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Nathan Lyon Spins Australia to Victory over New Zealand in The First Test

Australia emerged victorious in the first test against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve by 172 runs. Their bowling attack once again the difference maker. Nathan Lyon dashed New Zealand’s hopes on the fourth day by taking ten wickets in the match.

After taking a massive first-innings lead of 204 runs thanks to a unbeaten 174 runs from Cameron Green while the rest of his team found the going tough. New Zealand were offered a glimmer of hope after Australia were bundled out for 164 runs in their second innings, setting the hosts a challenging target of 369 runs. It would have been their highest successful run chase had they managed to overhaul that number.

New Zealand resumed their innings at 111 for 3 on the fourth day. A capacity crowd had shown up hoping to witness history. Nathan Lyon though, had other ideas. Having already accounted for the scalps of Latham and Williamson the previous day, he ended any hopes of a New Zealand resistance with the wickets of Rachin Ravindra, Tom Blundell, and Glenn Phillips in two overs. Lyon ended up with match figures of 10-108

Lyon displayed a masterclass in offspin bowling. He became only the 10th spinner in history to take 10 wickets in a match in New Zealand, and only the third in the long history of the Basin Reserve, behind only two spin bowling greats, Daniel Vettori and Muttiah Muralitharan.

In addition, he attained the rare distinction of becoming only the third Test bowler, after Muralitharan and Warne, to take five wickets in nine different countries.

Pat Cummins was full of praise for is star man, he said, “Captain’s dream really, There’s the real sense of calm out there when you know you’ve got someone that good on a wicket that’s giving him a little bit of help”.

He added, “You can get creative with some of the field placements knowing he’s going to land it exactly where you want it to. I thought he was brilliant over the last couple of days bouncing through a few different plans but just always felt like he was in control and always felt like we had Plan B, C, D that we could go to as well but never really felt like we had to. Yeah, an absolute dream.”

The home side has a lot of homework to do before the second test gets underway at Christchurch on March 8. There are lingering concerns about the lack of support from their top order while their side’s balance is also a point of discussion.

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