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Burns, Warner tons leave Australia sitting pretty

Williamson's 140 shores New Zealand, but home side ends third day on 264 for 4, leading by 503 runs

Burns, Warner tons leave Australia sitting pretty - Cricket News
David Warner kisses the helmet after scoring a century

Joe Burns's maiden Test century and David Warner's second ton of the game helped Australia take a massive lead on the third day of the first Test against New Zealand in Brisbane on Saturday (November 7).

At stumps, Australia was 264 for 4 with an overall lead of 503 runs. Usman Khawaja (9 not out) and Adam Voges (1 not out) were at the middle. Earlier in the day, Mitchell Starc ended with four wickets as New Zealand was shot for 317 despite Kane Williamson's battling 140.

The visiting side was without Tim Southee in Australia's second innings due to a back injury. Australia's openers made the under-strength New Zealand attack toil and added a mammoth 237 runs for the opening wicket. The duo had put on 161 in the first innings, making it the first time any opening pair had compiled 150-run plus stands in each innings of a Test match.

Burns, in only his third Test and first as an opener, even outshone Warner as he raced towards his century. The landmark was achieved in style when he smashed Mark Craig for two sixes over long-off to go from 88 to 100 in three balls.

At the other end, Warner made a typically aggressive 113-ball 116 before he  fell trying to switch-hit Craig in the 38th over. It was just the third time a batsman had scored a Test century in both innings on three separate occasions, along with Ricky Ponting and Sunil Gavaskar.

Two overs later, Burns followed his opening partner back to the dressing room, dismissed for 129 off 123 balls with 14 fours and four sixes.

Australia lost two more wickets -- Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh -- in quick succession, but the lead had already soared past 500. 

Before Warner and Burns's heroics, Williamson held New Zealand's innings together with a sparkling century. The visiting side resumed the day on 157 for 5, and Williamson stitched small partnerships with the lower order to keep New Zealand's hopes alive.

He added 67 for the sixth wicket with Watling and followed it up with a 46-run stand with Craig. 

Doug Bracewell, who was dropped by Voges on 4, fell on the fourth ball after lunch when he was bowled by Marsh for 16. Southee, nursing an injury, was soon bowled by Starc for 14.

Williamson, however battled on and went past his century. His defiant knock ended when he edged Starc behind. Starc finished with 4 for 57 while Johnson ended with 3 for 105.

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