2nd Test: Late fightback by New Zealand’s seamers sets up exciting finale against Australia | Cricket News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Australia found themselves 202 runs away from victory with six wickets in hand at the conclusion of day three of the second Test in Christchurch, setting the stage for an enthralling finale after New Zealand seized momentum with late bowling exploits.
Australia’s skipper, Pat Cummins, led from the front with a splendid bowling display, claiming four wickets for 62 runs as the visitors, already leading 1-0 in the series following their win in Wellington, restricted the Black Caps to 372 in their second innings after tea.
However, New Zealand’s seamers, Matt Henry and debutant Ben Sears, staged a dramatic fightback in the final 90 minutes of play, dismissing key Australian batsmen Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, Usman Khawaja, and Cameron Green cheaply.

Despite the setbacks, Australia managed to maintain a steady scoring rate and ended the day on 77/4. With Mitch Marsh (27 not out) and Travis Head (17 not out) at the crease, Australia aim to chip away at the remaining runs needed for victory.
Reflecting on the day’s play, Black Caps opener Tom Latham expressed satisfaction with their team’s performance, particularly highlighting their ability to have Australia four wickets down and still 200 runs behind.
While several New Zealand batsmen made promising starts in their second innings, none managed to convert them into substantial scores that could have shifted the game’s momentum decisively in their favor.
Cummins made early breakthroughs in the morning session, dismissing Latham and later, Ravin Ravindra, who had contributed significantly with a knock of 82. The New Zealand lower order offered resistance, with Scott Kuggeleijn’s defiant 44 and contributions from Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips.
However, Australia’s bowling attack, led by Cummins and supported by Nathan Lyon and Cameron Green, eventually bundled out the hosts, setting up an intriguing fourth day’s play with Australia poised for victory.
With the prospect of a first home win over Australia in 31 years within reach, New Zealand may reflect on missed opportunities, particularly in setting a more challenging target for the visitors.
The stage is now set for a thrilling conclusion to the Test match as both teams vie for supremacy in what promises to be a gripping contest.
(With inputs from Reuters)


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