62nd over: New Zealand 154-8 (Southee 0, Wagner 0) Matthew Wade is enjoying being, well, Matthew Wade. They are very happy to have Wagner out there under lights with the game now very much lost for the Black Caps. Of course, Wade was hit many times by Wagner in his gutsy innings. He’s immediately into the Kiwi bowler here as Cummins completes his second successful over on the trot. Oh, and by getting hrough that Wagner is off his King Pair, I should note.
WICKET! Santner c Head b Cummins 0 (New Zealand 154-8)
Cummins gets another! 20 wickets now in the Test have now fallen to the short ball and what a short ball this is. Santner had little no chance of getting out of the way, such was the brutal bounce. With both feet off the air, he deflected to Travis Head under the lid.
WICKET! Watling c Paine b Starc 40 (New Zealand 154-7)
PAINE REVIEWS CORRECTLY! There’s a mark on the hotspot and a spike on the snicko. Watling deserved a half-century but falls ten runs short. Starc has three. Australia should win this tonight.
61st over: New Zealand 154-7 (Santner 0)
PAINE GOES UPSTAIRS! Starc was appealing for caught behind down the legside – did Watling glove it? Umpire Llong says no. We’ll see.
60th over: New Zealand 154-6 (Watling 40, Santner 0) How will Santner go here? He usually plays his shots, might that be the best way for him to get the Black Caps to the close? Gee, he can’t have a dip at the short one to finish – it’s a brute of a thing that smashes into his shoulder. Ouch. The end of an outstanding Cummins over.
WICKET! de Grandhomme c Smith b Cummins 33 (New Zealand 154-6)
Cummins is back into the attack and strikes third ball of his spell! It’s a super bit of bowling from around the wicket, winning the edge of de Grandhomme with a ball he had to play at. Smith does the rest, claiming a sharp catch low to the turf. Four to go. He earned that.
59th over: New Zealand 152-5 (Watling 39, de Grandhomme 33) Starc again to CDG, a match-up they like. But he isn’t taking the bouncer on, getting underneath it instead. He leaves the next one up there too – good batting. He continues to stay the course until the final ball, where he has a wee waft at something well wide of off stump. Leave those alone, Colin. And with that, they take a drink. Australia have picked up just one wicket in the two hours I’ve been on the tools. They have 16 overs left to bowl tonight. “It will be hard work to get it done tonight,” agrees Wade, interviewed on TV during the break.
58th over: New Zealand 152-5 (Watling 39, de Grandhomme 33) Oooh, another edge from around the wicket for Lyon, Watling deflecting the ball to where second slip would be if one were in position. As they note on commentary, is there anything lost by having a second catcher there given he’s coming from that angle?
57th over: New Zealand 148-5 (Watling 36, de Grandhomme 32) The crowd give Starc a big cheer as he returns to the attack. It’s been two hours since he last bowled, so he should be fresh for this stint. There won’t be a second new ball tonight but that usually isn’t a problem for Starc with the pink missile, which he usually gets moving. As Mike Hussey points out on TV, there are fielders spread all over the place behind square to de Grandhomme when he gets on strike, Starc banging it in and making life tough but he makes it through. These two have now put on 50. There are 18 overs left tonight.
56th over: New Zealand 146-5 (Watling 36, de Grandhomme 31) Lyon’s biggest weapon right now is bounce rather than turn. He gets one to lift big, Paine just getting his gloves up in time. Other than that, Watling has a plan and he’s sticking to it – using the crease well.
55th over: New Zealand 144-5 (Watling 34, de Grandhomme 31) Shot. de Grandhomme jumps across his stumps to work Head with the spin down to the fine leg rope. A shot that is harder than it looks, especially with men around the bat catching. He defends the rest.
54th over: New Zealand 140-5 (Watling 34, de Grandhomme 27) It’s not drifting – they’re both giving it a rip and creating. When de Grandhomme is beaten here it prompts a shout for lbw. But, on the whole, the relatively set New Zealand pair are handling this well.
53rd over: New Zealand 138-5 (Watling 33, de Grandhomme 26) Head to replace Labuschagne, which isn’t a bad shout given how much turn he was generating before the tea interval. He’s certainly giving it a rip, so de Grandhomme plays him watchfully.
52nd over: New Zealand 136-5 (Watling 32, de Grandhomme 25) Around the wicket, Lyon finds two outside edges in a row… the second dropped by Smith at slip! It went quick to his left off Watling’s bat but you don’t expect to see a catcher of his ability put anything down. The other mitigating factor, as Mark Waugh notes, is that he would have seen it late from that angle due to Paine’s gloves. I should note that earlier in the over, Neser put in a superb dive, stop and throw. Before this summer is over, he must have a baggy green.
51st over: New Zealand 132-5 (Watling 28, de Grandhomme 25) I do like Labuschagne’s style, racing through his overs like Ravi Jadeja.
50th over: New Zealand 130-5 (Watling 28, de Grandhomme 23) “A classic in-out field,” says Michael Hussey of the plan to de Grandhomme with Lyon in operation: four catchers in close, three boundary-riders waiting for another hoick. But there’s nothing for anyone here despite how well the off-spinner is landing them.
