Green’s 174* helps Australia secure big lead as New Zealand collapse for 179


Lunch Australia 383 (Green 174*, Henry 5-70) vs New Zealand

Cameron Green continued to torment New Zealand and found superb support from Josh Hazlewood in a record last-wicket partnership as Australia moved into a strong position on day two at Basin Reserve.

Australia’s first innings finally ended when Hazlewood was dismissed just before lunch to end the 116-run partnership. It overtook Australia’s previous highest last-wicket stand against New Zealand of 114 when Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie famously combined at the Gabba in 2004.

After stamping himself as Australia’s No. 4 with a brilliant century on the opening day of the series, Green toyed with New Zealand’s flustered attack through a combination of power and placement. He finished unbeaten on 174 from 275 deliveries, including 23 boundaries and five sixes.

He and Hazlewood, who made 22 off 62 balls, almost batted through a prolonged session to continue Australia’s stirring comeback after being in trouble at 89 for 4 earlier in the innings.

Their partnership was considerably the highest of the innings. The last time that a 10th-wicket stand topped an Australia innings was in 2015 against West Indies when Adam Voges and Hazlewood added 97 runs in Rosseau.

The surface amid sunny conditions appeared to be flattening out, as is often the case at Basin Reserve, although New Zealand went through the motions after being put to the sword by Green.

It was a bitter disappointment for New Zealand, who at one point seemed likely to bowl Australia out for under 200. Their quicks were ragged at times with New Zealand conceding 41 extras. Matt Henry claimed a deserved five-wicket haul after being the standout bowler throughout the innings.

Resuming at 279 for 9, Australia eyed a score of 300 but Green had other ideas as he continued on from his day one heroics. Green played smartly and didn’t go for broke immediately with the field spread and only one slip in place.

After being struck on the body by Tim Southee, Green heaved through midwicket for his first boundary of the day but runs were hard to find on a surface where the occasional delivery reared. Green tried to hog the strike like when he sent back Hazlewood even though they had crossed and almost completed a single in a comical moment that forced the umpires to consult each other.

When he did face up, Hazlewood defended well and also unfurled several attractive strokes in his highest Test score in five years, having gone 27 innings without making more than 11.

Green only scored seven runs in the first 30 minutes until he swung a short Henry delivery over deep square leg and into the crowd to bring up Australia’s 300.

He then raced past his highest Test score of 114 with another six as he put the foot down. Green muscled New Zealand’s frustrated attack around with power-hitting and brought up his 150 after hammering a short delivery from Will O’Rourke for six on the leg-side.

With New Zealand’s all-out pace attack blunted, Southee turned to the spin of Rachin Ravindra but it didn’t do the trick. Scott Kuggeleijn, recalled for the match and preferred over spinner Mitchell Santner, entered the attack before lunch and tried to ignite his team with hostile bowling.

But he strained too hard with one particularly short delivery flying over wicketkeeper Tom Blundell and to the boundary to register Australia’s 350.

Play was extended by 30 minutes, with Australia being nine wickets down, and Henry finally got the breakthrough when he had Hazlewood chipping to mid-off.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth

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