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Australia extend first Test lead to 317 against New Zealand

Messenger Sports

Published: 09:30, 2 March 2024

Australia extend first Test lead to 317 against New Zealand

Photo : Collected

 Australia took a tighter hold of the opening Test against New Zealand on Saturday (2 March), with first-innings centurion Cameron Green unbeaten as they pushed their lead past 300.

The tourists were 113-4 in their second innings at lunch on day three, with Green on 17 and Travis Head 24, having extended their overall lead to 317 runs.

New Zealand made two breakthroughs, removing nightwatchman Nathan Lyon for a hard-hit 41 and opener Usman Khawaja for 28 after the pair had resumed with Australia on 13-2 overnight.

Lyon, who took four wickets with his off-spin in New Zealand's first innings of 179, scored 35 from his 32 balls faced in the morning session.

Lyon struck six fours, including three in succession off New Zealand captain Tim Southee, before being caught by a leaping Will Young at mid-wicket off Matt Henry's bowling.

Khawaja was more circumspect but lost composure when he advanced down the pitch to Glenn Phillips and was stumped.

Part-time offspinner Glenn Phillips extracted notable turn from the Basin Reserve pitch, while there was inconsistent bounce on offer for the seamers.

Green and Phillips are the only players to have passed 50 in Test, with the tall Australian allrounder having gone on to post a career-high unbeaten 174 in the first innings.

With rain forecast for later in the match, Australia may consider a declaration on day three, with the intention of trying to win the Test inside four days.