NZ v Aus 2nd Test Day 4 Review: Jackson Bird rips through New Zealand
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Day 4 of the 2nd Test between New Zealand and Australia belonged to Australian pacer Jackson Bird. Bird, who had been drafted into the side amid a plethora of injuries finally repaid the faith shown in him by the selectors with a 5-wicket haul. He was well supported at the other end from the impressive James Pattinson. The Kiwis, for their part, did well to dig themselves out of trouble to set a decent target for the visitors.
Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson walked out to the middle at Christchurch with the home side in trouble at 121/4. The duo began the morning session on a strong note as they added 102 runs for the 4th wicket partnership. Having scored an uncharacteristic 40 off 148 balls, Corey Anderson chopped on an out-swinger from Jackson Bird. The latter struck in his very next over as yet another wonderful in-swinger saw Kane Williamson’s defenses breached. Bird struck for the third time two balls later as he removed Tim Southee. With wickets falling in a hurry, it seemed as though the fifth day of the Test would not be required at all.
However, despite Bird’s excellent momentum, BJ Watling and Matt Henry had other ideas. After a slow and tentative start, the pair began to take the attack to the opposition. Henry, in particular, was severe on the Aussie attack as he dispatched them with aggression and clear intent. Watling played a supporting role as he scored 46. Jackson Bird once again broke the partnership as he sent back Watling. Bird made history as he claimed his 5th wicket of the day when he removed Henry. The latter was dismissed for a well-made 66 before being castled by the impressive Jackson Bird. He finished with figures of 5/59.
Set the frugal target of 201, David Warner and Joe Burns began the Australian innings in an aggressive fashion. When it seemed as though the opening stand was unbreakable, Neil Wagner stepped in. His first delivery of the innings proved to be lethal as he dismissed the dangerous Warner. Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja survived the Wagner onslaught to remain unbeaten at the end of the day. Aussies require another 131 runs to win with 9 wickets in hand.
New Zealand 1st innings 370 all out
Australia 1st innings 505 all out
New Zealand 2nd innings (121/4 overnight) 335 all out (Williamson 97; Bird 5/59)
Australia 2nd innings 70/1 (Burns 27*; Wagner 1/13)