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Day-night Test surges off to a promising start at the Adelaide Oval

Photo courtesy: Getty Images
Photo courtesy: Getty Images

In a packed Adelaide stadium, the inaugural day-night Test exceeded expectations, producing a riveting day of cricket. Brendon McCullum won the toss and opted to bat on a historic day in Test cricket.

However, the New Zealand innings did not begin promisingly with Martin Guptill struggling to read the movement generated by Josh Hazlewood and the pink ball. He was trapped in front by an in-swinging delivery by the tall New South Wales seamer.

Kane Williamson, however, continued from where he left off in Perth and asserted himself over the Aussie bowlers. But Mitchell Starc took a leaf out of his ODI exploits and responded with a stinging Yorker and Williamson was unable to extend his golden summer to the day-night contest.

Ross Taylor, fresh from his exploits in the previous Test, arrived at the crease to join Tom Latham. A fruitful partnership began to develop between the pair as they resisted the Australians by combining caution with aggression.

But the pink ball started to show its true colours making batting difficult in the post-lunch session. Nathan Lyon accounted for Latham by extracting significant bounce. He was aided by a remarkable take by Peter Nevill, the young wicket-keeper.

Soon, chaos engulfed the New Zealand as the senior duo of Taylor and McCullum were dismissed in quick fashion by Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc respectively as the visitors collapsed to 98/5.

Photo courtesy: Cricket Australia
Photo courtesy: Cricket Australia

Debutant Mitchell Santner was greeted by a hostile crowd and a hungry bowling unit. He counter-attacked and added useful runs with BJ Watling by unleashing a wide array of strokes. But his ambitious innings ended when he failed to gauge a full-length ball from Starc.

Soon after, Australia were dealt a huge blow when Starc limped gingerly off the field following an ankle injury. Though his vicious spell was cut short, the other bowlers stepped up and ensured that New Zealand were bowled out for just 202.

When the Australian openers walked into bat, they knew that negotiating the likes of Tim Southee and Trent Boult would not be easy, especially under lights. Trent Boult got the ball to swing extravagantly and managed to induce a false shot from David Warner to get rid of the opener.

Doug Bracewell continued the good work by snaring Joe Burns, who looked all at sea against the moving ball. However, captain Steve Smith and the experienced Adam Voges thwarted any further damages with composure and dexterity. The day ended with Australia reaching 54/2 at stumps. But the biggest take-away was the admirable support shown by the spectators who seemed to embrace the day-night encounter with open minds.

Australia vs New Zealand, Adelaide day-night Test, Day 1 scores:
New Zealand 202 all out (Latham 50, Starc 3-24)
Australia 54/2 (Smith 24*, Bracewell 1-6)

New Zealand won the toss and chose to bat.

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