NZvsAus : Tons by Smith, Burns puts Australia in a position of strength: Having lost the first Test at Wellington by an innings and 52 runs, New Zealanders are ‘hungry’ to win the ongoing second Test at Christchurch for two reasons – a) to square the two-Test series and b) to make this Test a very memorable one for their skipper, Brendon McCullum, who would ‘hang his boots’ after this series.
McCullum has already made this Test somewhat memorable by scoring the fastest century (54 deliveries) in the history of Test cricket and also notching up the maximum number of sixes (106)l surpassing that of Adam Gilchrist (100).
The Kiwis put up a good first innings total of 370 runs.
Beginning their first innings quite shakily, losing David Warner (12) and Usman Khawaja (24), pretty cheap (24/2), it was upto the other opener, Joe Burns and the Aussie skipper, Steven Smith to steady the ship and overcome the turbulence.
This they did with alacrity by putting up a partnership of 289 runs in 80.1 overs. This partnership has lasted more than the entire New Zealand innings that got over in 65.4 overs.
In the process Burns notched up his 3rd Test century in his 10th match (15th innings) that came in 191 deliveries with 12 fours. He eventually scored 170 runs off 321 deliveries with 20 fours.
The Aussie skipper brought up his 14th Test ton in his 41st match (74th innings) which came in 195 deliveries with 12 hits to the fence. He is currently unbeaten on 138* runs off 241 deliveries aided by 17 fours as Adam Voges joins him at the fall of Burns’ wicket.
Aussies are on 357 runs for the loss of 3 wickets, trailing by just 13 runs with 7 wickets in hand at the time of filing this report.
This partnership between Burns and Smith might just about be a dampener for McCullum’s party.