Perth, Australia, Dec 14 (AFP/APP):Australia declined to enforce the follow-on despite taking a massive first innings lead on the third day of the first Test against New Zealand at Perth Stadium on Saturday.
After the home side made 416 the Kiwis were dismissed for only 166 in their first innings just before lunch as Australian paceman Mitchell Starc terrorised their batsmen. Australia faced one over in their second innings before lunch and were one for none, with David Warner on one and Joe Burns yet to score.
The visitors trailed by 250 runs in the first innings, but Australia didn’t enforce the follow-on given the extreme heat and the absence of front line paceman Josh Hazlewood due to injury. Starc claimed 5-52 and troubled the New Zealanders with his pace and bounce.
Only Ross Taylor offered meaningful resistance with 80, but he was caught at slip by Steve Smith off the bowling of Nathan Lyon. Smith took three catches, including his blinder on the second day to remove Kane Williamson for 34 and end a 76-run third-wicket stand with Taylor.
His third was contentious, when Colin de Grandhomme (23) was given out caught behind by umpire Aleem Dar to hand Starc his fifth scalp. De Grandhomme tried to fend off a rising delivery and the ball deflected off his helmet to Smith in slips, with Dar believing it also brushed the batsman’s gloves.
The batsman reviewed and although replays showed no conclusive evidence of contact with his gloves, third umpire Marais Erasmus said there was insufficient grounds to overturn the dismissal and Dar’s decision stood.