Australia has reached stumps at the end of the third day of the third Test at 0-40 in its second innings, with a lead of 243 runs after bowling out New Zealand for 251 at the SCG and not enforcing the follow-on.
- Australia leads New Zealand by 243 runs with 10 second innings wickets in hand
- Australia 0-40. David Warner 23*, Joe Burns 16*
- Nathan Lyon took 5-68, his first Test five-wicket haul at the SCG
David Warner (23*) and Joe Burns (16*) were unbeaten at the close as Australia looked to bat New Zealand out of the game on a pitch that was becoming increasingly difficult to score on.
Nathan Lyon (5-68) took his first five-wicket haul at the SCG in Test matches, despite injuring both thumbs when dropping debutant batsman Glenn Phillips (52) twice off his own bowling.
Pat Cummins (3-44) and Mitchell Starc (1-57) did the rest of the damage as New Zealand struggled on a rapidly deteriorating SCG pitch that offered plenty of seam movement with the new ball.
After New Zealand started the day on 63 without loss, Australia claimed its first wicket early in cooler, more bowler-friendly conditions in front of 32,071 fans on the day designated as “pink day” in memory of Jane McGrath.
It was Lyon who made the early breakthrough, bowling Tom Blundell (34) with what was, ironically, his worst ball of delicious spell of bowling.
Lyon dropped short after extracting prodigious turn and bounce his opening overs, but the Kiwi opener misjudged a hook shot and was bowled through his legs, failing to add to his overnight score.
Jeet Raval (31) — who had endured a torrid Test series after being dropped for scoring just two runs in Perth before spending a period of time off the field due to illness yesterday — came out and played some expansive, entertaining shots in an attempt to recapture some form, before being trapped in front by Lyon’s off spin.
Cummins claimed the prize wicket of skipper Tom Latham (49) the very next over before trapping Ross Taylor (22) in front to leave the Kiwis reeling at 4-145.
The Australians were sloppy at times, offering debutant Phillips three lives after he was dropped twice by Lyon before being caught by Travis Head off the bowling of James Pattinson (0-58) in the deep when on 28, only to be called back after it was shown that the Victorian bowler overstepped for a no ball.
However, wickets continued to fall around him with Starc bowling BJ Watling (9) off his inside edge.
Colin de Grandhomme (20) played another incongruously gung-ho innings before he was run out by Matthew Wade attempting a suicidal second run.
Lyon’s five wicket haul
Despite being a notoriously spin-friendly deck, the SCG has not been a happy hunting ground for Lyon in Test cricket.
The off-spinner has 16 five-wicket hauls in Test cricket, but had only managed best innings figures of 4-178 in Sydney, which came against India last year.
In taking the first two wickets of the day on a pitch that offered plenty of turn, it looked like today would be his day.
However, after dropping Phillips (52) twice on 2 and 17 off his own bowling — the first of which split open his thumb, requiring a bandage for the rest of the match — it looked like those elusive wickets would continue to evade him.
However, after Phillips was bowled by Cummins with the second new ball, Lyon returned to mop up the tail, bowling Somerville and Wagner for ducks in a superb double-wicket maiden.
In his next over, Lyon squeezed a ball past the defences of Matt Henry (3), who was cleverly stumped by Paine after the hobbled bowler stretched out of his ground, to end the innings.
Henry played his role in a bewildering tenth wicket stand with Todd Astle (25*).
Astle appeared to forget that Henry was operating with a broken thumb, frequently exposing him to the vicious bowling of Starc, who targeted the tailender with repeated bouncers aimed at the hands.
That left New Zealand four runs short of the follow-on, but Australia did not choose to enforce it, choosing instead to rest their bowlers and back them to do the job on day four.
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