On Aleem Dar, I have a note from Greg Mason. “Surely there should be a maximum number of successful reviews before the umpire is sent off and swapped for better one?”
Enormous respect for his long and committed service. But it’s probably time that Aleem was replaced on the elite panel.
49th over: New Zealand 129-5 (Watling 28, de Grandhomme 22) Labuschagne replaces Cummins, who needs a breather. Quite right. de Grandhomme collects three first up from a half-tracker but the spinner is right on the mark with his topspinners to Watling, bringing those cracks into play more than the footmarks.
48th over: New Zealand 126-5 (Watling 28, de Grandhomme 19) It’s such a bad decision from Aleem Dar. Paine barely appealed; his finger went up with him. de Grandhomme gets off strike with one into the on side after the reprieve, so to speak. Watling does the rest.
ALEEM DAR HAS GIVEN DE GRANDHOMME OUT. It isn’t out. He reviews right away. A massive gap; I can’t believe he gave it.
47th over: New Zealand 125-5 (Watling 28, de Grandhomme 18) Cummins searching for those cracks, doing it at pace. Watling in response doing as he has thoughout, defending with soft hands and getting out the way whenever he can. Cummins 16-5-28-0.
46th over: New Zealand 123-5 (Watling 27, de Grandhomme 17) de Grandhomme has showed plenty of patience against Lyon since hitting his second ball for six… that is, until, he finishes this over with a one-handed smash over square leg. It’s safe and four but deserves to be neither on aesthetic grounds. He’s still there!
45th over: New Zealand 119-5 (Watling 27, de Grandhomme 13) Some chaos to begin, de Grandhomme losing the ball after dealing with a biting short one. Leaving his ground, Wade races in and tries to back-heel the ball onto the stumps. Fair to say it was no Mo Salah from yesterday… what a ridiculous goal that was. They both were.
44th over: New Zealand 117-5 (Watling 27, de Grandhomme 12) It was Smith’s fault that they didn’t review the caught behind off Lyon in the previous over, insistent that it was pad not bat, the stump mic reveals. Watling is far more assured against him this time around, blunting the spin time and again off the front foot.
43rd over: New Zealand 116-5 (Watling 27, de Grandhomme 11) How is it possible that Cummins has one wicket in this match? In a way, I wish he had none so it could beat McGrath’s effort at Melbourne in 2000, which I have previously written of as being the best pair of none-fas in Test Cricket. This time around he smacks CDG on the thigh pad early in the over before nearly hitting him in the helmet with an accurate short one. The big boy keeps his cool though, steering a square drive out to deep point for three. In doing so, he brings up his 1000th run in Test cricket. With a batting average above 40 and a bowling mark under 30, he’s a legitimate Test all-rounder.
42nd over: New Zealand 113-5 (Watling 27, de Grandhomme 8) For once, Paine doesn’t review… on a delivery that found the edge and was out! A lovely piece of bowling from Lyon who had Watling on the front foot, lunging. Paine took it expertly and appealed. But when the decision didn’t go his way, he didn’t send it upstairs. Dear me.
41st over: New Zealand 108-5 (Watling 23, de Grandhomme 7) Cummins hasn’t picked up a wicket today but could easily run through this New Zealand lower order. He gets an early look at de Grandhomme and beats his inside edge, before finding it with his next delivery. Watling does well to clip a couple to finish. It’s on.
40th over: New Zealand 104-5 (Watling 20, de Grandhomme 6) And second ball, de Grandhomme HITS LYON FOR SIX! As you do. Dance, swing, connect. Over long-on, have that.
The players are back on the field. There are 35.2 overs left on this fourth day, which will take Australia the full 150 minutes. Then an extra half an hour at their disposal to finish the match tonight, which can be taken by the umpires if they see fit. Lyon to de Grandhomme, the new man, to complete his successful over. PLAY!
TEA! WICKET! Nicholls c Head b Lyon 21 (New Zealand 98-5)
That’s out. Nicholls was a long way forward and ball did hit his pad, but it flicked the back of his bat too before looping to Head. The South Australian did really well to get his right hand under it at silly point. A classic off-spinners’ wicket. Lyon has three. And that’s tea.
NICHOLLS GIVEN OUT CAUGHT AT SILLY POINT! He’s reviewing it.
39th over: New Zealand 97-4 (Nicholls 21, Watling 19) Labuschagne around the wicket to Nicholls, as wide of the crease is is legal. Paine and co continue to work him over for not generating much spin but he might not need to if he can land it in the footmarks there for him courtesy of at Pat Cummins. Not so on this occasion, the left-hander taking a couple to cover then two more off his pads. One over to go.
38th over: New Zealand 93-4 (Nicholls 17, Watling 19) Nathan Lyon is back for a brief burst before tea and it’s a lovely over too, Watling having to deal with tons of turn then one that doesn’t spin – possibly hitting a crack? – beating his outside edge with a lot of bounce. When Lyon has his tail up late in a Test match he’s such a different bowler.