All eyes on Rachin as Kiwis eye 369-run chase

Sports Saturday 02/March/2024 15:47 PM
All eyes on Rachin as Kiwis eye 369-run chase

Wellington : A fighting half-century by Rachin Ravindra keeps New Zealand alive, as the hosts were set a target of 369 runs to win the first Test against Australia at Wellington on Saturday.

Kiwis ended the day three at 111/3, with Ravindra (56*) unbeaten with Daryl Mitchell (12*) on the other side.

Australia started the day three at 13/2, with Nathan Lyon (6*) and Usman Khawaja unbeaten. The duo struck some fine boundaries and took Australia beyond the 50-run mark. Matt Henry and Glenn Phillips struck, removing both for 41 and 28 respectively. Australia was in trouble at 81/4.

The duo of Cameron Green (17*) and Travis Head (24*) took Australia to the lunch with 113 on board with four wickets lost.

During the second session, Phillips used his part-time spin to deceive the Aussie middle order, getting Green (34), Head (29), Mitchell Marsh (0) and Alex Carey (3) to secure a landmark five-wicket haul. Australia was bundled out for 164, with 368 runs lead in their hand. Kiwis was set 369 runs to take the series 1-0.

Besides Phillips, Henry (3/36) and Tim Southee (2/46) were also solid with the ball.

Near the end of the second session, Lyon struck as Tom Latham continued his string of low scores, going for eight runs. At Tea, NZ was 15/1, with Will Young (7*) and Kane Williamson (0*) unbeaten.

In the final session, Australia struck twice, with Lyon getting the crucial wicket of Williamson for just nine runs while Travis Head's part-time spin removed Will Young for 15, with Steve Smith taking a one-handed blinder at slips. Kiwis was 59/3.

Ravindra and Mitchell then formed a half-century partnership, making sure NZ ended the day without any further loss of wicket.

Brief Scores: NZ: 179 and 111/3 (Rachin Ravindra 56*, Will Young 15, Nathan Lyon 2/27) vs Australia: 383 and 164 (Nathan Lyon 41, Cameron Green 34, Glenn Phillips 5/45).