New Zealand facing heavy defeat after being set 467 runs

first_imgNew Zealand lost Raval and Kane Williamson (14) before lunch, and when play resumed after the break other opener Tom Latham (18) and Ross Taylor (22) fell to leave the visitors struggling on 57-4.Just when Nicholls and BJ Watling, 20 not out, appeared to settle, Lyon had Nicholls caught by Travis Head at silly point to end a 66-minute long resistance by the fifth-wicket pair.Watling was hit flush on his face mask by fast bowler Pat Cummins and required attention on the field before continuing.Starc followed up his 5-52 in the first innings with relentless pace and bounce to unsettle the New Zealand batsmen.When Lyon had skipper Williamson caught at short leg by Matthew Wade with his first ball it was a telling blow to any hopes New Zealand had of saving the test match.Australia’s Matthew Wade, left, is about to catch New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, right, during play in their cricket test in Perth, Australia, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Trevor Collens)Lyon, who dismissed Tim Southee to end the New Zealand first innings was on a hat-trick across two innings, but Taylor comfortably negotiated the delivery.Australia declared its second innings on 217-9. Resuming the day on 167-7, the home side lost the overnight batsmen Cummins (13) and Wade (17) in the space of six balls.Starc then smashed 23 runs off 21 balls with four boundaries before he was caught by Taylor at third man when Paine declared.Australia lasted 53 minutes on a surface that is beginning to play up and down with the cracks widening and putting doubt in the batsmen’s minds.Wade, the last recognised batsmen, took a painful blow on his hand when he fended a Neil Wagner delivery that bounced disconcertingly.Swing bowler Southee claimed Starc’s wicket to finish with 5-69 — his ninth five-wicket haul in his 70th test — and a match-haul of 9-162. Leftarm swing bowler Wagner took 3-59 for a match return of 7-151. Ireland’s Michael Conlan, left, and Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin fight during the eighth round of a WBO intercontinental featherweight boxing match, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Michael Owens)Perth, Australia (AP) — Offspinner Nathan Lyon spun Australia close to victory in the series-opening test as New Zealand slumped toward a heavy defeat on the fourth day under lights on Sunday.Set to make 467 runs for an unlikely victory on a pitch that is deteriorating rapidly as the temperature soared to 40 Celsius (107 F) for the fourth consecutive day, New Zealand was struggling on 98 –5 at tea when Henry Nicholls (21) fell to the last ball before the break as Lyon snared 3-33.Leftarm fast bowler Mitchell Starc claimed 2-32 in the New Zealand second innings, claiming opener Jeet Raval caught at gully by Lyon for one.A win here will give Australia a perfect record under lights after it had won its previous six day-night fixtures on home soil, and also its third straight test win following the 2-0 drubbing of Pakistan in the opening series of the summer.last_img

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