Australia strikes to have New Zealand 201-6 at tea, day 3.

SYDNEY (AP) — New Zealand slipped further into trouble on the third day of the third cricket test, falling to 210-6 at tea against Australia.

At the second interval Sunday, New Zealand was still 244 runs behind Australia’s first innings score of 454. Glenn Phillips, who was twice dropped by Nathan Lyon and dismissed off a no-ball, was not out on 30 and Todd Astle was unbeaten on 10.

Resuming after lunch at 141-3, New Zealand needed to build a big partnership to cut inroads into Australia’s lead but had the worst possible start when Pat Cummins’ had Ross Taylor (22) out LBW with his first ball.

B.J. Watling never found any rhythm on the slow, dry Sydney Cricket Ground pitch before he dragged a wide Mitchell Starc delivery onto his stumps to be out for nine and reduce the tourists to 163-5.

Phillips and Colin de Grandhomme then set about building some momentum and added 32 together before de Grandhomme (20) opted to take an ill-advised second run off Marnus Labuschagne’s first ball of the day and was caught short of his ground by Matthew Wade throwing from the deep. The television reply showed wicketkeeper Tim Paine managed to receive Wade’s throw and dislodge the bails with de Grandhomme fractionally short of safe territory to reduce New Zealand to 195-6.

The Australian players thought they had a seventh wicket when Phillips holed-out to Travis Head in the deep off James Pattinson when on 28. But Phillips earned a reprieve as Pattinson had overstepped the bowling crease.

Earlier Sunday, New Zealand lost Tom Blundell early before a double-strike by Australia late in the session left the tourists in danger at lunch of a large first-innings deficit.

Blundell failed to add to his overnight 34 before getting himself in a tangle from a Lyon delivery which went through his legs, hit his pad and bounced on to the stumps.

Jeet Raval, in the team for the ill Kane Williamson, and Tom Latham then combined for a 49-run partnership until Lyon (2-60) was brought back into the attack and quickly removed Raval lbw for 31.

Two balls later, Latham’s solid innings ended in a soft fashion on 49 when the stand-in skipper chipped straight to Starc at mid-on off Cummins (2-32) to reduce the tourists to 117-3.

On Saturday, Labuschagne’s stellar summer reached a new peak with his maiden double century before New Zealand rallied. The 25-year-old scored 215 off 363 balls with 19 boundaries and a six before his innings was ended amid a late order collapse by the hosts to be all out for 454.

Australia is seeking a sweep after winning the first two tests at Perth and Melbourne.


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