Phillips’ Five-Wicket Haul Stuns Australia as New Zealand Chase 369 for Victory

In a gripping turn of events, Glenn Phillips’ stellar five-wicket haul jolted Australia’s second innings, setting up a thrilling chase for New Zealand.

Despite the early dismissal of opener Tom Latham, New Zealand faces a daunting task of 369 runs to clinch a remarkable victory at Basin Reserve. Nevertheless, Lyon’s loosener early in the chase helped Australia retain their lead.

Phillips’ Five-Wicket Haul Stuns Australia as New Zealand Chase 369 for Victory

Tea: New Zealand 383 & 164 (Lyon 41, Phillips 5-45, Henry 3-36) over Australia 383 & 15 for 1 (Young 7*, Lyon 1-0) need 354 runs.

After reaching tea at 15 for 1, New Zealand still needs 354 runs to pull off an incredible triumph. Despite being handed a wicket in the sixth over when Latham mishandled a short and wide delivery, offspinner Nathan Lyon still commands respect.

Kane Williamson, who had been disastrously run out for a duck in the first innings, survived a failed Australia review of a caught behind appeal off Lyon’s first delivery. Despite a terrible collapse, Lyon’s ominous opening over should give Australia more confidence even though Williamson barely scraped it through.

After lunch, Australia lost 6 for 37 in windy and cloudy conditions to Phillips’ offspin, becoming the first bowler from New Zealand to take five wickets at home since Jeetan Patel in 2008. With 16 overs, he finished with 5 for 45. In Test cricket, Australia’s second innings score of 164 was their sixth lowest total against New Zealand.

In the first Test match of the series, New Zealand has occasionally seemed intimidated as they look to win a rare Test match against Australia. However, since leading New Zealand to a poor first innings of 179 runs with a valiant 71 off 70, Phillips has emerged as a star.

After stumping Usman Khawaja in the opening session, Phillips gave New Zealand a much-needed boost soon after the break by taking the wickets of Travis Head and the highly effective Mitchell Marsh on consecutive deliveries.

Phillips’ Five-Wicket Haul Stuns Australia as New Zealand Chase 369 for Victory

With showers predicted for day five, Head, who had scored just one run in his previous three innings, surged to 29 off 36 balls in a display of proactivity that Australia aimed for.
However, he holed out to long-off before Marsh was caught at short leg, and Rachin Ravindra’s left-arm spin soon joined Phillips in attacking.

For his fourth wicket, Phillips was having so much fun that he had Alex Carey driving to Tim Southee at cover. After posting an impressive first-inning total of 174 without losing, Cameron Green held his ground with 34 from 80 balls as wickets fell all around him and eventually trapped Phillips at short-leg.

Pat Cummins was dropped twice, denying Phillips a sixth wicket, but Matt Henry took the final two wickets, finishing with eight wickets for the match, to complete New Zealand’s comeback.

Phillips became the first bowler from New Zealand to achieve the feat at Basin Reserve since 2006, when Daniel Vettori—who is currently an Australian coach—claimed 7-130 against Sri Lanka. Vettori had never taken five wickets in a first-class cricket match before.

However, New Zealand might come to regret passing on Mitchell Santner, their star spinner. With the biggest run chase at Basin Reserve ever recorded being 277 for 3 by Pakistan in 2003, New Zealand will need to rewrite the record books if they are to take the lead in this series, even with Philips’ valiant efforts.

Lyon, the nightwatcher, controlled the opening half of the match and frustrated a New Zealand side keen to get early wickets, making a recovery seem improbable. Lyon made a brilliant 41 off 46 balls in the innings’ highest score, but they were unable to hold on to the lead despite having scored the most runs in Test history without a half-century with a peak total of 47.

Phillips’ Five-Wicket Haul Stuns Australia as New Zealand Chase 369 for Victory

Late in the second day, Lyon had weathered a difficult moment when he took a knock to his body and was dropped in the slips by Southee on the final ball of play. However, once Australia resumed at 13 for 2, he appeared more at ease. In the first of three consecutive boundaries, he controlled the strike and used good fortune to push Southee through the slips.

Australia’s lead surpassed 250 runs, and Lyon, taking advantage of careless bowling from New Zealand, reached 1500 runs in his career. Like when they went through the motions against Josh Hazlewood and Green, who put on an unprecedented 116 runs apiece at the final wicket in Australia’s opening innings, there was little anger from New Zealand’s quicks who often refused to bowl short.

But Lyon’s blow to Henry at midwicket, blasted him to a jumping Will Young, prevented him from reaching his landmark.

Before lunch, Will O’Rourke bowled some powerful short-pitched deliveries, but he was pulled from the field because of a tight left hamstring, as he was unable to finish his first over of the second session.

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