Day 1 was totally dominated by New Zealand batting lineup, especially McCullum’s world record century while day 2 belonged to Australian’s who refused to get dominated by the horrors of the first day. Their resolve paid them with a substantial lead in the first innings and match is now tilted in their favor. New Zealand batting will again be tested today and this time, they need to respond in a more mature way than their response in the 1st innings.
Brendon McCullum’s world record had been that of the breathtaking daredevil, but the 289-run partnership between Smith and Joe Burns that stretched across the vast majority of play was something far sturdier, less explosion than construction. Even if the surface had flattened out considerably, both batsmen had to fight throughout against doughty bowling and McCullum’s ever-changing plans.
One of his last brainstorms resulted in a pair of belated wickets, accounting for Burns and Smith on the pull shot. Those wickets detracted somewhat from Australia’s day, and left New Zealand with a glimmer of hope should they be able to cut through the middle order in the morning.
Smith’s innings was marked by physical courage as well as mental application. Midway through the day he was struck painfully in the stomach and in Neil Wagner’s last over before tea Smith reeled after ducking into a bouncer. Shaken but unmoved, he faced up to the next ball and played a game pull shot.
For Burns it was a first overseas century and a key marker of his progress as a member of the Australian top order – the sort of innings his predecessor Chris Rogers would have been proud to call his own. Smith meanwhile built another innings redolent of a leader, following up from his scene-setting 71 in Wellington. New Zealand started this tour seeming to have good idea of how to bowl at Smith, but he has ground them down admirably.
New Zealand had entered the day knowing they needed to take advantage of a still newish ball and any remaining moisture in the pitch with quick wickets, and the early loss of Usman Khawaja gave them hope. But Burns and Smith combined in a steely stand that absorbed much of what McCullum’s men hurled at them.
Official Highlights : Watch Here