Latest Match Report – New Zealand vs Australia First Test 2023/24

New Zealand 179 and 111 for 3 (Ravindra 56*, Mitchell 12*) need 258 runs to win Australia 383 and 164 (Lyon 41, Phillips 5-45, Henry 3-36)

Nathan Lyon outfoxed Kane Williamson and threatened a sharp turn on the Basin Reserves surface as Australia were in the box seat for a first Test win on day three despite New Zealand's stirring fightback.

Chasing 369, New Zealand reached stumps at 111 for 3 with Rachin Ravindran and Daryl Mitchell in a challenging half-century partnership. They faced Lyon 2 for 27 in 16 overs.

Ravindrara mixed defense with performances like hitting Travis Head's bowling late in the day for a six. He reached his fifty off 77 balls, hitting a short ball from Mitchell Starc for a leg-side boundary.

Ravindra endured several anxious moments, including Lyon's lbw appeal which failed Australia but gave New Zealand hope of a remarkable victory. In tough conditions, Mitchell channeled his innate aggression to finish with an unbeaten 12 off 63 balls.

New Zealand will have to rewrite the record books if they are to take the lead in the series, the highest run chase by Pakistan being 277 for 3 at Basin Reserve in 2003.

New Zealand's comeback began when Australia were reduced to 6 for 37, with Glenn Phillips becoming the first New Zealand spinner to take a five-wicket haul at home. Since Jeethan Patel in 2008. He finished with 5 for 45 from 16 overs, which saw Australia bowl out for 164, the sixth lowest score against New Zealand in Test cricket.

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But New Zealand's chase got off to a poor start, with opener Tom Latham gifting Lyon a wicket when he nicked a delivery short and wide on Dee's stroke. Lyon, who came into the attack in the sixth over, dismissed a big catch behind Williamson's first-ball appeal and Australia lost.

Williamson, who smashed three centuries in four innings against South Africa, was determined to make amends after his horrific run-out in New Zealand's first innings for a duck.

Williamson made a statement by riding two rare short balls from Lyon as he turned around the wicket and armed himself at leg slip. Williamson was caught at leg slip as he was unable to move up the middle pitch and straight Lyon delivered into the safe hands of Steven Smith.

After a rare double defeat, Williamson was annoyed with himself as his modest career mark against Australia dropped to 37.26 compared to 55.25 overall.

With spin on spin, skipper Pat Cummins turned to head and proved an encouraging result with his third-ball account of opener Will Young, who played needlessly and finished off a stunning catch by Smith. This moved Smith past Mark Waugh's 181 Test catches to sixth on the all-time list.

Lyon's performance was promising despite Australia's mid-session collapse that strangled them.

As they look for a rare Test win against Australia, New Zealand have at times been scared out of their wits in the series opener. But Phillips top-scored with a disappointing 70-ball 71 in New Zealand's first innings of 179.

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Mitchell Santner, the leading spinner in the match, stood up with the ball after being overlooked. Having stumped Usman Khawaja in the first session, Phillips took the wickets of the head and in-form Mitchell Marsh in successive balls after lunch for New Zealand.

Head, who conceded just one run in his last three innings, scored 29 off 36 balls before being dismissed at long-off. Marsh was caught at short leg for a golden duck and Phillips equaled his best of four wickets in an innings.

Phillips soon made his fifth appearance after Cameron Greene, his first-innings best of 174 not out, 34 off 80 balls at short leg, with Young taking a very sharp catch.

Phillips was denied the sixth spot when Cummins was dropped twice, but Matt Henry took the last two wickets to end New Zealand's fightback – finishing with eight for the match.

Having never taken a five-wicket haul in first-class cricket, Phillips became the first New Zealand spinner to achieve the feat at the Basin Reserves since 2006 when Australian coaching staff member Daniel Vettori took seven for 130 against Sri Lanka. .

A New Zealand rally was unlikely when night watchman Lyon dominated the first 30 minutes of the game. Lyon's highest score of 47, the highest score in Test history without a half-century, was dismissed after his innings-high 41 off 46 balls.

Lyon's landmark bid came to an end after Henry hit the onrushing Young at midwicket, but he returned to action later in the day's play.

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Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

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