Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 January 2020

Australia lose wickets but remain in control of Perth Test against New Zealand

Pacer Mitchell Starc picks up five wickets to bowl Kiwis out for 166

Joe Burns scored a fifty for Australia against New Zealand in the Perth Test. Getty Images
Joe Burns scored a fifty for Australia against New Zealand in the Perth Test. Getty Images

Australia took control of the first Test against New Zealand in Perth despite losing wickets in the final session on Saturday.

The hosts reached 167-6 by stumps, taking their overall lead to 417 in the day-night match. Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne both scored fifties but there was little else from the rest of the line-up.

David Warner lived a charmed life for over an hour before miscuing a pull off Tim Southee and was caught. He had earlier survived a review for a catch behind on 15 and escaped a run out on 17.

During the innings, Warner became the 12th Australian batsman to reach 7,000 Test. Kiwi veteran quick Southee picked up 4-63 to keep the Aussies in check.

But it was a little too late in the day for New Zealand. Aussie left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc had set the Test up earlier in the day by picking up 5-52 to dismiss the Kiwis for just 166 in reply to the hosts' first innings score of 416.

Starc took his third five-wicket innings in seven day-night Tests and his 13th overall in 55 games.

After taking four New Zealand top order wickets under lights on the second day, Starc claimed his fifth wicket in controversial circumstances when Colin de Grandhomme was adjudged caught by on-field umpire Aleem Dar and upheld on a review.

De Grandhomme pulled a couple of fours off Starc before trying to avoid a short delivery that hit the face of the helmet before going to second slip. De Grandhomme reviewed the out decision but it was upheld despite inconclusive evidence.

Ross Taylor top scored for the Kiwis with 80 before off-spinner Nathan Lyon (2-48) forced an edge and Smith at slip took his third catch.

Despite the 250-run first innings lead, Australia did not enforce the follow on as temperature topped 40 degree Celsius. This was in addition to being a bowler short with Josh Hazlewood ruled out of the match with a hamstring strain.

Updated: December 14, 2019 04:57 PM

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