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Australia are 113-4 at lunch on Day 3 of the first cricket Test and lead New Zealand by 317 runs

Australia are 113-4 at lunch on Day 3 of the first cricket Test and lead New Zealand by 317 runs


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Australia leads New Zealand by 317 runs with six second-innings wickets in hand at lunch Saturday on the third day of the first cricket Test.

After leading by 204 runs in the first innings, Australia went down 13-2 on Day 2, having lost Steve Smith for a duck and Marnus Labuschagne (2).

At the break Australia were 113-4 with Cameron Green 17 not out and Travis Head 24 not out. Australia added exactly 100 runs in the first session.

The tourists lost both overnight batters before lunch on Saturday. Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon fell for 41 and Usman Khawaja was out for 28 after resuming at 5 not out.

Lyon came close to stumps at the crease at the fall of Labuschagne's wicket on Friday and were 6 not out overnight. He had the license to play aggressively early on and hit three fours off one over bowled by Tim Southee, through or over slips.

But Lyon again fell short of a Test half-century and retains the dubious record of having scored more runs than any other Test player without reaching 50.

He was clipping a ball from Matt Henry off his pads to Will Young at mid-wicket.

Khawaja was vigilant throughout the session but came under pressure due to consistent line and length bowling by the New Zealanders. That paid off when he attacked part-time spinner Glenn Phillips about 30 minutes before lunch and was surprised by Tom Blundell.

It was close. Khawaja had scrambled back but a replay showed his bat just hanging in the air as the bails were removed.

Head hit two consecutive boundaries off Phillips bowling in the over before lunch.

The weather at the Basin Reserve on Saturday was cooler and windier than the first two days with showers forecast in the afternoon. But now that the match is well advanced, Australia will feel comfortable in its position.

Australia batted first to 383, thanks to Greens' unbeaten 174 and his 116-run partnership for the last wicket with Josh Hazlewood (22). New Zealand fell to 29-5 before recovering to 179 with the help of Phillips 71.

The New Zealand bowlers were more consistent in the second hour of the morning and on the Basin Reserve pitch. Although it has become slower, it still rewards good length and tight line. There is bounce, but it is slower and more inconsistent than earlier in the match.


AP Cricket:




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