Centuries by opener Joe Burns and captain Steve Smith ensured Australia claimed the upper hand following the second day of the Second Test against New Zealand, played in Christchurch on Sunday.
Burns (170) recorded his third test century, first on foreign soil, whilst Smith (138) notched up his 14th test century as the pair put on a third wicket partnership of 289-runs which has played an instrumental part in their side’s score.
At stumps Australia is 4 for 363, trailing New Zealand’s first innings total of 370 by only seven runs with six wickets remaining.
Adam Voges (two not out) and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon (four not) will resume at the crease at Hagley Oval as the tourists, who holds a 1-0 series lead will look to score those seven runs and then build a sizable lead.
The tourists, who with a win or draw would climb to the top of the test world rankings, resumed on 1 for 57 and soon lost Usman Khawaja (24) who was caught in the slips by Brendon McCullum off the bowling off quick Trent Boult.
That dismissal brought in Smith and along with Burns the pair took the score from 2 for 67 to 3 for 356 when Burns was finally dismissed late in the day by paceman Neil Wagner.
The left-arm quick then claimed the wicket of Smith with the first ball of his next over but the damage had already been done as Australia look on track to win the best of two series against their trans-tasman rivals.
New Zealand 370 all-out
Brendon McCullum 145 (79)
CJ Anderson 72 (66)
Nathan Lyon 3 for 61 (10 overs)
Australia 4 for 363
Joe Burns 170 (321)
Steve Smith 138 (241)
(Photo Source: Zimbio)
Trent Boult 2 for 85 (24 overs)