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Smith, Voges wrest initiative after Taylor 290

Unbeaten centuries by third-wicket pair take Australia to 258 for 2, an overall lead of 193, at close on day four

Smith, Voges wrest initiative after Taylor 290 - Cricket News

Ross Taylor fell ten runs short of becoming the second New Zealand batsman to score a Test match triple-century on Monday (November 16), the fourth day of the second Test against Australia at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground in Perth. 

Taylor was the last man dismissed for 290 as New Zealand was bowled out for 624, taking a lead of 65 runs, after Australia had declared its innings on 559 for 9. It was its highest total against Australia and the highest combined first-innings total for a Test at the ground.

Australia replied with a strong performance in its second innings, riding on unbeaten centuries from Steven Smith, the captain, and Adam Voges. At stumps, Australia was 258 for 2, leading by 193 runs. While Smith, who struck his fifth century of the calendar year, was unbeaten on 131, Voges was not out on 101 in his maiden Test on his home ground, reaching the landmark in the penultimate over of the day. 

Smith had luck on his side though, as BJ Watling, the wicketkeeper, spilled a tough chance off the bowling of Matt Henry. Watling got his left hand to the ball but could not hold on. Smith was on 96 then. Smith raised his century with a boundary through covers. It was his first century in the second innings, and his fourth in five Tests as captain. 

The day began with New Zealand 510 for 6, trailing Australia by 49 runs. Taylor, unbeaten on 235 overnight, added 55 more to his tally to end on his career-best score and the highest by a visiting batsman on Australian soil. Taylor went past England's Reg Foster, who scored 287 at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1903. 

New Zealand was bowled out just before lunch. Taylor was the last man to fall when he holed out to Jonathan Wells, the substitute fielder, at deep square leg off a slog sweep against Nathan Lyon. Taylor had put on 37 runs for the final wicket with Trent Boult, who had dominated the stand and remained unbeaten on 23. 

It was a monumental innings for Taylor, who crossed 5,000 Test runs during his marathon effort, while cracking his maiden ton since November 2014. 

Taylor also became the first New Zealand batsman to score more than 200 in an innings against Australia. 

Taylor, who put on 265 for the third wicket with Williamson, faced 374 balls and hit 43 boundaries in 567 minutes at the crease. His knock was the third-best effort in an innings by a New Zealand batsman after Brendon McCullum's 302 against India in 2014 and Martin Crowe's 299 against Sri Lanka in 1991. 

It was Tim Southee who gave New Zealand the lead when he worked a Mitchell Starc delivery off his pads for a boundary. As a result, New Zealand became the first visiting side to reach 600 in Australia since 2011.

Starc was the best bowler for Australia, finishing with 4 for 119. 

New Zealand struck early as Joe Burns (0) and David Warner (24), the  Australia openers, fell early, leaving the home side 46 for 2. Usman Khawaja, who injured his hamstring, did not take his place at No. 3. New Zealand was still 19 runs ahead at that stage, but Smith and Voges then added 212 runs for the third wicket. 

Australia leads the three-Test series 1-0 after winning by 208 runs at the Gabba.

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

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