ADELAIDE: The opening day of the first day-night cricket test was as lively as organizers could have wished for with the pink ball swinging under lights and the crowd swelling to 47,441 as Australia struggled to stumps at 54-2 after bowling New Zealand out for 202 on Friday.
Skipper Steve Smith (24) and Adam Voges (9) were unbeaten after David Warner (1) was dismissed in the fourth over, and Joe Burns (14) was out in the 14th of the 22 overs Australia had to navigate.
New Zealand started positively after Brendon McCullum won the toss in the historic match at the Adelaide Oval, reaching 80-2 in the first session and Tom Latham posting a half century after play started at 2 p.m. local time.
But Australia took five wickets in the second session and finished off New Zealand within nine overs after the first dinner interval in test cricket.
Starc returned 3-24 before leaving the field with an ankle injury and heading to a hospital for scans, leaving Australia team masseur Grant Baldwin to fill in as a substitute fielder.
It was the only setback in the middle session for the Australians, who took five wickets including three for four runs within 11 balls, all caught behind by Peter Nevill to remove Latham (50), Ross Taylor (21), McCullum (4), Mitch Santner, who scored 31 from 46 balls in his first test innings, and Mark Craig (11).
Hazlewood (3-66) took the first wicket with the pink ball in a test match when he trapped Martin Guptill lbw in the fourth over, and returned to take the first test wicket in a night session when he removed B.J. Watling (29) in the third over after the dinner interval.
Both wickets in the first session went to lbw decisions, with Hazlewood trapping Guptill (1) in front with the total at 7, and Starc hitting Kane Williamson (22) on the foot with an in-swinging yorker to end a 52-run second-wicket stand after Nathan Lyon (2-42) and Peter Siddle (2-54) dried up the run-rate in the second hour.
Latham raised his half century with a cut boundary against Lyon in the over before tea but didn’t add to his total after the interval, when a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of former Australia batsman Phillip Hughes’ death was held at 4:08 p.m.
Latham got a top-edge to an attempted cut off Lyon to end the 35-run, third-wicket stand with Taylor, who got an inside edge to Siddle and was also caught behind.
Santner and Watling steadied the innings after McCullum’s rash dismissal, adding 44 runs for the sixth wicket before Starc bowled Santner.
Siddle, recalled to the lineup to replace retired paceman Mitchell Johnson, collected his 200th career test wicket when he had Doug Bracewell (11) caught by Joe Burns in the last session.
The dismissals of the Australian openers exposed some vulnerability against serious swing but the unprecedented conditions didn’t help the hosts.
Warner didn’t settle before edging Trent Boult (1-15) to Tim Southee at third slip, and Burns appeared uncomfortable before dragging a Bracewell (1-6) delivery back onto his stumps.
The good news for Smith is that conditions should favor batting during the daylight hours on Saturday.
The experimental pink ball withstood the first two sessions and didn’t really produce any exceptional difference to the regulation red balls. The night session lived up to predictions that it would favor swing.
Australia leads the three-test series 1-0 after a 208-run win in Brisbane and a high-scoring draw in Perth.