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Cricket news - Live Cricket Score - Australia vs New Zealand, 1st Test, Perth

Labuschagne composed a splendid unbeaten ton

Labuschagne composed a splendid unbeaten ton

Maiden Test wicket!

Raval is turning into a useful part-timer. The New Zealand opener bagged his maiden Test wicket, castling Cummins. The lower order batsman tried to sweep the legspinner, but could only connect with thin air and the leg-stump was knocked over.

The tirelessworkhorse!!

Nikhil Mane ???????????? @nikhiltait when it is 37 degrees no one - absolutely no one - Neil Wagner -#AUSvNZ 07:46 AM • Dec 12, 2019

NZ in need of a wicket

New Zealand are just about hanging in there, but it feels as Australia are slowly but steadily inching closer towards an impregnable position. Wagner has used the knuckle ball, short deliveries and fuller ones to unsettle Paine and Cummins but to no avail.

NZ chip away...

Despite losing a couple of key wickets in the opening session of Day 2 in the Perth Test, Australia solidified their strong position.

As the second day commenced, Marnus Labuschagne looked set to convert his hundred into a double. The way the number three batsman drove and flicked Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme was an indicator that he was in great nick. However, against the run of play, the New Zealand workshore Wagner castled Labuschagne. The right-handed batsman shuffled across a bit too much and exposed his leg-stump, with Wagner knocking over the timber.

Meanwhile, Travis Head (56), at the other end, looked tentative while facing Wagner's short deliveries. The southpaw, though, didn't miss out on taking advantage of loose deliveries as he punched, glanced and drove his way to another Test fifty. Unfortunately, once again Head failed to convert a start into a Test century as he drove a full and wide delivery from Southee straight into the hands of the fielder stationed at short extra-cover. The trap was set for that kind of a stroke, and Head couldn't resist from attempting the drive.

Tim Paine, batting at seven, survived a review for an LBW off Mitchell Santner's bowling while Pat Cummins had a couple of scares, but the duo shepherded the side to the break.

And now another soft dismissal

Another fifty and once more Head can't covert the start into a ton. He fell straight into the trap set by the smart New Zealand set-up. Southee bowled one full and wide of off from round the wicket, Head threw the kitchen sink at it and could only drive it to the man at short extra-cover. Soft dismissal!!

Meanwhile, Wagner continues to bowl unchanged in severe heat. The Turbocharged engine of New Zealand!!

Head and another Test fifty

Meanwhile, Head has accumulated another Test fifty. He had a few problems versus the duo of Southee and Wagner. However, once he got through those spells, he has cracked punches, drives and flicks. Trademark innings from the southpaw.

Labuschagne in top form

Labuschagne continues to look in top form. And gave a glimpse of his class with a splendid cover drive. Head, on the other hand, had to wade through a few testing deliveries from Wagner and Southee. Wagner also troubled Marnus with a kicking short ball, but the top-edge fell in no man's land at silly point.

BLACKCAPS @BLACKCAPS INJURY UPDATE: An MRI scan has confirmed a right calf muscle-tendon strain for Lockie Ferguson which will prevent him bowling in the remainder of the 1st Test, although he is available to bat. Awaiting a further report which will inform the next steps of his recovery #AUSvNZ 02:25 AM • Dec 12, 2019

Build Up:

In the second Ashes Test at Lord's, Marnus Labuschagne came in as a concussion substitute for Steven Smith. Jofra Archer immediately clonked him with another of his rockets. At that juncture, very few would have envisaged that the promising batsman would turnaround his career and become one of mainstays of the Australian batting unit in a few months time.

Marnus didn't just show the fighting spirit to crack a crucial fifty after being hit by Jofra at Lord's, but has gone on to compose three Test hundreds in a row in the ongoing Australian summer. On Day 1 of the Perth Test against New Zealand, he paddled through quite a few testing spells from Wagner, Southee and Co. to amass a brilliant unbeaten ton. New Zealand's bowlers bowled with discipline on an attritional day and also chipped in with wickets, including that of Smith. However, they couldn't dismiss Labuschagne, as Australia ended the day on a satisfying 248 for 4.

To make matters worse for the visitors, Ferguson has been ruled out of bowling for the rest of the Test due to a calf strain. With the heat wave set to continue, it could turn out to be a tough day for the visiting side.

Can Labuschagne get a double? Will New Zealand bowl out Australia for under 350? We will have all the action in a while...

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