Australia v New Zealand – Third Test: Day 3 at the SCG

 

I wondered if Day 3 of the Sydney Test would be when the Kiwis finally clicked in the batting department, and post a big total. Admittedly it was always going to be a big ask, with several first-choice players missing.

 

Alas it was not to be, as the touring team was dismissed 203 runs shy of the home side’s total before the hosts reached 40 without loss at the close of play.

 

The New Zealand faithful must have been bitterly disappointed to see so many batsmen lose their wicket when well set, as there were seven scores ranging from 20 to 52.

 

An encouraging sign for the Kiwis was that Test debutant Glenn Phillips was the top scorer, although his innings was chancy to say the least considering he was repeatedly reprieved.

 

It was unusual to see Travis Head’s off-spin used for the first over of the day, but the introduction of the frontline off-spinner soon paid off.

 

Resuming at 0-63 in reply to Australia’s 454, New Zealand added only five runs on day three when the first wicket fell. Tom Blundell pulled at Lyon and was bowled between his legs after the ball clipped his pad.

 

Despite this early setback, the Kiwis moved to 1-117 before the loss of two wickets without the addition of a run meant a stable situation quickly became a shaky one.

 

Jeet Raval was lucky to be able to use DRS after the allowed amount of time to seek it had expired, while he didn’t even use the correct signal!

 

It was pointless anyway as he looked plumb lbw, and he was quickly sent on his way for good.

 

When opener Tom Latham tamely chipped a catch to mid-on when one run shy of a half-century, the writing was on the wall.

 

Even so, the situation could have been far worse. Phillips was on two when he gave Lyon the simplest of return catches, only for Lyon to fumble.

 

Yet to show his talent on this tour, the experienced Ross Taylor needed a big score but was trapped lbw soon after lunch. The Kiwis wasted another review, as the batsman again looked plumb. Indeed, Taylor appeared resigned to being out, until he belatedly chose to challenge the decision.

 

Australia also wasted a review after an appeal for caught at short leg was turned down, but it made little difference as BJ Watling inside-edged a drive and heard the ‘death rattle’.

 

Lyon gave Phillips another life as another simple return catch went begging, this time off a full toss. Undeterred, Phillips showed plenty of promise but he lost Colin de Grandhomme with the total on 195, as de Grandhomme chanced a risky second run and was run out.

 

The Kiwis went to tea at 6-210, but not before Phillips gained another reprieve, this time as he was caught in the deep before replays revealed that James Pattinson had bowled a no-ball.

 

The second new ball was taken immediately after play resumed, with Phillips playing a lovely straight drive for four off Mitchell Starc, before pulling Pat Cummins for six.

 

Phillips went from 48 to 52 with his sixth four, but his luck quickly expired as a Cummins delivery nipped in and went through the gate to crash into the off stump.

 

Lyon twice hit the off stump during a double-wicket maiden, as one delivery kept low and accounted for the right-handed Will Somerville before the left-handed Neil Wagner attempted a slog-sweep.

 

Lyon finished with a five-wicket haul as quick glovework from Tim Paine produced the final wicket.

 

With David Warner and Joe Burns getting settled at the crease, Day 4 presents a golden chance for Burns to break his barren run of form while Warner seeks to recapture the form that he showed against Pakistan.

 

Stay in touch to find out how steep the target for New Zealand will be.

 

 

 

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About Liam Hauser

A Queenslander through and through, Liam went out of his comfort zone as he had a thoroughly worthwhile time in Tumut and Gundagai from 2008 to 2016 before enjoying a year in Gunnedah. His strongest sporting interests are State of Origin, Sheffield Shield, Test cricket and the NRL. His sporting CV doesn’t have many highlights, although he once top-scored in a warehouse cricket match with 54 not out at number 10, and shared in an unbroken last wicket stand of 83 with the number 11 who scored an undefeated 52. Liam has written books including State of Origin 35 Years, A Century of Cricket Tests, A History of Test Cricket, The Immortals of Australian Cricket, The Immortals of Australian Rugby League, and The Great Grand Finals: Rugby League's Greatest Contests. Also a huge fan of Electric Light Orchestra.

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