Blackcaps v Australia: Kane Williamson, Tom Latham drag NZ ahead of rivals on day three at Christchurch

Australia skipper Pat Cummins has bowled Kane Williamson in the final hour of play on the second day of the second test at Christchurch, just as the master batter threatened an innings that would put New Zealand on top.

After 14 wickets fell on day one and seven more before tea, Williamson and Tom Latham had hit the pause button on a frenetic match, with a partnership of 105 that erased Australia's first-innings lead and put the home side 17 runs ahead.

Cummins brought himself back on to bowl in the late afternoon gloom and struck with his first delivery, with Williamson dragging the ball onto the stumps as he attempted a drive and departing, for 51, shaking his head.

Kane Williamson and Tom Latham combine to rebuild the Blackcaps innings.
Kane Williamson and Tom Latham combine to rebuild the Blackcaps innings. Photo credit: Photosport

Opener Latham was later dropped behind, but reached stumps on 65 not out and will resume in the morning alongside Rachin Ravindra, who was unbeaten on 11, with New Zealand 40 runs ahead on 134/2.

"It was nice to put together a little bit of a partnership, and hopefully tomorrow, we can put a few more on and have another go," said Williamson. "It's nice to have a lead at the moment and we just need to see how many we can get.

"There are no targets at the moment, it's just batting and implementing plans."

Down 1-0 in the two-test series after a thumping loss by 172 runs at Wellington, the Blackcaps have not beaten Australia on home soil for 31 years.

Seamer Matt Henry kept them in the contest with bowling figures of 7/67, as New Zealand dismissed Australia for 256 and restricted the visitors to a first-innings advantage of 94 runs.

Marnus Labuschagne rediscovered his batting touch with a fine innings of 90 to make up most of that lead, but was denied a 12th test century by a peerless flying catch at gully from Glenn Phillips, off the bowling of NZ captain Tim Southee.

The dismissal sent the Australians, who skittled their hosts for 162 and resumed on 124/4, into lunch on 221/8, before Henry ended the typically stiff tailend resistance by removing Mitchell Starc (28) and Pat Cummins (23).

Nathan Lyon has been getting his tailend runs in early as a nightwatchman in this series, but Henry limited him to 20, as he nabbed a five-wicket haul for the second successive match.

Starc struck early for the Australians to remove Will Young for one, with a delightful rising delivery that came off the shoulder of the opener's bat and flew into the gloves of Alex Carey behind the stumps. 

New Zealand 162 & 134/2 (Latham 65no, Williamson 51) Australia 256 (Labuschagne 90, Starc 28; Henry 7/67)

New Zealand lead by 40 runs at stumps on day two


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