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Twitter Reactions: Tom Blundell shines as New Zealand go down fighting in Melbourne

Blundell became the first Kiwi batter with a Test century at the MCG.

Australian team
Australian team. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

By the end of the third day, Pat Cummins already set the cat amongst the pigeons in the New Zealand camp. But even with their backs pushed to the walls, Kane Williamson and Co showed great fight in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. Tom Blundell notched his maiden Test ton and despite the efforts, Australia won by 247 runs. The Aussies also took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Australia set daunting target for New Zealand

Having stockpiled a lead of 456 runs, Matthew Wade (30*) and Travis Head (28) came out and played their strokes freely. The duo played out 9.2 overs on the day before Tim Paine called them back with Australia declaring at 168/5. Neil Wagner rattled Head’s woodwork and it ended a 58-run stand before the declaration came. It meant that the Black Caps were set a mammoth target of 488.

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Tom Blundell and Tom Latham were steady to begin with. But James Pattinson had other ideas. The speedster removed Latham, Williamson and the reliable Ross Taylor in a space of 20 deliveries. At Lunch, the Kiwis were tottering at 38 for three in 13 overs. Henry Nicholls came out with intent, scoring a 52-ball 33. His 54-run stand with Blundell added some momentum into the innings.

Blundell shines amidst Aussie domination

Nathan Lyon got Nicholls stumped to separate the duo. Meanwhile, Blundell got to a gutsy half-century off 106 balls. BJ Watling held his ground until the end of the second session. Lyon picked up Watling and sent half the New Zealand batting back to the hut. The tweaker piled more misery for the Kiwis, getting Colin de Grandhomme. At the other end, Blundell kept losing out on partners.

Mitchell Santner showed some resilience, putting on 40 with Blundell for the seventh wicket. Meanwhile, Blundell became the first Kiwi batter with a Test ton at the MCG and he got the milestone in 185 balls. Lyon got rid of Santner for 27 after which Southee perished to a run-out. Blundell tried his heart out, scoring 121 off 210. But his dismissal brought the curtains down on the game.

Here is how Twitter reacted to Blundell’s knock and Australia’s victory: –

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