Aussies in total control in second Test

Steve Smith and Joe Burns dominated on day two of the second Test. Photo: AAP Image.
Steve Smith and Joe Burns dominated on day two of the second Test. Photo: AAP Image.

Australia totally dominated the second day of the second Test against New Zealand at Hagley Oval, and in the process took a giant step towards regaining the world No 1 Test ranking.

After an opening day that had retiring New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum thrill the home crowd by scoring the fastest century in Test history, day two in Christchurch belonged almost solely to Australia.

The wickets of Joe Burns for 170 and captain Steve Smith for 138 within six Neil Wagner deliveries late in the day gave New Zealand some satisfaction, but at stumps, in response to New Zealand's first innings 370, Australia were 363 for four, with Adam Voges on two and night watchman Nathan Lyon on four.

Burns and Smith added an Australian-record 289 for the third wicket against New Zealand, eclipsing the mark of 264 set by Ian and Greg Chappell in Wellington in 1974.

Incredibly, they were both dismissed in identical fashion, caught at backward square leg by Martin Guptill trying to pull short balls from Wagner.

Their dismissals came a long time after in-form lefthander Usman Khawaja was caught by McCullum at first slip off Trent Boult for 24, with the score on 2-67 in the morning session.

After that it was the Burns and Smith show, the pair gradually shutting the door on New Zealand's aspirations of levelling the series.

Burns completed his third Test hundred before going on to record his highest score, while Smith compiled his 14th century.



The skipper did have one major scare along the way, ducking into a bouncer from Wagner in the final over before tea.

Smith slumped to the ground and needed a couple of minutes to recover in a scene reminiscent of the tragic Phil Hughes incident, from which the Australian batsman died in late 2014.

Burns had a worrying moment of a different sort on 35 when he was given out caught behind off seamer Matt Henry.

The opener immediately signalled for a referral and replays showed the ball brushed his sleeve.

Burns batted for 440 minutes and hit 20 fours in his 170, while Smith was in the middle 352 minutes and hit 17 fours.

Neither batsman gave a chance in their innings, although too much of the bowling was pedestrian and inconsistent.

Voges, coming off a double century in the first Test, will be keen to cash in again today to give the tourists an unassailable lead.

Australia needs only to draw the match to claim the No.1 ranking.

Topics:  australia joe burns new zealand steve smith test cricket

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