Blackcaps v Australia: Rachin Ravindra resists, but Aussies in boxseat to claim victory in first test at Wellington

Rachin Ravindra has resisted Australia with an unbeaten half-century, but the Blackcaps still need another 258 runs to claim an unlikely victory in the series opening test at Wellington's Basin Reserve.  

Chasing 369 in the fourth innings, the Blackcaps reached stumps at 111/3, with 56 of those runs belonging to Ravindra. He helped steady the Blackcaps from 59/3, as part of an unbeaten partnership with Daryl Mitchell (12 not out).  

Earlier in the day, Glenn Phillips proved the unlikely hero with the ball, taking his maiden five-wicket haul in any form of professional cricket to bowl Australia out for 164 and set New Zealand 369 to win. 

Rachin Ravindra against Australia.
Rachin Ravindra against Australia. Photo credit: Getty Images

His performance with the ball (5/45) was the first time a New Zealand spinner has taken five wickets in an innings since 2008, when Jeetan Patel claimed 5/110 against the West Indies.   

After Phillips showed what was on offer for part-time spinners, Nathan Lyon gave a reminder of the value of selecting specialists. In his first over, he had Tom Latham with arguably his worst ball of the day, as a short and wide delivery was cut straight into the gloves of Alex Carey for eight.  

Six overs later, Lyon got the big fish, as a ball from round the wicket spun and took the edge of Kane Williamson's bat through to Steve Smith at leg slip for nine. As the Blackcaps needed a partnership, Ravindra played positively, but Young struggled at the other end.  

After playing out Lyon, Young fell to part-timer Travis Head, who drew the outside edge in his first over, and removed the opener for 15 from 52 balls, courtesy of an exceptional one-handed catch from Smith at first slip.   

At 59/3, and joined by Mitchell, Ravindra fought to stem the flow of New Zealand wickets. In just his sixth innings at No.4, he hit a 77-ball half-century including eight boundaries.  

At the other end, Mitchell was much more cautious in his approach and survived 63 balls for his 12 runs, without finding the boundary. 

The pair have added 52 runs in tandem for the fourth wicket, and batted out 20.3 overs as stumps arrived on day three.  

But with two days still to play, Australia will feel as the more confident of the two sides in the hunt for a 1-0 lead in the best of two series, and 12 points to their World Test Championship standings.  

Australia 383 & 164 (Lyon 41; Phillips 5/45) New Zealand 179 & 111/3 (Ravindra 56no; Lyon 2/27)

New Zealand need 258 more runs for victory