Twitter Reactions: New Zealand fight but Australia extend their lead past 400

Australia ended the day on 167/6 after New Zealand were bundled out for 166.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Australia are firmly on top in the ongoing first Test between Australia and New Zealand in Perth. The visitors were bundled out for 166 runs in the first innings in the first session of the day conceding a mammoth 250-run lead. But the Kiwis fought back gamely late in the day triggering a collapse. However, the hosts are still the favourites in the match with the lead going past the 400-run mark.

The day began with New Zealand struggling at 109/5 and their overnight batsmen Ross Taylor and BJ Watling had to bat out of their skins. But that wasn’t the case. The latter was castled by Pat Cummins in the first half-hour of the day. Even then Taylor kept fighting but couldn’t go past 80 and soon the Kiwi innings folded. Starc ended with a stunning five-wicket haul (5/52) and was well supported by the other bowlers.

New Zealand stage a fightback late in the day

New Zealand, however, didn’t lose heart despite conceding a huge lead. Their bowlers hit the right areas yet again to keep a lid on the run-scoring. The ploy worked for the tourists as Tim Southee got the better of David Warner for 19 runs. Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns then blunted the Kiwi bowling attack with some patience.

Both of them notched up their respective half-centuries adding 87 runs for the second wicket and at that point, it seemed as if Australia will score quickly and declare to have a go at New Zealand batsmen under the lights. But the last 15 overs belonged to Southee and Wagner who employed a short-ball ploy to get the opposition batsmen out.

The tactic worked wonders as Labuschagne pulled one straight into the hands of Mitchell Santner while Burns got a snorter from Southee. Steve Smith hung around for a bit only to fall into the trap. He scored 16 runs and he lean run extended in the home season. The battle between Matthew Wade and Wagner was worth though as the former didn’t give up and let the ball hit his body a number of times.

He was uncomfortable at times but Wade made sure that he didn’t leave his team reeling. But at the other end, there was a procession. Travis Head’s vulnerability down the leg-side was exposed again while the Aussie skipper Tim Paine got a peach from Southee as he failed to open his account. Australia collapsed from being 131/1 to 160/6 in just 11 overs.

However, Wade and Cummins went through the rest of the day unscathed though not comfortably. Australia ended the day on 167/6 after 57 overs and the overall lead now reads 417 which might be already enough for the home side to win the match. Having said that, one has to laud the Kiwis for the way they’ve fought in this game so far. But their batsmen have let them down.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: