New Zealand v Australia: first Test, day one – live | Australia cricket team

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Key events

Tea – Australia 147-4

53rd over: Australia 147-4 (Green 23, Marsh 39) Daryl Mitchell – what have you done? New Zealand have a chance to run out Marsh but the Black Caps bowler isn’t at the stumps to collect the throw as the Australians scamper back for a second run.

That wicket would’ve placed the second session firmly in the hosts’ favour, but as it stands they’ll have to be content with three wickets. The green deck that might have had viewers adjusting their TV / computer monitor / mobile phone screen hasn’t troubled Australia too much, but movement in the air is, as usual on their home turf, the key weapon for New Zealand. It’s all set up for a cracking third session.

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Green and Marsh 50-run partnership

52nd over: Australia 140-4 (Green 21, Marsh 34) Kuggeleijn changes ends and has Green defending intently on the brink of tea. But the Australian eventually can’t help but punch a drive in the air and a little too close for comfort past mid-on to pick up three and bring up the 50-run stand. It already looks like a critical partnership after the Black Caps claimed a couple of quick wickets.

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51st over: Australia 136-4 (Green 18, Marsh 33) Daryl Mitchell is a surprise addition to the attack as he looks to add to his three Test wickets and improve on a bowling average of… 111! Green looks comfortable as he waits for a bad ball and when a short one lands it is dutifully dispatched to the boundary.

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50th over: Australia 130-4 (Green 13, Marsh 32) Green and Marsh are more watchful as they face Southee looking to angle the ball into their pads and with tea not much more than 10 minutes away. Both batters pick up a single when the Black Caps seamer strays just a little wide of off-stump.

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49th over: Australia 128-4 (Green 12, Marsh 31) Scott Kuggeleijn is handed the ball after putting together 0/23 from his first eight overs against Australia in any format. Marsh takes a good look at the right-armer then pummels the last ball of the over past cover with a typically eye-catching blend of power and precision. After a blazing start, a confident Marsh is again showing that he is equally adept at settling into an innings when needed.

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48th over: Australia 124-4 (Green 12, Marsh 27) Southee is out there doing what he does best; pushing the batter back and moving the ball around. Marsh looks solid in defence and can only pick up the one single off his pads.

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47th over: Australia 123-4 (Green 12, Marsh 26) Henry and Green play out an intriguing over – the batter looking to use his feet, while the bowler pegs him back with plenty of variety. Maiden.

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46th over: Australia 123-4 (Green 12, Marsh 26) SIX! Southee comes into the attack and Marsh goes straight after a shorter ball, but a top edge sends the ball over the keeper and over the rope. The New Zealand pacer turns to targeting the pads and immediately finds some swing, while Marsh is fortunate when a thick edge goes wide of third slip for a boundary. Thirteen runs off the over, but a promising one from Southee.

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45th over: Australia 110-4 (Green 12, Marsh 14) New Zealand nearly had another as Green again steps down the pitch but this time decides to defend. A thick edge flies towards the cordon but falls short of Tim Southee at third slip. The ball trickles away for a single, as Henry bowls out a neat over to a more cautious Marsh.

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44th over: Australia 109-4 (Green 11, Marsh 14) Marsh is back on the attack, sending the first ball of O’Rourke’s over pitched just outside off for four through point. He adds another boundary through gully and has already reached the rope three times from nine balls faced. This already looms as a gripping partnership, which ever way it goes.

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43rd over: Australia 99-4 (Green 11, Marsh 4) Green looks comfortable despite the chaos around him, moving his feet to deal with anything full from Henry. The towering Australian takes a big stride down the wicket to smash a boundary through mid-wicket, and then adds a couple through square leg.

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42nd over: Australia 93-4 (Green 5, Marsh 4) Mitch Marsh comes to the crease and responds to the rising pressure the only way he knows how – with a powerful strike past square for four off his first ball. But O’Rourke answers back with a full delivery that move away late, luring Marsh into a shot. Huge appeal! But the umpire nods his head and New Zealand decide not to review. Replays show it was the correct decision – but there wasn’t much in it.

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WICKET! Head c Blundell b O’Rourke 1 (Australia 89-4)

Australia are suddenly on the ropes as Travis Head edges a delivery sliding across his body. The ball flies off the shoulder of the bat for Blundell to take a simple catch.

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41st over: Australia 89-3 (Green 5, Head 1) Henry has dragged New Zealand well and truly back into the contest with his second wicket, and after dismissing Khawaja with a cracking delivery almost sent Green packing as well with another corker to wrap up the over.

