13/04/2024

Aussie bowlers and Marnus keep the visitors in command. (Image: Joshua Davis)

Australia can become the first team in seven years to hand the Kiwis a series loss in their backyard.

Aussie pacer Josh Hazlewood’s fifer on day one puts the first nail in the coffin to break New Zealand’s unbeaten home series record. 

It is not the first time that Australia will put a stop to a nation’s precious home series win streak. 

Previously, the Aussies ended the dominant era in the Caribbean by handing West Indies a series defeat 2-1 in 1995, putting a stop to a successful 15 home series win record since 1976.

Australia finished today’s play on a high, with some heavy speed breakers by New Zealand bowlers stopping the Aussies at 124-4 at stumps.

Marnus Labuschagne’s confident 45 (not out) makes the day much better for the Aussies.

AS IT HAPPENED 

The day started with Pat Cummins-led Australia putting the hosts under a batting microscope on a green-tinge wicket at the Hagley Oval.

New Zealand openers Will Young and Tom Latham showed remarkable resilience while facing the fierce Aussie pace attack in the first hour without losing a wicket at 47.

Mitchell Starc drew the first blood taking the wicket of Young, with a screamer by Mitchell Marsh at third slip.

Soon after, Hazlewood’s seven-over spell brought mayhem to the Kiwi batting line up. The team lost four wickets in quick succession, leaving the score at 84-5.

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Starc and Hazlewood hunted the Kiwi wickets in packs, leaving the side reeling at 107-8.

After running out of batters, Kiwi Captain Tim Southee stepped up with the bat in his 100th Test.

Southee showed some fireworks with his bowling buddy Matt Henry, adding 55 runs to the score.

Hazlewood hammered the final nail in the Kiwis first innings, taking his 12th fifer in Test cricket and cleaning up the batting lineup for a mere 162.

The Aussies’ batting line-up had bumpy starts, with New Zealand debutant Ben Sears taking his first Test wicket, removing Steve Smith with a plum.

Kiwi spearhead Matt Henry showed no mercy from the other end scalping big wickets of Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green and Travis Head.

Australia now trails by 38 runs as they look to make the second day a biggie. Labuschagne stranded at 45 overnight, with a chance to convert to a big innings tomorrow.

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