Australia tighten grip on first Test against New Zealand

  • Reuters, Wellington
  • Updated: Feb 14, 2016 11:25 IST
Umpire Richard Illingworth raises his finger after a DRS decision as New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum walks off the Basin Reserve as a batsman for the last time, on the third day of the first Test match in Wellington on February 14, 2016. (AP Photo)

Brendon McCullum’s dismissal in the final over of the day put Australia firmly in control of the first Test in Wellington on Sunday as New Zealand were reduced to 178-4, still 201 runs behind the tourists’ mammoth first innings of 562.

Trapped LBW by Mitchell Marsh for 10, the captain’s wicket all but ended New Zealand’s hopes of saving the Test at the end of the third day’s play.

Debutant Henry Nicholls was on 31 and will be joined by Corey Anderson when play resumes.

McCullum scored 302 and batted for almost 13 hours to save his team against India on the same ground two years ago, but was unable to mount any sort of a rescue against the Australians.

The 34-year-old appeared anxious and was almost caught behind the wicket twice before all-rounder Marsh removed him with three balls left before stumps.

Adam Voges earlier scored his second Test double-century to drive Australia to a 379-run first innings lead.

The late-blooming Voges, who was 35 when he made his debut in the Caribbean last June, has scored 1,267 runs in a bountiful Test career to date, boasting an average of 97.46.

At the end of Saturday’s play, Voges was not out on 176, his Test average at 100.33 as a result.

New Zealand’s second innings had begun promisingly enough with Tom Latham and Martin Guptill putting on 81 for the first wicket.

Guptill’s fall for 45, however, appeared a wasted chance as he had looked well set before slogging off-spinner Nathan Lyon to Marsh at extra cover.

Kane Williamson and Latham took their side through to tea but Williamson fell shortly afterwards for 22 when he feathered a Josh Hazlewood delivery through to wicketkeeper Peter Nevill.

Latham also wasted a golden opportunity to push on when he fell to a poor shot off Lyon for 63 after notching his seventh half-century.

The second and final match of the series is in Christchurch from February 20.

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