Cummins takes 5 wickets as Australia takes command over NZ

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — The relentlessly accurate Pat Cummins claimed 5-28 as Australia’s pacemen bowled out New Zealand for 148 on day three of the second test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday.

New Zealand resumed on 44-2 and lost eight wickets for 104 runs to leave Kane Williamson’s side 319 runs behind on the first innings in response to Australia’s 467.

Australia captain Tim Paine declined to enforce the follow on and the home side was 28-0 at tea, an overall lead of 347 runs.

Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls and B.J. Watling all failed to reach double figures, before Colin de Grandhomme fell for 11 as New Zealand wobbled to 102-6 at lunch.

Cummins was on a hat-trick in the third over of the day after removing Taylor (4) caught at first slip and Nicholls (first-ball duck) lbw in consecutive deliveries.

James Pattinson’s bounce troubled Watling (seven), who fended at a short ball and was caught at first slip. In similar fashion, de Grandhomme edged a rising delivery from Mitchell Starc to gully at 97-6.

Opener Tom Latham played a determined knock of 50 before he was caught behind off Cummins at 112-7 after lunch and Mitch Santner departed in the next over, caught behind as Pattinson (3-34) claimed his third victim.

Cummins picked up the fifth five-wicket haul of his career when he dismissed Tim Southee caught behind for 10. Cummins is the leading wicket-taker in test cricket in 2019 with 59 in 12 matches.

Tailender Trent Boult was struck on the hand by Starc (2-30) and was bowled soon after by the left-armer for eight to end the innings. Wicketkeeper Paine took five catches.

On Friday, Travis Head scored a crucial century in Australia’s first innings. Head, who scored 114 runs, shared a 150-run partnership with Paine (79) to tilt the game firmly in Australia’s favor.

Australia leads the three-match series after winning the first test by 296 runs in Perth. The final test will be played in Sydney starting on Jan. 3.


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