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Martin Pegan

Thank you Jimbo. I might be jumping friendship levels a bit there, but after living in the UK for 15 years I know you’d expect nothing else from someone sending a fist bump from Down Under.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Tasman Sea, the Australian batting lineup started very much the way we’ve come to expect when they face their friendly foes New Zealand.

But the Black Caps have fought back well and the match is evenly poised in front of a packed and parochial crowd at Basin Reserve.

I’ll be guiding us through to stumps. Please do send me your thoughts – on Email – whether you have a birds-eye view from Wellington, or are following from other parts of New Zealand, Australia or any corner of the globe.

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James Wallace

James Wallace

With that wicket it’s time for me to hand over to Martin Pegan and bid you farewell. Thanks for your company, I’ll be back on the tools tomorrow for day two. Over to you for the rest of the day, Martin!

41st over: Australia 89-2 (Green 5, Head 1)

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WICKET! Khawaja b Henry 33 (Australia 88-3)

The pressure tells! Henry gets an in-ducker through Khawaja who goes for a drive but connects only with fresh Wellington air! New Zealand have been excellent in the hour post lunch and they’ve removed the Aussie lynchpin. Game on!

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40th over: Australia 88-2 (Khawaja 33, Green 5) Better stuff from O’Rourke – he scrambles the seam and leaves Green groping for a ball outside off stump. A layer of lacquer away. A maiden to follow up his untidy previous over. Australia are becalmed.

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39th over: Australia 88-2 (Khawaja 33, Green 5) The pitch is just starting to spit a bit, a few balls have climbed quickly off a good length since lunch. Close! Henry very nearly cleans up Green with a ball that moves back late, Green shouldered arms but it was a late decision and his stumps were very much in play.

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38th over: Australia 87-2 (Khawaja 33, Green 5) Wild stuff from Will O’Rourke! A loose ball down the leg side clipe Khawaja’s thigh and runs away for four leg byes. The bowler then whangs down a short ball that slides past Blundell behind the stumps and away for five wides. Matt Henry is coming on, this’ll be a test for Cameron Green.

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37th over: Australia 78-2 (Khawaja 33, Green 5) Green eases a full bunger by Kuggeleijn for a couple. Oooft. Another yorker is just jammed down on in time by Green – if he missed that then he was done done done.

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36th over: Australia 76-2 (Khawaja 33, Green 3) The camera pans to a mournful looking Marnus on the team balcony in his slippers. Test cricket seemed like such an easy game to play yesterday eighteen months ago. Southee replaces himself with O’Rourke and it’s a tidy over apart from four byes speared down the leg side off the final ball. Australia will take them any which way, their scoring rate has been prettay pedestrian so far today.

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35th over: Australia 72-2 (Khawaja 33, Green 3) Scott ‘Koogz’ has started to hit his straps after lunch. He keeps Khawaja honest with a maiden that includes a snorter that climbs off the pitch and flies past the helmet – Blundell is leaping to haul it in behind the stumps. Where did that come from?!

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34th over: Australia 72-2 (Khawaja 33, Green 3) Southee to Green. Four balls are left alone or defended by the big man. The fifth is driven on the up in the gap for a couple. Rippah! Southee scuds one past the edge with his final ball. New Zealand have looked more dangerous after lunch even though the conditions look better for batting.

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33rd over: Australia 69-2 (Khawaja 33, Green 1) Kuggeleijn chugs in, an inswinger is worked off the pads for a single by Khawaja. Green then gets of the mark with a scampered single, three strides and he’s completed the run. Koogywoogy (did I mention it is late?) slams one down in the middle of the pitch, getting his Wagner on you might say. Umpire Marais Erasmus deems it too short and calls it a wide.

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32nd over: Australia 66-2 (Khawaja 31, Green 0) Cameron Green is the new man, striding to the wicket in his new berth at number four. Khawaja clips Southee off his pads to bring Green on strike for one ball. A lunge forward and a leave alone by Green. The stadium PA blasts out a bit of REM. Just turned 1am here in London, this one feels appropriate:

I am the screen, the blinding light
I’m the screen, I work at night

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WICKET! Labuschagne c Mitchell b Kuggeleijn 1 (Australia 65-2)

Khawaja gets off strike off the first ball of the over to leave Labuschagne the rest. Watchful stuff from Marnus. He leaves the ball outside off stump and defends a shorter ball well – getting in and behind it, riding the bounce. He’sgot one run off 27 balls … and he’s GONE on his 28th! Kuggeleijn makes the pressure count – nicking off Marnus, fab low catch by Daryl Mitchell. A torturous knock comes to an end as Labuschagne’s battting woes continue.

