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Bowlers give Australia upper hand on first day

Smith and Khawaja build on good work by Hazlewood and Siddle, as visiting side ends first day on 147 for 3, trailing by 36 runs

Bowlers give Australia upper hand on first day - Cricket News
Usman Khawaja and Adam Voges walk back after the end of Day 1.
Australia's bowlers, led by Josh Hazlewood, provided crucial breakthroughs to put the visiting side on top on the first day of the first Test against New Zealand on Friday (February 12).

Steven Smith, the Australia captain, reaped the rewards for winning the toss and inserting New Zealand as Australia bundled the home team out for 183 in 48 overs. Hazlewood made the most of the green surface at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, returning figures of 4 for 42. He was ably supported by Peter Siddle, who picked up 3 for 37 and Nathan Lyon, who returned 3 for 32.

Australia’s reply began on an unsteady note, as Tim Southee dismissed Joe Burns and David Warner, the openers, early. But half-centuries from Usman Khawaja (57 not out) and Smith (71) ensured Australia ended the day in a comfortable position, having made 147 for 3 when stumps were drawn, trailing by just 36 runs. Adam Voges was unbeaten on 7, giving Khawaja company.

Hazlewood and Siddle ran through the New Zealand order in conditions conducive to pace bowling, with the ball seaming and swinging. The batsmen, in part, contributed to their downfall with less-than-optimal shot selection.

Brendon McCullum, the captain, who walked out to a rousing ovation in his 100th Test, was dismissed for a seven-ball duck when he inside-edged an in-coming delivery from Hazlewood to his pads before the ball went to third slip where Warner held on to the catch.

With the Australia bowlers finding the edge often, Peter Nevill, the wicketkeeper, had a productive day, taking four catches to account for Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls and BJ Watling, the wicketkeeper.

At one point, New Zealand had been reduced to 97 for 7. That it got to 183 was courtesy Corey Anderson and Mark Craig, who put on 40 runs for the eighth wicket, and Trent Boult, who contributed 24 from No.11.

Anderson was dismissed for 38 when he tried hitting Lyon against the turn and was caught at mid-off. Craig then shared a last-wicket stand worth 46 with Trent Boult. Craig was unbeaten on 41.

Southee's double strike reduced Australia to 5 for 2, with both openers  caught behind. But Smith and Khawaja steadied the ship through a third-wicket stand of 126. Smith, who was offered a reprieve by Craig at second slip when he was on 18, made it count before Craig made up for his earlier mistake by having him caught off his own bowling.

Southee had figures of 2 for 22 off eight overs, while Craig had 1 for 31 after nine overs.

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