Cricket

Australia win vs New Zealand in first day-night test match

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Australia took the spoils in the first day-night test after three days of fluctuating fortunes. Peter Siddle hit the winning runs off Tim Southee late in the third session with a squeeze-past point to seal the victory.

Australia seemed in complete control on day one after bowling out New Zealand, but the Kiwis fought back late in the day to leave the match evenly poised at stumps.

The New Zealand batsmen were unable to settle in, and wickets continued to fall as Mitchell Starc decimated the New Zealand middle order before limping off the field with an ankle fracture.

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The bowling line up suddenly looked a little underdone as the remaining wickets accumulated another 64 runs before New Zealand were all out for 206. At stumps, Australia were 2/54 with both openers back in the Pavilion.

DAY TWO CONTROVERSY

Day two and it was the New Zealand bowlers doing the damage and likely headed for a first innings lead when Lyon swung wildly at a ball just outside off.

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The initial replay showed a definite mark on the bat as the ball passed but Umpire Llong, after six agonizing minutes, did not overturn the original decision. Lyon walked back to the crease and resumed batting with Australia on 8/118.

Australia then went on the attack, posting another 104 runs passing NZ in the process. New Zealand struggled to five for 116 at stumps.

CLIFFHANGER

Day three and a result looked likely before the end of the day unless the Kiwi tail could manage to wag. Debutant Mitchell Santner was the star and was unlucky to be dismissed just short of a half-century.

By now the lead was closing in on 150 and if the game continued to pan out as it had so far this could be a tough target.

Australia were eventually set 187 to win the match, a stomach churner for any superstitious fan or player. Any number with 87 is a bogey for the Australian team, but David Warner and Joe Burns showed scant regard scoring at over six an over before Burns copped a pearl from Trent Boult and his first day-night test match was over.

Warner continued to hit out at the attack before eventually edging to Tim Southee off  Doug Bracewell, and he joined his opening partner back in the pavilion.

A classic thriller soon looked in the making with three wickets remaining, and two runs for victory, Mitchell Starc hobbled out to the pitch and the Kiwis crowded around hoping for Starc to make a mistake.

Starc managed to hold out, and two balls into the next over Peter Siddle then pushed the ball past point to give Australia the match and the series 2-0.

WRAP UP

Man of the match was Josh Hazlewood - who took career-best figures of nine for 136 - was more than happy with the new concept."It was obviously entertaining cricket, harder to bat at night with the ball swinging, very exciting test, crowds were unbelievable as well. It was more enjoyable to bowl at night, especially if the ball was a bit newer, there was grass on the wicket which helped," said Hazlewood

Player of the Series was Warner with 592 runs at an average of 98.67.

At the presentation, both captains felt sure that day-night cricket was here to stay. New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum spoke briefly on the controversy of the Lyon non-dismissal: "Unfortunately that had an impact on the game, would have loved to have a bit more runs."

Captain Steve Smith said: “It's been great, a bit different from the first two matches dominated by the bat, it brought the bowlers into the game, under lights. If you got yourself in you could still score runs.”

Arguments can be given for and against the success of the first ever day-night match. A game dominated by the ball that only lasted three days yet, for the first time this series, no balls had to be replaced mid-innings. The most exciting of the day-night matches are sure to follow.

What was your view of the game? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!

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Topics:
Australia cricket
New Zealand cricket
Cricket

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