31st over: Australia 65-2 (Khawaja 31)

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30th over: Australia 64-1 (Khawaja 29, Labuschagne 1) Southee sends down some scrambled seam deliveries that kick off the pitch. Khawaja takes a single and then the Kiwi skipper hangs the ball outside off stump, daring Marnus to have a flirt. He resists.

Like he does so well, Usman Khawaja has seen off the gloomy part of the day, even if it’s not been easy, and earned the right to bat under much clearer skies and with the Wellington sun out in its glory #NZvAus pic.twitter.com/EYXQ0ojK2Q

— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) February 29, 2024

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29th over: Australia 63-1 (Khawaja 28, Labuschagne 1) Scott Kuggeleijn starts from the other end. Khawaja swivels his hips to pull a single into the off side. Marnus cloths a short ball wide of off stump, that was a gimme and an in form Labuschagne would have pummelled it to the fence without a second thought. Another scratchy start from the Aussie number three – he has just a solitary run from eighteen balls, but he’s still there and scrapping.

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28th over: Australia 62-1 (Khawaja 27, Labuschagne 1) Southee steams in, blue skies and sunshiiine in Wellington now. A maiden to begin with. There was a nice feature with Rachin Ravindra and Tom Blundell at lunch, both seem like thoroughly nice blokes. Looking forward to watching Ravindra bat later on, he’s had a stellar past six months and has all the shots. Also a big fan of his lusciously tousled curls.

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Here come the players for the afternoon session. TimSouthee will start with the ball and he’s got rhree slips and a gully in place for Marnus Labuschagne.

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“Dear James, 62 runs in the session at a run rate of 2.30 runs per over. It’s not exactly Bazball…”

Don’t mention the B-word Michael Meagher!

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Lunch: Australia 62-1

27th over: Australia 62-1 (Khawaja 27, Labuschagne 1)

That’s the end of the session. It looked like it was firmly Australia’s until Matt Henry prised out Steve Smith ten minutes before lunch. Australia played watchfully, 62 runs in the session at a pedestrian run rate of 2.30 runs per over means that they haven’t got away from the home side.

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26th over: Australia 62-1 (Khawaja 27, Labuschagne 1) O’Rourke is working up a head of steam, buoyed by the wicket at the other end. He’s up at 143 KPH but the radar is a bit all over the show. Labuschagne only has to play at two deliveries in the over.

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25th over: Australia 62-1 (Khawaja 27, Labuschagne 1) Marnus Labuschagne is the new batter and he is under some pressure in this series after having a quiet Ashes series and home summer. He gets off the mark with a clip to fine leg and chews his gum with unbridled ferocity at the non strikers end.

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WICKET! Smith c Blundell b Henry 31 (Australia 61-1)

My oh my did New Zealand need that! Matt Henry gets the breakthrough and it’s a really good ball that sees the end of Steve Smith. Full and shaping away, squaring Smith up and talking the shoulder of his blade. Props to Tom Blundell who took a brilliant diving catch behind the stumps, snaffling the ball straight in front of first slip.

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24th over: Australia 60-0 (Smith 29, Khawaja 27) O’Rourke has a leg slip in place for Smith and the trap nearly works… a short ball at the ribs is fended round the corner but evades keeper and fielder. Twenty minutes or so until lunch…

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23rd over: Australia 58-0 (Smith 29, Khawaja 27) Matt Henry back into the attack – he’s been the most potent looking of the bowlers this morning. His side need a wicket here, nothing doing off this over, the batters take a single each. Sun beating down in Wellington, pitch flattening out by the second.

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22nd over: Australia 58-0 (Smith 29, Khawaja 27) Smith picks up a couple of twos off O’Rourke. All too easy for the visitors, New Zealand’s attack has looked a bit samey so far this morning.

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21st over: Australia 54-0 (Smith 25, Khawaja 27) New Zealand lose as review as they send a LBW upstairs but Kuggeleijn’s full ball was sliding down past Khawaja’s leg stump. Shot! Khawaja responds with flashing drive past backward point to pick up four and then follows up with a pull for four more to bring up the fifty opening stand for Australia.

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