Australia has wrapped up the day-night 1st Test against New Zealand at Optus Stadium inside four days after winning by 296 runs in scorching conditions over in the west to take a 1-nil lead in the three match series.

Both teams were a bowler down for the majority of the game with New Zealand debutant Lockie Ferguson injuring a calf on the opening day, while Aussie quick Josh Hazlewood broke down with a hamstring injury in just his second over with the ball.

The latter appears to be ruled out of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, with plenty of debate over which fast bowler will replace him for the 2nd Test. Victorian James Pattinson is currently in the Australian squad along with Queenslander Michael Neser, however the selectors could also look at Sheffield Shield form to cover the injured fast bowler.


The home side setup the match with a healthy first innings total of 416 on the back of a third consecutive century from Marnus Labuschagne.

The 25-year-old is the leading run scorer in 2019, going past 1000 runs for the year but also the first 1000 runs of his short Test career. The Queenslander batted in the heat for most of day one, bringing up his ton in a tricky final session. He was eventually dismissed for 143 on the second day as he helped the Aussies past the 300 run mark.

Late order hitting from the tail pushed the home side past 400 before being bowled out at almost the perfect time of the day to allow the Aussie quicks to get a new pink ball under lights.


Opener Tom Latham lasted just two balls as a leading edge off a short ball lobbed straight back to Mitchell Starc in the very first over before Josh Hazlewood skittled Jeet Raval five balls later to have the visitors in trouble early at 2/1.

Just two balls into his second over the big fast bowler, trudged off the field after clutching his hamstring and was ruled out of the rest of the match.

Star batsman Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor had to resurrect the Black Caps innings and together they put on 76 runs before Steve Smith produced a moment of brilliance to remove the New Zealand skipper. With a catch that will be replayed over and over, Mitchell Starc drew a thick edge from Williamson’s bat and Smith flew away to his right to clutch onto a magnificent one-hander.



Starc then strangled Henry Nicholls down the leg side before knocking over Neil Wagner first ball to have New Zealand reeling at 5/109 at stumps on the second evening.

With Ross Taylor still at the wicket on the third morning, you felt the kiwis still had a good chance of posting a decent reply to the Aussies first innings total but with the extreme hot weather baking the pitch the cracks started appearing and creating demons for the batsman.

It wouldn’t take long for Nathan Lyon to take full advantage and when he produced the edge from Ross Taylor providing a straight forward catch to Smith, the visitors were in all sorts at 7/147.

Mitchell Starc took his fifth wicket, removing Colin de Grandhomme and the New Zealand tail collapsed to be all out for 166, handing Australia significant first innings lead.

The home side was in control in their second innings with Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne each passing fifty before the kiwis showed some fight in the evening session to give them the slightest of chances to rescue the game.

A well directed short ball from Wagner produced a miss-hit from Labuschagne who scooped it straight to mid-wicket preventing him from reaching a fourth straight century. The dismissal sparked a middle order collapse as Tim Southee removed Joe Burns, Travis Head and Tim Paine while Steve Smith again fell into the trap attempting to hook Wagner, leaving the Aussies 6/167 at stumps on day three. 

More late order hitting from Mitchell Starc allowed the Aussies to scratch up 217 before declaring 9 wickets down and setting the visitors an unlikely 468 runs to win. Southee finished with a five wicket haul to go with his four wickets in the first innings.

Like he did in the first innings, Mitchell Starc struck early this time claiming Jeet Raval who could only manage to fend a short ball to Nathan Lyon at point.

The off-spinner himself, was soon brought into the attack and with his very first delivery took the huge wicket of Kane Williamson. The wicket left Lyon on a hat-trick after claiming the final wicket of the first innings but he was unable to complete it as Ross Taylor came to the wicket.

Once again it looked as though the veteran would be the pillar for New Zealand but when Taylor got a bottom edge in an attempted pull shot off Starc, it look inevitable that the Aussies would come away with a victory.

Nathan Lyon trapped Tom Latham dead in front the very next over with DRS reversing the on-field decision and when Henry Nicholls luck ran out the kiwis were 5/98 at tea. The 28-year-old pushed forward to a delivery from Lyon, only for the ball to deflect off his pad, onto the back of his bat and bobbled out to Travis Head at short-leg. The fielder managed to scoop it up just before it hit the turf.


Needing five wickets, the Aussies were looking to wrap the game up inside four days but Colin de Grandhomme and BJ Watling were showing some resistance in the final session. The current number one bowler in the world, Pat Cummins, would be the man to get the breakthrough, rattling the all-rounder with a bouncer and wrapping him on the gloves.

Watling and Satner then fell without adding to the score and the Aussies were in sight of the win. Starc’s fourth wicket to dismiss Wagner gave him 9 for the game in a Man of the Match performance as Nathan Lyon claimed the final wicket handing the Aussies a commanding victory.

The attention of the nation turns to the troubled MCG pitch, as the curators try to get it right ahead of the 2nd Test starting on Boxing Day. The kiwis will be looking to bounce back after a pretty poor performance in Perth, while Australia would love to seal the series before the New Years Test match at the SCG.