40th over: Australia 125-1 (Burns 50, Labuschagne 47) We’re driiiiiiifting. Labuschagne picks three off from the first over of Santner’s new spell. 24 overs left, which they won’t get in with 87 minutes left on the clock – including the extra half an hour.
Out of a healthy twitter exchange about umpires hitting the deck, this is on top of the podium. From the famous 1966 Grand Final.
39th over: Australia 122-1 (Burns 50, Labuschagne 44) The Composer is back with his left arm short-and-awkward. Labuschagne gives the strike to Burns early in the over but he isn’t tempted with the field spread out ready for any miscued pull or hook. The lead is now 372.
Burns to 50
38th over: Australia 121-1 (Burns 50, Labuschagne 43) Yes, Joe. Is there more public goodwill towards any Australia player than there is Joe Burns? He brings up his half-century with a push to cover, one of five runs worked around the field off Southee in the over. He’s faced 102 balls to raise his bat, striking six boundaries. Double it up!
37th over: Australia 116-1 (Burns 49, Labuschagne 39) Two more singles off CDG but the crowd and television coverage are mostly interested in the conventional beer snake. But security are having nothing of it, confiscating the cups. For a country priding itself on a knockabout disposition, we’re obsessed with silly stuff like that.
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36th over: Australia 114-1 (Burns 46, Labuschagne 38) A good five minutes taken out of the game with that delay, which will help New Zealand’s top order, who surely won’t want to bat tonight. Besides, a declaration would deny Marnus the chance for four Test tons in a row. Give us that, Tim. There are properly full in the crowd at Casino Stadium, now making a beer-carrier snake of sorts.
Umpire down! Umpire Aleem Dar has copped a whack to the knee from Mitch Santner and we have a delay as a result. Tim Southee was picking up and throwing after racing to a ball at cover, which meant that Dar was getting out of the way at the danger end. But Santner was running to take the stumps and the accidental collision occured. Knee on knee contact saw the man in white hit the deck. The magic spray comes out, followed by strapping. I think he’s going to be okay.
35th over: Australia 111-1 (Burns 46, Labuschagne 37) de Grandhomme is continuing to do his bit, onlt giving up a couple to Labuschagne when he’s a tad too straight. Otherwise, spot on.
34th over: Australia 109-1 (Burns 46, Labuschagne 35) Southee replaces Santner but he runs keep coming, Labuschagne carving away over the cordon for four – no issues there. Burns is in on it as well, taking a couple in that third man direction before finishing with a cover drive for two more, where there is now a sweeper in place. Australia have gone at a run a ball for the last five overs. I know we dismissed it before tea, but, is this the behaviour of a team that might declare tonight? As Mark Waugh calculates, if they make 80 in the next 20 overs, that leaves eight overs tonight at the Black Caps with a 440-run lead. That might be tempting. If they get them all in.
33rd over: Australia 100-1 (Burns 42, Labuschagne 30) de Grandhomme gets through a quiet maiden to Burns.
“Morning/Evening Adam.” Morning where I am at Guardian Towers, Brian Withington. Great to hear from you. “Where better than the OBO to find solace after a soul destroying UK general election? (I won’t mention turkeys voting for Christmas in case an animal rights activist quite reasonably points out that’s libelling turkeys.) Moving on, given how ominously good Aus are looking already, English cricket clearly needs to work on some disingenuous three word slogans before next Ashes. Channeling the genius of ‘Take Back Control’ and ‘Get Brexit Done’, how about ‘Take Wickets Cheaply’ and ‘Get More Runs’?”
It might be all you have. As you say, they’re getting very good again.
32nd over: Australia 100-1 (Burns 42, Labuschagne 30) Shot! 1000 runs in 2019 brought up by Labuschagne, going inside-out over cover to start Santner’s new over. A lovely way to get to that milestone, averaging 72 along the way. And he’s far from done yet. The 50 partnership is also now raised. Burns moves into the 40s with a further boundary, chopping hard with the spin into the turf, running away to the third man rope. The Australian 100 is up as well. The tweaker is under the pump, going at five an over.
31st over: Australia 90-1 (Burns 37, Labuschagne 25) de Grandhomme offers up a couple of rare sundries this time around, a wide down the legside to Labuschagne then overstepping in at Burns. The runs keep coming when the former deflects three through the relatively vacant cordon. It has loosened up a bit since the tea break, making the most this chance to pile on runs.
