PERTH: New Zealand talisman Kane Williamson fell to a fired-up Australia before the first break on the fourth day of the opening test on Sunday, as the tourists’ daunting run chase on a deteriorating Perth Stadium pitch got off to a disastrous start.
Chasing a record 468 runs, New Zealand were teetering at 31 for two at the break with Tom Latham 10 not out and Ross Taylor unbeaten on five.
Spinner Nathan Lyon picked up the prized wicket of Williamson (14) with his first ball as the New Zealand skipper meekly poked to short leg.
Opener Jeet Raval made just one for the second time in the day-night match, falling to a sharp Mitchell Starc delivery.
The wickets undid New Zealand’s positive start in the opening session.
Australia, resuming their second innings on 167-6, declared at 217 for nine midway through the opening session.
Tireless quicks Tim Southee (5-69) and Neil Wagner (3-59) shared the spoils as Australia lost eight wickets for 86 runs.
Opener Joe Burns top-scored with 53 while Marnus Labuschagne made 50, ending his streak of three straight test centuries.
Widening cracks marked the pitch, with Matthew Wade hit on the thumb in the second over by the fiery Wagner, whose short-pitched tactics paid off when Pat Cummins tickled down the leg-side for 13.
Wade never settled after the early whack and holed out to Colin de Grandhomme for 17.
Starc (23) struck several lusty blows to frustrate New Zealand in the fierce heat.
Both teams are without a paceman after debutant Lockie Ferguson, himself a replacement for injured New Zealand spearhead Trent Boult, and Josh Hazlewood suffered leg injuries on the opening two days.
Oppressive weather conditions continued for the fourth straight day as the temperature peaked at 41 degrees Celsius.
New Zealand have only won one test in Australia since their sole series triumph across the Tasman Sea in 1985-86....