Latham’s Resurgence Lifts New Zealand in 2nd Test Against Australia:

Latham's Resurgence Lifts New Zealand in 2nd Test Against Australia:

News by “Sana Ullah”

CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand opener Tom Latham’s timely return to form lifted the Black Caps back into contention in the second Test against Australia on Saturday as they erased a 94-run deficit to take a 40-run lead by stumps.

Latham, given a reprieve by Alex Carey on 59, remained unbeaten on 65 in New Zealand’s second innings at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval, exactly a year after his last half-century against Sri Lanka at the same venue.

After the early dismissal of Will Young for one, Latham and Kane Williamson combined for a 105-run partnership for the second wicket.

Williamson, marking his 100th Test, reached his half-century with a single off Mitchell Starc but was soon dismissed, edging a Pat Cummins delivery onto his middle stump.

At the close of play, New Zealand stood at 134 for two, with Rachin Ravindra not out on 11 alongside Latham.

Australia’s first innings ended midway through the day, with Marnus Labuschagne’s impressive 90 setting the stage for their total of 256 in response to New Zealand’s 162.

With the pitch showing signs of easing compared to the earlier sessions, Latham and Williamson formed a crucial partnership for New Zealand, who had struggled against Australia’s formidable bowling attack.

Labuschagne found form for Australia after several low scores, anchoring their innings. Their batting struggled otherwise, with Mitchell Starc contributing 28 as the second-highest scorer.

The standout performer for New Zealand was Matt Henry, who claimed 7-67. Henry, entrusted with the new ball in Trent Boult’s absence, has been pivotal in the series with 15 wickets so far.

As Australia resumed at 124-4, Labuschagne faced an early issue with his positioning and eventually fell short of a century, dismissed by a clever strategy involving Tom Blundell standing up to the stumps.

Henry continued to trouble the Australian lineup, capturing crucial wickets including nightwatchman Nathan Lyon and a struggling Mitchell Marsh.

Part-time bowler Glenn Phillips chipped in by removing Alex Carey, paving the way for Henry to wrap up the Australian innings.

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