Phillips and Ravindra boost New Zealand hopes

New Zealand's Rachin Ravindra plays a shot
Rachin Ravindra is unbeaten on 56 in New Zealand’s run-chase
First Test, Wellington (day three of five):
Australia 383 (Green 174*; Southee 5-70) & 164 (Lyon 41, Phillips 5-45)
New Zealand 179 (Phillips 71; Lyon 4-43) & 111-3 (Ravindra 56* Lyon 2-27)
New Zealand trail by 257 runs

New Zealand’s Glenn Phillips ripped through Australia with five wickets as the hosts were set a target of 369 to win the first Test in Wellington.

Rachin Ravindra (56 not out) and Daryl Mitchell (12 not out) dug in before stumps on day three to leave the Black Caps on 111-3.

New Zealand require 257 more runs to win with seven wickets in hand.

Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon top-scored in Australia’s second innings, falling nine short of his first Test fifty.

Cameron Green continued his good form with 34, but all-rounder Phillips spun his way to a five-wicket haul and was on a hat-trick after removing Travis Head for 29 and Mitchell Marsh with the next ball.

Phillips finished with 5-45 as Australia were all out for 164.

The Black Caps’ run-chase started poorly, with Lyon dismissing Tom Latham and Kane Williamson for single-digit scores, before part-time spinner Head removed Will Young for 15 as New Zealand fell to 59-3.

Ravindra, who scored 240 in the first Test against South Africa last month, defied Australia late on with a series of aggressive strokes in his 94-ball knock.

Lyon said it will be crucial to quickly remove the 24-year-old, who scored three centuries at last year’s 50-over World Cup, early on day four.

“Rachin seems like a really good player,” Lyon said. “This is the first time I’ve bowled to him. I watched a lot of him during the World Cup and he’s going to be a superstar.

“Credit where it’s due, he’s played very well here. But I know if we can put pressure on them and challenge their defence for long periods of time, hopefully we can crack them.”


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