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Starc, Johnson put Australia in command

New Zealand ends second day on 157 for 5, trailing by 399 runs after home side racks up 556 for 4 declared

Starc, Johnson put Australia in command - Cricket News
Australia players celebrate a wicket.

Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc picked up two wickets each as Australia reduced New Zealand to 157 for 5 at stumps on the second day of the first Test match at the Gabba in Brisbane on Friday (November 6). The home team had earlier declared its first innings on 556 for 4.

New Zealand lost four wickets for 16 runs at one stage, but steadied somewhat thereafter. At the end of the day, the visiting side was still trailing by 399 runs, with Kane Williamson and BJ Watling unbeaten on 55 and 14 respectively.

Joe Burns dropped Martin Guptill on 12, before David Warner snapped up a low catch at third slip off Josh  Hazlewood to send him back for 23.  New Zealand then lost four wickets in 25 balls when Starc had Tom Latham caught by Nathan Lyon at point for 47, after which Ross Taylor went for a duck.  Johnson angled one across Taylor’s body and Steven Smith, the Australian captain, took a regulation catch at second slip.

Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand skipper, lasted just six balls before he fell to Johnson, getting an edge to Adam Voges at first slip for six. Starc then bowled James Neesham for three, as New Zealand went from 102 for 1 to 118 for 5.

Johnson finished the day with figures of 2 for 52 in 12 overs, while Starc had returns of 2 for 30 in 10 overs.

Earlier, Smith declared Australia’s innings after Usman Khawaja was dismissed for a 239-ball 174 an hour before tea. Khawaja was caught by Guptill trying to reverse sweep Williamson. Adam Voges helped himself to an unbeaten 83.

New Zealand spent a total of 565 minutes and 130.2 overs at the ground, and was without the services of an injured Tim Southee for most of the second day. Southee pulled up with a back disc injury after delivering the last ball of his 24th over in the morning session, and it remains to be seen if he will take further part in his bowling duties – should he be required – in the game.

Smith was the first wicket to fall early in the day, when Trent Boult bowled him for 48.

To see the full scorecard of this game, please click here.

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