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New Zealand v Australia 2024

Cameron Green unbeaten hundred and mammoth last wicket stand help put Australia on top in Wellington

Cameron Green acknowledges his crowd after his Wellington hundred
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

A career-best score from Cam Green, one of the highest 10th-wicket stands of all-time and a four-wicket haul from Nathan Lyon left Australia in a position of dominance at the end of the second day’s play in Wellington.

Green and Hazlewood’s record stand

The visitors resumed play on 279-9 with Green having just reached his second Test hundred in the company of Australia No. 11 Josh Hazlewood. The hosts started the day with hopes of quickly wrapping up the Australia innings but they were left frustrated by a gutsy last wicket partnership.

The pair batted for the entirety of the morning session before Hazlewood fell for 22, chipping Matt Henry to mid-on to end his two-and-a-half hour stay at the crease. Green was left unbeaten on 174 as Australia finished on 383 – the final wicket partnership put on 116 runs, the 16th highest 10th-wicket stand in the history of men’s Test cricket.

Williamson run out for duck

New Zealand’s response started disastrously. Tom Latham played on off the bowling of Mitchell Starc for five, shortly before New Zealand’s in-form captain Kane Williamson was comically run out without troubling the scorers. It continued a dramatic top order collapse that saw the Black Caps reeling at 29-5 before Tom Blundell (33) and Glenn Phillips (71) offered admirable resistance to get the Black Caps back into the contest. Henry continued his excellent Test – he had earlier taken a first innings five-for – by adding 42 from No. 9 before New Zealand were eventually bowled out for 179.

Australia were then faced with negotiating a tricky spell with the bat before the close of play and in eight overs lost the wickets of both Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne, finishing the day on 13-2 217 runs ahead of New Zealand.

As successful as New Zealand have been in recent times the Black Caps have a dire recent record against Australia. In the 21st century they have won just one out of 26 Tests against their opponents from across the Tasman Sea, losing 19 of those contests. Their last home victory against Australia was in Auckland all the way back in 1993.

Green thrives at No.4

It was a landmark performance for Green who was the main beneficiary of David Warner’s retirement from Test cricket, with Steve Smith moving up to open leaving a space for Green to slot into at No. 4. Speaking after play on day two, Green credited a recent stint in the Sheffield Shield for helping him rediscover his form against the red ball. “I think it’s really important,” Green said of playing red-ball cricket in the build-up to a Test series. “I probably struggled to have the red ball practice leading into Tests [recently]. I think it’s been always one or two net sessions then thrown in the deep end a little bit. But that’s what international cricket is like at the moment.

“Unfortunately, it’s been a pretty busy 18 months and there’s not much practice in between changing formats. It’s just a bit of a work in progress for myself. I’m trying to obviously learn off guys that do it quite regularly like Steve and Mitch Marsh, Dave Warner. I think they stay true to their technique. And it’s something that I need to work on. I’m not trying to be changing so much in between formats.”

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