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New Zealand v Australia 2024

Nathan Lyon’s fifth 10-wicket haul takes Australia to massive victory over New Zealand

AUS win first Test vs NZ
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Nathan Lyon spun a web around the hosts as Australia defeated New Zealand by 172 runs in the first Test in Wellington today (March 3).

New Zealand started day four at 111-3, chasing 369 for victory. Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell were at the crease as the hosts hoped to pull off what would have been an unexpected run-chase. However, they were up against an in-form Nathan Lyon, who didn’t let them last long.

Having already picked the wickets of Tom Latham and Kane Williamson on the third evening, Lyon got straight to business on the fourth morning. He got Ravindra (59) playing an uppish cut to point in the seventh over of the day, setting off a collapse that all but ended New Zealand’s hopes.

Tom Blundell was dismissed bat-pad, caught at short-leg two balls later while Glenn Phillips was caught plumb in front from around the wicket in the next over to push the hosts back to 128-6.

With Phillips’ wicket, Lyon completed his 24th five-for in Test cricket and his first one in New Zealand. In the process, he became just the third bowler to take Test five-wicket hauls in nine countries, joining an elite list of Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralidaran.

Lyon came back to take another wicket towards the end, getting Tim Southee caught at long on to complete ten wickets in the match, having already taken 4-43 in the first innings. He became the first spinner to take ten wickets in a Test match in New Zealand since 2006.

New Zealand folded for 196 as Josh Hazlewood picked the final wicket of Daryl Mitchell (38). Earlier in the match, Cameron Green had led Australia’s fightback on day one after they were pushed to 89-4 on a green top. Green scored a career-best 174 not out, adding 116 runs for the last wicket and taking Australia to 383.

In response, New Zealand were bundled out for 179, before Phillips’ maiden Test five-for in the third innings restricted Australia to 164, giving the hosts a glimmer of hope. But the visitors turned out to be too good as Lyon finished with 6-65 in the second innings and 10-108 in the match.

With this victory, Australia closed in on New Zealand in the WTC points table. With 59.09 per cent points, Australia are currently third, behind New Zealand (60 per cent) and India (64.58 per cent).

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