NZ takes 94-run lead as wickets tumble in day-night test

ADELAIDE: Another 13 wickets tumbled as the bowlers dominated again with the pink ball Saturday in the first day-night cricket test, when a teetering New Zealand took a 94-run lead and the Decision Review System came under the spotlight.


Australia resumed at 54-2 on day two in reply to New Zealand’s 202, and had slumped to 118-8 when Nathan Lyon got the benefit of a contentious call from the TV umpire before he’d scored and then went on to add 34 runs that helped Australia reach 224 all out a 22-run first-innings lead.

The New Zealand openers survived unscathed for seven overs before the dinner interval to get the score back on level terms, but when the pink ball started swinging under the lights again at Adelaide Oval wickets began to fall, and New Zealand staggered to stumps at 116-5.

With pace spearhead Mitchell Starc unable to bowl, Josh Hazlewood took charge of the attack and snared three wickets as well as having two catches put down at second slip by Steve Smith to return 3-32.

Hazlewood had Martin Guptill (17) caught at gully and Tom Latham (10) caught behind as New Zealand slipped to 32-2.

Smith dropped Ross Taylor on zero, but Hazlewood returned to trap the former New Zealand captain lbw for 32 as the tourists slid to 98-5 after Mitchell Marsh had Kane Williamson (9) caught behind and got an lbw decision against Brendon McCullum (20).

Mitchell Santer was not out 13 and Watling, who was dropped by Smith, was unbeaten on seven.

More than 47,000 people attended day one, and 42,372 more filed into the stadium Saturday ensuring a decent total even if the historic day-night test doesn’t last more than one more day.

The momentum shifting episode came when the Australians lost 6-62 in the first session and could have slumped to 118-9 shortly after tea when Lyon attempted a sweep shot against left-arm spinner Santner, was hit on the shoulder and the rebound was caught at slip.

Lyon was given not out, but New Zealand referred the decision to the TV umpire, believing Lyon had edged the ball as he swung, and the hot spot technology used in the DRS appeared to highlight a mark on the top of his bat.

But English official Nigel Llong decided, on the basis that the snicko technology didn’t reflect any edge, that the evidence was inconclusive.

Lyon, who had started walking back to the pavilion after seeing a replay of his sweep on the stadium screen, went back to the crease, went on the attack and Australia added another 106 runs.

Lyon’s 74-run partnership with Peter Nevill (66) equaled the record for a ninth-wicket stand in a trans-Tasman test match, adding insult to injury for the New Zealanders.

Nevill then continued with Starc, who batted despite picking up a stress fracture in his right foot on Friday, in a 34-run last-wicket stand.

Starc, unable to run, had an lbw decision against him overturned by the TV umpire before he’d scored and then stood on his crease and clobbered an unbeaten 24 from 15 balls, smashing Mark Craig for two boundaries and two sixes over long-on in one over that cost New Zealand 20 runs. Nevill was last man out when he was caught in the deep off Doug Bracewell (3-18).

The first session was dominated by New Zealand, with three wickets falling in the last 15 minutes, triggered by Craig’s double-wicket maiden when he had Smith (53) and Peter Siddle out within five balls.

Smith had held the innings together as Adam Voges (13), Shaun Marsh (2) and Mitchell Marsh (4) were dismissed and had just reached his half century from 108 balls when he stepped down the wicket to Craig, got an inside edge and wicketkeeper B.J. Watling took a reflex catch.

Siddle (0) and Hazlewood (4) went cheaply before Lyon went to the crease.

The Adelaide Oval has turned the traditional form guide upside down for Australian test venues, continuing a trend in the series. Bat dominated ball at the usually pace-friendly grounds in Brisbane and Perth, but the bowlers have dictated for three of the first five sessions at Adelaide.