New Zealand facing defeat in cricket test versus Australia

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Australia's Mitchell Starc, left, reaches for the crease as New Zealand's Mitchell Santer dives for the ball during their cricket test match in Perth, Australia, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Trevor Collens)
Australia’s Mitchell Starc, left, reaches for the crease as New Zealand’s Mitchell Santer dives for the ball during their cricket test match in Perth, Australia, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Trevor Collens)

PertH, Australia (AP) — New Zealand is facing defeat in the opening cricket test against Australia under lights after left arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc took 5-52 to dismiss the tourists for 166 all out in reply to Australia’s 416 all out at the Perth Stadium on Saturday.

Resuming the day on 109-5 after the top order had capitulated against a rampant Starc under lights the previous evening, the rest of the batting wasn’t any better except for veteran batsman Ross Taylor who top scored with 80 runs.

Australia leading by 250 runs in the first innings refused to enforce the follow-on, and batting the second time was 1-0 in the one over before the lunch break with David Warner on one and Joe Burns yet to score.

The New Zealand innings lasted 55.2 overs over 262 minutes while the Australian first innings consumed 10 ¼ hours and 146.2 overs

Starc controversially claimed the wicket of Colin de Grandhomme adjudged caught by on-field umpire Aleem Dar and upheld by review, for his 13th five-wicket haul in his 55th test match.

De Grandhomme pulled a couple of boundaries off Starc, and two balls later, tried to fend a short pitch delivery that hit the face of the helmet before Steve Smith at second slip caught it. De Grandhomme reviewed Dar’s decision only to be upheld despite a series of inconclusive replays.

Taylor stood between New Zealand and the hosts with a 134-ball innings over 2 ½ hours hitting nine boundaries before offspinner Nathan Lyon (2-48) forced an edge and Smith at slip took his third catch.

The only other notable contribution came from skipper Kane Williamson (34) before he was brilliantly caught by Smith at second slip to end a fighting 76-run third wicket stand.

Australian swing bowler Josh Hazlewood who left the field after bowling just eight balls in the New Zealand innings will not bowl again in the test after scans confirmed a strained hamstring.