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Burns, Smith tons put Australia in charge

Duo fall late on second day; visiting side trails New Zealand by seven runs on day two in Christchurch

Burns, Smith tons put Australia in charge - Cricket News
Joe Burn and Steven Smith both scored centuries on day two of the second Test.

Centuries from Joe Burns and Steven Smith put Australia in charge of the second Test against New Zealand on Sunday (February 21).

Burns hit his third Test century and went on to score a career-best 321-ball 170. He put on 289 runs for the third wicket with Smith, who scored a 241-ball 138, to help Australia end the second day at 363 for 4 in reply to New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum-propelled 370.

New Zealand took the honours on the first day after McCullum hammered a 79-ball 145 – the fastest ever Test century – on a seaming wicket. However, the pitch flattened out and Burns and Smith ensured the momentum swung Australia's way the next day at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Both were dismissed late in the day though, and it was Adam Voges (2) and Nathan Lyon (4), the nightwatchman, who were at the crease at stumps.

The New Zealand pacemen had the better of the exchanges at the start of the day. Usman Khawaja was the first wicket of the day, after Australia resumed at 57 for 1, edging Trent Boult to slips. It was his second wicket of the match, following his dismissal of David Warner on the first day.

Khawaja’s dismissal brought Smith and Burns together and after a cautious first hour, they upped the tempo as the life was drained from the New Zealand attack. 

Smith was on song for the most part of his innings. The only moment of concern came when a Wagner bouncer struck him badly, and he was on the ground for a few moments. The New Zealand players rushed to his aid, but Smith staggered to his feet and resumed his innings after medical attention.

McCullum tried every trick in his book, everything from short-pitched bowling to the leg theory. Even Kane Williamson’s part-time spin was tried out, but the breakthrough eluded New Zealand till late in the day when Wagner had Burns pulling one to Martin Guptill at square leg, with just 28 balls left in the day.

Five balls later, Smith fell in almost identical fashion, Guptill holding on to another one to give Wagner his second wicket.

The wickets meant Wager ended with 2 for 63, while Boult returned 2 for 85.

Click here to view the full scorecard.

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