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Twitter Reactions: Mitchell Starc floors New Zealand after Australia post 416

New Zealand ended the day on 109/5 and would want Ross Taylor and Watling to pull them out of trouble.

Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Australia’s dominance in the ongoing home season continues. New Zealand bowled well on the first day to keep a check on the run-scoring. But Lockie Ferguson‘s injury hurt them the most. The debutant ruled out of the Test after he walked off on the opening day of the game. The second day, however, belonged to Mitchell Starc who literally spit venom with his pace bowling and didn’t let the batsmen settle.

New Zealand needed to show some grit with the bat in the final session after conceding 416 runs in the first innings. But both their openers, Tom Latham and Jeet Raval, couldn’t handle the new ball. While the former offered a simple caught & bowled chance to Starc, Raval was castled with a brilliant delivery by Josh Hazlewood only to be ruled out of the Test in the next over.

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However, it didn’t affect Australia’s morale one bit. Rather, the first half an hour of New Zealand‘s innings were absolutely action-packed with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor going nowhere with their calling. There was panic in the Kiwi camp which was clearly visible. But the experienced duo stabilised the innings with some patient cricket.

Taylor was enterprising in his shot selection and counterattacked superbly. Williamson also looked settled after early hiccups even as Australia missed a chance to dismiss him. The New Zealand skipper had edged one behind to Tim Paine but literally none of the close-in fielders sensed it. But he wafted at one too wide late in the day off Mitchell Starc and Steve Smith took a blinder in the slips to send Williamson back for 34 runs.

This triggered a collapse as Henry Nicholls and the nightwatchman Neil Wagner got out cheaply to leave the team reeling five down with less than 100 runs on the board. New Zealand finished the day on 109/5 after 32 overs with Taylor (66*) and Watling playing out the rest of the day. The visitors have a huge task on their hand on the third day and hope that the unbeaten duo revives their innings.

Australia score quick runs

Earlier in the day, Travis Head and Marnus Labuchagne started the day on a positive note. The former got to his half-century after quite some time. But Labuschagne got out to Wagner after playing a brilliant knock of 143 runs. Head too threw his wicket away on 56 and then the innings was controlled well by the Aussie skipper Tim Paine. He stayed put at one end while the rest of the batsmen had some fun scoring runs.

Paine was the last batsman to get out on 39 while Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc added valuable 20 and 30 runs respectively to take Australia’s score past 400. The home side was bowled out for 416 runs with Tim Southee and Wagner picking four wickets. Australia will hope to bowl out the Kiwis early and impose the follow-on on them.

Here’s how Twitter reacted:

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