30th over: Australia 83-1 (Burns 36, Labuschagne 22) Santner is more dangerous when the ball isn’t spinning right now, those the deliveries that are asking questions from this right-handed pair When there’s turn, they’re finding enough time to pick off runs.
For those in the Tom Banton Fan Club (me): the TV coverage reports that the Somerset batsman hit 104 not out in Brisbane club cricket day… off 35 balls. He’s playing for the Heat in the Big Bash soon.
29th over: Australia 79-1 (Burns 35, Labuschagne 19) de Grandhomme continues his pre-Tea spell. Burns pushes a single to cover then Labuschagne deals with the rest. No rush.
Some big, quick and timely runs for Erin Burns in Australia ‘A’ colours ahead of the T20 World Cup in February/March next year.
28th over: Australia 78-1 (Burns 34, Labuschagne 19) Three singles in four balls after the break. Ian Smith, on commentary, observes that Santner has been quite effective at holding an end up but needs to start bowling teams out. He nearly skittles Labuschagne with the last ball here, skidding on from around the wicket. Well kept out.
Just read during the break that New Zealand’s finest Olympian, Peter Snell, died overnight at age 80.
OB Jato has sent me his team of the year. You can too, of course.
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Mayank Agarwal, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Ajinkya Rahane, Ben Stokes, BJ Wattling (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Pat Cummins, Jofra Archer, and Neil Wagner (12th man: Jack Leach, because Jack Leach).
“I’ve stuck to regular positions for all players, which means a few great perofrmers like Kohli might have missed out. Thoughts?”
Well, you can’t leave Virat or people are going to get very angry with you. And besides, he’s definitely there. You’re being provacative. Fair play. I also had Jadeja in mine, for what it’s worth. And Wagner.
TEA: Australia 75-1
27th over: Australia 75-1 (Burns 32, Labuschagne 18) Labuschagne finishes his scoring for the session with a tidy clip out to deep midwicket, Burns doing likewise on the pull to the same sweeper. There’s a bit of extra bounce to finish at Marnus, but he rides it well. At the tea break Australia lead by 325 runs – their slowest session of the match. But it matters little with so much time at their disposal.
NOT OUT! No, that’s not a good review. Going well over. That’s it for New Zealand in terms of their use of the DRS in this innings.
IS LABUSCHAGNE LBW SHOULDERING ARMS TO DE GRANDHOMME? Williamson is wagering his second review on it.
26th over: Australia 73-1 (Burns 31, Labuschagne 17) Santner to Burns, who gets off strike with a glance. Labuschagne then adds two more with a nicely timed late cut before adding more runs through cover and past midwicket. Ominous for New Zealand.
25th over: Australia 67-1 (Burns 30, Labuschagne 12) de Grandhomme’s turn after Warner’s spell, with three overs left until the tea break. Labuschagne’s intent is on show already, here turning one into two just behind point with rapid running. As the TV notes, if he can reach three figures in this innings he will join Jack Fingleton as the only other Australian with four Test tons on the bounce.
24th over: Australia 65-1 (Burns 30, Labuschagne 10) Positive and perfectly executed, Burns dances at Santner and deposits him straight over his head for four. Once upon a time, he was dropped two Tests after a wonderful century on the basis that he couldn’t play spin. The way he played Yasir in Brisbane suggests otherwise.
23rd over: Australia 61-1 (Burns 26, Labuschagne 10) Marnus Labuschagne has now made 500 Test runs this summer – quite outstanding. He brings that up with a boundary to start the new Wagner over, cutting away a short ball that doesn’t get up. By the back half of the set, the left-armer is over the wicket for the first time at Labuschagne but he wants nothing of it. Time on his side.
Speaking of time, always-sensible Mike Hussey is talking about the inevitable declaration speculation. “There’s plenty of time,” he says. “In modern society we always want things to happen quicker. But this is Test cricket. There’s no hurry, it’s played over five days.”
21st over: Australia 55-1 (Burns 25, Labuschagne 5) LABUSCHAGNE DROPPED! Oh dear, de Grandhomme has huge hands (I can only assume) but they aren’t sufficiently coordinated to snaffle Marnus when running back with the flight at midwicket. Wagner won the top edge with the number three on the pull. Yes, every chance coming from over the shoulder when on the move is tough but they practice them over and over again at training. He had to take it. By the end of the over, there’s more variable bounce from around the wicket. My sense is that this game is going to hurry up quite a bit after tea.
