG. The hosts clearly in the ascendancy with a lead of 423 runs and two Kiwi batsmen back in the sheds. Another big crowd in, just under 60,000, creating a brilliant atmosphere. #AUSvNZ #BoxingDayTest pic.twitter.com/9EkPQSIcUS
— Simon Smale (@simon_smale) December 27, 2019
NZ facing batting crisis in the series so far.
Missing Kane's cameos.#AUSvNZ
— Fazal (@Qayyum_Cricket) December 27, 2019
— Rohit Sankar (@imRohit_SN) December 27, 2019
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