Pace duo put Australia in charge against New Zealand

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Football News

Pacemen Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc made four late breakthroughs as Australia took an iron grip of the opening Test against New Zealand on day two in Brisbane.

After Australia had declared on a mammoth 556 for four - Usman Khawaja making 174 after bringing up his maiden Test century on day one - New Zealand were reduced to 157 for five by the close.

The Black Caps looked to be making steady progress in their reply when Martin Guptill, Tom Latham and Kane Williamson helped them to 102 for one, with Josh Hazlewood making the only breakthrough when he had Guptill caught for 23.

However, things went dramatically awry for the visitors as left-arm quicks Starc (two for 30) and Johnson (two for 52) ripped out four batsman for the addition of 16 runs in less than five overs.

Latham (47) and James Neesham (three) fell to Starc, either side of Johnson sending back experienced duo Ross Taylor (nought) and Brendon McCullum (six) as New Zealand crashed to 118 for five.

Williamson (55 not out) and wicketkeeper BJ Watling (14no) ensured there were no further setbacks before stumps, but New Zealand still face a major challenge to reach the follow-on target.

For Australia, it was a superb end to a day that had started in disappointing fashion for the hosts with captain Steve Smith being bowled by Trent Boult having added only seven runs to his overnight 41.

That was about as good as it got for the Black Caps attack, though, as Khawaja and Adam Voges joined forces to put on 157 for the fourth wicket.

Khawaja struck 16 fours and two sixes in his 239-ball knock before he was finally snared by spinner Williamson, who had the left-hander caught by Guptill at backward point as he attempted a reverse sweep.

That immediately led to Australia declaring, leaving 36-year-old Voges unbeaten on 83 in his first Test innings on home soil.


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