20th over: Australia 53-1 (Burns 24, Labuschagne 4) Labuschagne is off the mark with a push, then clipping through midwicket like he was picking up from yesterday… or the week before that or the week before that. Whisper it: twin tons are on the shelf for him here.
19th over: Australia 48-1 (Burns 23, Labuschagne 0) Shot, Joey. For the third time in the last few overs, Burns jumps onto the front foot with a big stride before square driving for four. A lot to like about that technique. There’s a bit going on with the bounce now – from Wagner’s end at least – with a couple of balls keeping relatively low. The second of those, a bumper, nearly hits Burns when evading.
“Hi Adam, thanks for the blog.” A pleasure as always, Scott Lowe. “Not sure why people (mostly on Twitter) are saying Paine should declare tonight and get them in under lights. There’s still two days to play, and Starc and Cummins probably need more than a few hours rest if they are going to be bowling in this heat. Thoughts?”
Usually it’s former players on telly pushing for an early declaration to get the game dealt with early as possible. And look, I’ve not been immune from that thinking myself when on tour. In this case, I’m sure that chatter is mostly due to the orthodoxy of bowling at night whenever possible, even if the dark session is shorter at Perth with their 1pm start (Adelaide is 2pm for pink-ball Tests, by comparison). Needless to say, it won’t be happening. They’re only 298 ahead, they only have two fast bowlers and it’s 40 degrees at the ground.
WICKET! Warner c Blundell (sub) b Southee 19 (Australia 44-1)
Warner tries to pull Southee from around the wicket but instead the top edge ends up in the hands of the sub fielder Blundell. Nicely set up with that angle, having beaten his inside edge earlier in the over.
18th over: Australia 44-1 (Burns 19)
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17th over: Australia 44-0 (Warner 19, Burns 19) Wagner with the legside trap in place to Wagner, two out for the hook, another couple catching in that general direction. The left-hander doesn’t get sucked in though, clipping one off the hip. Wagner stays the course to Burns, starting with a tempter out wide – so wide it is signalled as an extra. He responds by… popping in a leg slip. I love this guy. He then oversteps for the second time in two overs. No-balls called, on the field? What is this, 1996? And he does so again to Warner a couple of balls later, a delivery that the left-hander actually had a pop at and missed – the sort that can easily get a little edge. On TV – I think I heard this correctly – they say it had been 1300 balls for Wagner between foot faults until these last couple of overs. Odd.
16th over: Australia 38-0 (Warner 17, Burns 18) Aussie Joe Burns reaches out to a Southee half-volley and creams it along the carpet behind point for four. Nice shot. As Michael Vaughan notes on comms, it won’t take long before they start hunting for his head unless he makes bulk runs again soon. That’s absolutely ridiculous, by the way, but the assessment is spot on – we’ve seen this film before when it comes to the opener. Southee bends his back in response to the boundary-ball, angling back off the seam and nearly beating the inside edge, falling over in his follow-through, such was the effort. But Burns holds his shape to the final ball of the over, latching onto another overpitched offering, again using the angle behind point to add a second controlled boundary. Good batting.
G’day. Declaration runs, the best kind of runs! Okay, not quite. But, in keeping with New Zealand’s discipline in the first innings with the ball, they clearly aren’t going to drop their bundle and let the hosts score quickly. Even without the injured Ferguson, they won’t give up hope of rolling Australia and chasing the runs – however unlikely.
15th over: Australia 30-0 (Warner 17, Burns 10) Wagner to Burns, who scores a couple off the pads. But a couple of balls later and Warner is nearly run out! I think Burns had forgotten that Santner is a left-hander. Burns drops the ball out towards point and runs immediately, calling yes, expecting that the fielder will have to run around the ball. But Santner grabs it in his left hand and throws all in the one movement, and Warner isn’t even in the frame as the ball passes the stump. A big chance missed.
A couple more decent bouncers from Wagner, and he gets no-balled for an overstep into the bargain.
That’s drinks, and that’s me for the day. I commend you into the care of Adam Collins.
14th over: Australia 25-0 (Warner 17, Burns 7) Tim Southee has swung around to replace de Grandhomme from the far end, but there’s not much sense of threat from him today. Another couple of decent balls just outside off stump but Warner is leaving confidently enough. I do wonder about the selection: Southee is a key part of NZ’s work at home, but he’s rarely seemed a threat in Australia. Averages mid-40s and is bowling in the 120s for speed today. With Ferguson on debut his experience was probably needed, but you wonder whether someone like Matt Henry with more velocity mightn’t have been worth a run here with Perth’s bounce.
