BLACKCAPS v Australia, First Test, Perth

The BLACKCAPS will head to Melbourne one-nil down in the three-Test series. PHOTOSPORT

BLACKCAPS bowlers stick to task on day one

Video Highlights

The BLACKCAPS bowlers toiled hard on day one of the first Test against Australia, restricting the home side to 248/4 at stumps in Perth.

Scorecard

After losing the toss, Colin de Grandhomme took the first wicket of Joe Burns (9) before a piece of Neil Wagner magic removed David Warner (43) with a superb low catch off his own bowling.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for the New Zealand attack, debutant Lockie Ferguson bowled with good pace and bounce but wasn’t seen after the dinner break – the Auckland quick going for an MRI scan on his right calf.

Middle-order rocks Marnus Labuschagne (110*) and Steve Smith (43) put on 132 for the third wicket, but despite Labuschagne’s excellent century, the bowling unit didn’t let the home side get away on them.

Wagner then cracked the game open again with the short ball, removing Smith after his long vigil, before Tim Southee struck with the new ball under lights to get Matthew Wade (12).

Labuschagne (110*) and Travis Head (20*) will resume for the home side tomorrow, ascendancy in the Test up for grabs for both sides early on day two.

SOCIAL STREAM...

The BLACKCAPS will head to Melbourne one-nil down in the three-Test series. PHOTOSPORT

Fighting Hard

Video Highlights

Ross Taylor (66*) stood strong under the Optus Stadium lights as Australia applied the blowtorch in the final session of day two in Perth.

With the ball hooping around at high speeds, it was the experienced duo of Kane Williamson (34) and Taylor who came together at 1-2 in reply to Australia's first-innings total of 416.

The pair repelled the early pressure and survived some nervous moments to put on a momentum-shifting stand of 76.

However, some Steve Smith brilliance ended Williamson's stay, before Mitchell Starc struck two late blows to give the hosts the advantage at stumps, with the BLACKCAPS 109-5, trailing by 307 runs.

Scorecard

Earlier, Neil Wagner and Tim Southee snared four wickets each to dismiss Australia at the end of the second session.

Wagner (4-92) was at his inspirational best as he opened the day with a non-stop one-hour spell of nine ferocious overs.

His reward would come after the drinks-break when he bowled Marnus Labuschagne around his legs for 143.

Tim Southee's hard toil also paid off when he removed Travis Head for 56 to keep the visitors in the fight at 337-6 at tea.

Jeet Raval proved the surprise turn after the break as he spun one around Pat Cummins legs to claim his first Test wicket and finish with figures of 1-33 from 13 overs.

Southee and Wagner would mop up the tail leaving the visitors a session to bat under the lights at Optus Stadium... easier said than done!

As It Happened...

The BLACKCAPS will head to Melbourne one-nil down in the three-Test series. PHOTOSPORT

Late night fight under lights!

Video Highlights

The BLACKCAPS bowlers showed their renowned fighting qualities late on day three in Perth, Tim Southee and Neil Wagner taking 5/36 between them in the night session under lights. 

Southee was particularly impressive finishing day three with 4-63 and Wagner 2-40.

Overall however, it was a tough day at the Optus Stadium office for the BLAKCAPS, with the home side taking a strong hold of the first Test, going to stumps 167/6 but with an overall lead of 417 runs.

After dismissing NZ early on day three, and with a lead of 250 on the board, Australia’s second innings started well for the visitors, with Southee removing David Warner cheaply.

However, Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne both put on half centuries to further increase Australia’s lead before Labuschagne fell to Wagner’s short ball tactics, caught at mid-wicket by Mitchell Santner.

Earlier, the BLACKCAPS lower order couldn’t stick around as Mitchell Starc claimed yet another Test match five-wicket bag.

Ross Taylor (80) was the shining light in the NZ innings, showing grit and determination against a quality Australian attack.

The BLACKCAPS were only able to add 57 runs to their overnight tally before being bowled out and while the home side started well, the BLACKCAPS bowlers fought back late to lift their team’s spirits ahead of day four.

AS IT HAPPENED...

The BLACKCAPS will head to Melbourne one-nil down in the three-Test series. PHOTOSPORT

Australia claim first Test

Video Highlights

Australia has claimed victory in the first Test with a 296-run win late on day four at Perth’s Optus Stadium.

Scorecard

The home side started the day at 167/6 and the BLACKCAPS bowlers continued on from the previous night’s strong performance, reducing them to 217/9 before Australia declared. 

Tim Southee was the pick of the bowlers finishing with 5-69 – his best performance against Australia and a ninth five-wicket haul in Test cricket.

There was a massive task ahead of the BLACKCAPS batsmen, a chase of 468 runs for victory against a strong Australian attack on a pitch that was cracking up and producing some variable bounce.

The visitors lost Jeet Raval and Kane Williamson before tea - off-spinner Nathan Lyon accounting for the NZ skipper and proving a handful on the deteriorating deck.

Although all of the middle order got starts, none were able to occupy the crease for an extended period of time.

BJ Watling (40) and Colin de Grandhomme (33) put together a 50-run partnership which threatened to push the game into day five.

However, the Australian quicks came back with one last burst under lights to wrap up the Test with a day to spare.

The teams will now head to Melbourne for the second Test on Boxing Day, the first time New Zealand have played in the showpiece fixture since 1987.

AS IT HAPPENED...

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