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Williamson stoic, McCullum attacks as NZ reach 74-3 at lunch

New Zealand's Kane Williamson avoids a delivery from Australia's Mitchell Johnson during the third day of the second cricket test match at the WACA ground in Perth, Western Australia, November 15, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray
New Zealand's Kane Williamson avoids a delivery from Australia's Mitchell Johnson during the third day of the second cricket test match at the WACA ground in Perth, Western Australia, November 15, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray

By Greg Stutchbury

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) - Kane Williamson gave a 96-minute masterclass in stoicism while his team mates fell around him as New Zealand were 74 for three at lunch on the first day of the second test at Hagley Oval on Saturday.

Williamson, who was hit on the body several times, faced 64 balls for seven runs for the hosts, who had been asked to bat on the green pitch after Australia's Steve Smith won the toss.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was on 37 from 18 balls at the break, having decided in his final test match to counter-attack after Australia had produced a superb two hours of pace bowling to restrict the hosts' scoring opportunities.

McCullum, who hit a four on his second delivery, took to Mitchell Marsh, hitting his world record 101st test six from the all-rounder's first delivery.

He also hit two fours and another six to take 21 runs from the over. New Zealand had been 37 for three before the Marsh over, the 23rd of the innings.

Martin Guptill (18), Tom Latham (four) and Henry Nicholls (seven) all fell before the break with James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood and Jackson Bird grabbing a wicket each.

New Zealand had begun brightly with Guptill taking 11 runs from Pattinson's first over but the tall Victorian's second over set the tone for the first session.

Guptill got an inside edge onto his pads from the first ball but Joe Burns dropped the ball at forward short leg, he then nicked through slips on the next delivery, was cut in half by the third and then ballooned a potential catch wide of mid-on on the fourth.

Pattinson, however, enticed another edge into his pads and this time Burns did not repeat his error in his next over.

Latham, who had batted for more than an hour for his four runs, fell chasing a full delivery from Bird and was well caught by a diving Smith at second slip, while Nicholls was trapped in front by Hazlewood.

Australia hold a 1-0 lead in the two-match series after an innings and 52 run victory in the first game in Wellington.

(Editing by Ian Ransom)

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