13th over: Australia 25-0 (Warner 17, Burns 7) Wagner carries on, mostly full to Warner this over, who takes five balls to get a run to fine leg. Wagner bowling in the low 130 kph region in this over, it will be interesting to see whether he can get his pace back up as he warms into his spell.
12th over: Australia 25-0 (Warner 16, Burns 7) Warner isn’t landing much on de Grandhomme. Finds mid-off with a drive, then tries a swat-pull shot to a ball that doesn’t get up high enough so that Warner misses by a foot. Finally he taps a run to point.
11th over: Australia 24-0 (Warner 15, Burns 7) Wagner is on for his first over. He’s had 24 hours’ break since his two days of marathon spells. What he wouldn’t have given for another night. Burns gets forward and drives a boundary through the covers for four. That’ll make him feel better.
What is it with New Zealand’s luck and day-night Tests in Australia? “The flash on Lyon’s bat a few years back could have come from anywhere,” emails Nathan Green, “and the lack of a snicko on CDG’s gloves could have come from anywhere too.”
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10th over: Australia 20-0 (Warner 15, Burns 3) Eventually de Grandhomme gets a couple wrong, on leg stump for Burns who gets a single, then Warner who gets four. Now then, New Zealand will review! A short ball that surprises Warner zooms past the glove, hits his shoulder and loops to second slip. There’s a good take diving forward. Aleem Dar says not out, Williamson reviews.
Now then. This is basically Colin de Grandhomme’s dismissal all over again, except that the umpire on the field has said not out this time, and out the other time. It’s inconclusive around the glove, so the TV umpire has no choice but to go with the original call. New Zealand are not getting the rub of the green.
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9th over: Australia 15-0 (Warner 11, Burns 2) Southee bowls nicely to Warner from around the wicket, angling in with some swing and Warner is squared up, sparring to cover his off stump and nearly edging behind. A maiden in the end.
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8th over: Australia 15-0 (Warner 11, Burns 2) Joe Burns is really starting to sweat on that first run. Gets a straight ball from de Grandhomme but hits it to midwicket and can’t score. Then finally he gets a skewed push that goes accidentally into a gap at cover and gets him down the wicket, then back for a second. Ok. Deep breath. What’s next?
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7th over: Australia 13-0 (Warner 11, Burns 0) Warner frees his arms to redirect Southee behind point, and that takes him to 7001 runs in Test cricket. He’s got his average back up to 48.6 and has 23 Test hundreds. It’s a pretty remarkable record, before you even add in what he’s done in the shorter formats.
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6th over: Australia 9-0 (Warner 7, Burns 0) A familiar pattern, with Warner pushing a single to the off side and Burns seeing out the rest from de Grandhomme.
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5th over: Australia 8-0 (Warner 6, Burns 0) Warner squirts Southee away off the inside edge, and Burns is immediately back on strike. Needs to find a way to relax and just play. He can’t get off the mark in these next five balls either.
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4th over: Australia 7-0 (Warner 6, Burns 0) Joe Burns really isn’t comfortable at the moment. He’s nervous after a couple of low scores, I fancy. Fair enough, given how fast he’s been dropped repeatedly through his career. He nearly gets a duck here, hesitantly pushing at de Grandhomme, getting an inside edge, and turning to watch it bounce over his middle stump.
3rd over: Australia 7-0 (Warner 6, Burns 0) Southee to Warner, who is blocking anything on a good length but pounces on the one full delivery to drive it straight for four! So clear in his thinking and his execution at the moment.
2nd over: Australia 3-0 (Warner 2, Burns 0) We’re back, and Colin de Grandhomme will open the bowling after lunch rather than Neil Wagner. Perhaps looking for some swing early while saving Wagner to change things up with the short ball. No run off the bat for Burns who keeps leaving outside off stump, but the first ball of the over was an overstep that Warner knocked away for a run.
Lunch – Australia lead by 250 batting a second time
So Australia wrapped up the Kiwis for a paltry score in that session and have declined to invoke the follow-on with a bowler down. There’s half the Test match yet ahead of them to forge a bigger lead.
What are the tactics from here? Will Australia put the foot to the floor for two hours and then declare to make New Zealand bat under lights once again? Or bat long into the fourth day to declare then? The first option would be tempting, if the Aussies could batter 150 runs or so in the next couple of hours. But the second could really steamroll the whole New Zealand team, making them do another three sessions in the field before batting again. I suspect that’s what will end up happening, unless NZ can find a rush of wickets from somewhere.