New Zealand v Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3: Australian batsmen give visitors edge in McCullum's last Test
At the start of Day 3 of the second Test between New Zealand and Australia, the visitors trailed the home side by 7 runs with in-form batsman Adam Voges along with night-watchman Nathan Lyon at the crease. The Kiwis were looking to bowl out the Aussies at the earliest and keep the lead that the visitors would procure to a minimum.
However, Voges and Lyon put in an 81-run partnership and, in turn, helped Australia take a healthy lead in the firs innings. Voges scored his fifth Test fifty while Lyon contributed with a useful knock of 33.
Once Voges and Lyon got out, the Kiwi bowlers picked up the rest of the Australian wickets quickly and wrapped the visitors for a total of 505, with a lead of 135 runs.
Neil Wagner, New Zealand's bowling machine, was the pick of the bowlers as he finished with his best bowling figures in Tests, picking up 6/106. Trent Boult picked up two wickets, while Corey Anderson and Kane Williamson picked up a wicket each.
New Zealand skipper, Brendon McCullum, brought himself on to bowl a few overs, but could not add to Test wicket tally of one wicket.
Martin Guptill's terrible run against Australia continued as he got out for a 12-ball duck. Guptill averages 16.98 in 9 Tests against Australia.
Tom Latham and Williamson then steadied the ship for a bit with their 58-run partnership before Latham became James Pattinson's first victim of the day. Henry Nicholls, who had a great debut in the first Test, could not match the similar form he found and was dismissed for just 2 runs soon after.
Nicholls’ dismissal brought the Kiwi skipper, Brendon McCullum, to the crease for one last time in his international career. He started the second innings in a contrasting manner to how he did in the first innings, he was still on nought after facing seven balls, an unheard stat for the attacking batsman.
However, he got going soon and hit three boundaries and one six before he was caught brilliantly by David Warner at short mid-wicket off the bowling off Josh Hazlewood.
Although the Aussies, especially Hazlewood, rejoiced over the big wicket of the Kiwi skipper, the crowd immediately stood up to send off their special and talented captain – for the last time. Walking back to the dugout, McCullum just turned back and acknowledged the crowd – for the last time.
It was an emotional moment for all the fans who had come to witness the last innings of McCullum. After 473 innings and 14651 runs later, McCullum bid adieu to the game that he played like no one else did.
Williamson and Anderson were at the crease as the day's play closed, with New Zealand trailing Australia by 14 runs with only 6 wickets in hand. If the Kiwis have to send their captain off with a win, the two batsmen have to build a partnership and give the home side a good lead and, in turn, give their bowlers something to bowl at with two days to go.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 370 & 121/4, 44 overs (Williamson 45*, Latham 39; Pattinson 3/29) trail Australia 505, 153.1 overs (Burns 170, Smith 138, Voges 60; Wagner 6/106, Boult 2/108) by 14 runs.