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Late wickets halt Australia progress after Burns, Smith slam centuries

Late wickets halt Australia progress after Burns, Smith slam centuries
Joe Burns scored 170 for Australia in the first innings.
©REUTERS / Action Images

New Zealand 370 (McCullum 145) v
Australia 363-4 (Burns 170)
Second Test, Christchurch, day two

Neil Wagner struck late in the day to dismiss Joe Burns and Steven Smith but not before the pair scored big hundreds during their 289-run stand as Australia reached 363 for four at stumps on day two of the second Test in Christchruch trailing New Zealand's first innings total by just seven runs.

Australia started day two at 57 for one still trailing New Zealand by 313 runs. Fourth over into the day, Trent Boult (2-85) induced an edge of Usman Khawaja (24) and was caught by Brendon McCullum at first slip.

New Zealand dried down the runs in the first hour as Australia managed to score only 36 runs in the 15 overs that were bowled.

Burns (170) reached his half-century off 125 deliveries after scoring back-to-back boundaries in the 37th over from Wagner (2-63).

In the next over, Smith (138) brought the 50-run stand with Burns needing 87 deliveries to get there. Australia headed into lunch at 151 for two after adding 94 runs to their overnight score.

Smith started the proceedings in the second session with a couple of boundaries in the first three overs but Burns survived a run-out when Henry Nicholls failed to hit the stumps at the non strikers end. He was on 79 at that moment.

Smith reached his fifty off 98 deliveries and soon brought the 100-run partnership with Burns off 184 deliveries as the New Zealand bowlers looked out of shade on a pitch which was looking very flat.

Burns stepped up the accelerator after scoring two boundaries each in the 63rd and 64th over while bringing his third century in the process.

After bringing up their 150-run stand, Smith and Burns took Australia to tea at 241 for two after adding 90 runs in the session.

Three overs into the post tea session, New Zealand took the new ball and straightaway troubled both the settled batsmen for a while with it.

The 200-run stand came off 361 deliveries and six overs later the Australian captain brought his 14th Test century, strengthening his hold on the number one position in ICC Test Rankings for batsmen.

With another wicketless hour into the final session, Australia were looking comfortable at 304 for two, trailing New Zealand only by 66 runs.

Burns brought his 150 off 293 deliveries after scoring 17 boundaries in it. Just when Australia were threatening to bat New Zealand out of the game, Wagner had Burns caught at square leg by Martin Guptill with a short pitch delivery ending the 289-run stand with Smith.

The short pitch ploy of Wagner worked wonders for New Zealand as he had Smith caught in a similar fashion in his next over. Australia were 357 for four at that stage.

Adam Voges (2 not out) along with the nightwatchman Nathan Lyon (4 not out) negated the remaining four overs of play left in the day as Australia reached 363 for four at stumps, trailing New Zealand by just seven runs.

Wagner and Boult were the only wicket-takers for New Zealand in the day.

© Cricket World 2016