Australia loses Warner, 182-2 at tea on 1st day vs NZealand
SYDNEY (AP) — Australia lost opener David Warner for 45 runs — his third score in the 40s this series — but was in control over New Zealand at tea on the first day of the third cricket test.
After Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat first at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australia lost only one wicket in the second session and was 182-2 at tea. Marnus Labuschagne was unbeaten on 73 and and Steve Smith not out 42, putting on an 87-run partnership for the third wicket.
New Zealand paceman Neil Wagner struck with the third ball after lunch by tempting Warner into a pull stroke where he was caught by Colin de Grandhomme taking the sharp chance to his right at leg gully.
Smith took 39 balls to get off the mark as his series nemesis Wagner — who hit the star batsman on the body with his first ball — employed his short-pitched tactic to good effect to limit the Smith’s scoring options and greatly slowed Australia’s run-rate in the hour after lunch.
Labuschagne kept the score ticking over and raised his sixth half-century in seven innings off 97 balls, with four boundaries, and looks well set to complete his fourth century of the Australian summer season after tea.
Opener Joe Burns (18) was the only wicket to fall in the first session when he edged through to Ross Taylor in the slips off de Grandhomme.
New Zealand was forced to make five changes, including that of captain Kane Williamson due to a virus.
Glenn Phillips, who only flew in from Auckland on Thursday as injury cover for Williamson, is making his test debut. Tom Latham is captain and Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee and Trent Boult were also out.
Seamer Matt Henry, spinners Todd Astle and Will Somerville and batsman Jeet Raval were the other inclusions for the tourists.
Australia named an unchanged team from the one that clinched the series 2-0 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground last weekend.
Players from both teams wore black armbands in memory of those killed in current wildfires in southern New South Wales and Victoria states. Conditions were expected to worsen on Saturday and smoke from the fires could affect play on the second day of the test.
Before the match began, a minute of applause was held to thank the thousands of emergency personnel, many of them volunteers, who are fighting the fires.