Cricket: Australia take complete control of first test against Blackcaps, despite Glenn Phillips counterattack

Australia have taken complete control of the opening test against the Blackcaps at Wellington's Basin Reserve, leading by 217 runs at stumps on day two.  

After a frustrating morning that saw Australia's last wicket pair add 116 runs, New Zealand were bowled out for only 179 in reply to Australia's 383, as captain Pat Cummins chose not to enforce the follow-on.  

In conditions that were becoming better for batting by the over, the Blackcaps' top order was reduced to 29/5 after lunch, with only Daryl Mitchell (11) reaching double figures among the top five.  

New Zealand's scorecard would have made for much worse reading, were it not for Glenn Phillips, who made 71 from only 70 balls, with 52 of his runs coming in boundaries. 

Glenn Phillips played the lone hand for the Blackcaps.
Glenn Phillips played the lone hand for the Blackcaps. Photo credit: Photosport

And despite the Blackcaps naming an attack consisting of four specialist seamers, it was Australia's Nathan Lyon that did the bulk of the damage with the ball, to finish with 4/43.  

Blackcaps captain Tim Southee did his best to keep his side in the contest with two late wickets, but Australia finished the day at 13/2, and will bat on to remove any and all hope of a New Zealand escape.   

Usman Khawaja and nightwatchman Lyon will return to the crease on Saturday.

Beginning their reply after Australia extended their total to 383 thanks to Cameron Green (174 not out), the Blackcaps' first innings was in trouble almost immediately.  

After Tom Latham dragged Mitchell Starc back onto his own stumps for five, calamity hit when Kane Williamson was run out for a duck.  

Fresh from three centuries in four innings against a depleted South Africa, Williamson didn't get the chance to continue his prolific feats, and was left stranded in the middle of the pitch after colliding with Will Young.  

And when Rachin Ravindra hit Josh Hazlewood straight to Nathan Lyon at point for another duck, the Blackcaps were 12/3, and still 371 runs adrift of Australia's first innings.

Daryl Mitchell survived 35 balls for his 11, but fell to Pat Cummins when he prodded a wide ball behind to Alex Carey at 29/4.  

One ball later, that became 29/5 when Young was strangled down leg by Mitchell Marsh for nine, and left the Blackcaps in danger of following on.

Australia celebrate a wicket.
Australia celebrate a wicket. Photo credit: Getty Images

But from 42/5 at the tea break, Glenn Phillips and Tom Blundell counter-attacked in the final session.  

In 48 balls, the pair added a half-century stand for the sixth wicket, while Phillips passed his own fifty – his third in test cricket – in 43 deliveries.  

However, one ball after Phillips raised his bat, Blundell departed for 33 when he inside edged Nathan Lyon onto his pad, and gave Travis Head a simple catch at short leg, and end the partnership at 84 runs from 86 balls.  

Despite being picked to re-enforce the batting at No.8, Scott Kuggeleijn became the innings' third duck when he holed out to midwicket off Lyon, as 113/5 became 113/7.  

Fresh from a five-wicket haul with ball in hand, Matt Henry took the Blackcaps closer to the target of 183 to help avoid the follow-on.  

He and Phillips put on 48 runs in just 52 balls, which saw Henry take the attack to Lyon.  

Hazlewood's return to the attack, though, brought with it Phillips' downfall, as a short ball was hooked for deep backward square, and ended the counter-attack for a 70-ball 71.  

And when Tim Southee hit Lyon to Head at short leg, the Blackcaps were 162/9, and left No.11 Will O'Rourke and Henry needing 21 runs to avoid the follow-on.  

Down to the last man, Henry took on Hazlewood, and found the rope with two fours and a six in the 43rd over.

But with five needed to avoid the follow-on, Henry could only find the hands of Marnus Labuschagne on the midwicket boundary, out for 42, and dismissing the Blackcaps for 179 - still 204 runs adrift.  

With 30 minutes left in the day's play, Australia's openers returned to the crease, and Southee saw the back of Steve Smith, who dragged on for a third-ball duck.  

Four overs later, the Blackcaps captain had a second when Labuschagne was strangled down the leg side, and caught by Blundell.  

That could have been three down before stumps, only for Southee to drop Lyon in the slips on the final ball of the day, off Henry.   

Australia 383 & 13/2 (Lyon 6 not out; Southee 2/5)  

New Zealand 179 (Phillips 71; Lyon 4/43)