After an impressive show with the bat, Australia continued their dominance in the Perth heat with Mitchell Starc's four-fer reducing New Zealand to 109 for five in the opening day-night Test. However, the Aussies were hurt by the absence of Josh Hazlewood who walked away midway through his second over with a hamstring pull and potentially ruling him out of the remainder of the match. And amid the dramatic night session of the pink-ball Test, it was Steve Smith's wondrous catch at second slip that grabbed the limelight.
The fast-paced length delivery from Starc moved away from the stumps and drew a poke and an edge from Williamson. The ball seemed all set to pierce the gap between the second slip and gully, but Smith's athleticism urged him to launch himself towards his right and pluck that stunner to complete that stunning dismissal. Smith's blinder ended New Zealand's 75-run stand between the captain and Ross Taylor.
"It's nice having him at second slip, he's pretty good there," said Starc after the day's play.
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STEVE SMITH!December 13, 2019
Continuing through his spell, he dismissed Henry Nicholls for seven six overs later before getting rid of the nightwatchman Neil Wagner as well, off the very next ball. Starc ended with 4 for 31 in 11 overs while Hazlewood had taken the other wicket, of Jeet Raval.
New Zealand ended with 109 for five, and are still trailing by 307 runs. They need a massive partnership between a well-set Ross Taylor who is on 66 off 86 and a determined BJ Watling, who recently scored a double ton in New Zealand's last series.
Talking about the final session on Friday, Starc added, "It had everything. A few more runs than we would have liked but we have five wickets, so we'll take that. Hopefully we can get Roscoe early in the morning."