New Zealand vs Australia 1st Test: NZ struggle in pursuit of 369-run target |

NEW DELHI: New Zealand found themselves facing an uphill battle as they chased a challenging victory target set by Australia on the third day of the first Test at Wellington’s Basin Reserve on Saturday.
At the close of play, New Zealand stood at 111 for three, still 258 runs adrift of their target of 369.
Spinner Glenn Phillips starred for New Zealand, claiming an impressive five-wicket haul (5-45), marking his first such achievement in first-class cricket.His remarkable bowling performance helped New Zealand restrict Australia to 164 in their second innings, as the visitors lost their last six wickets for just 37 runs.
Despite their strong bowling effort, New Zealand encountered difficulties in their own batting innings. Openers Tom Latham and Will Young departed early, while captain Kane Williamson fell cheaply after scoring only nine runs, dismissed by spinner Nathan Lyon.
Rachin Ravindra emerged as a shining light for New Zealand, reaching an unbeaten 56 runs by the end of the day’s play. He was supported by Daryl Mitchell, who remained unbeaten on 12, with the pair forming a resilient partnership worth 52 runs.
As New Zealand face a daunting chase, their highest successful fourth-innings run chase remains 324, achieved against Pakistan in Christchurch in 1994. However, their spirits may be lifted by their highest successful run chase at Basin Reserve, which stood at 285 runs against Sri Lanka last year.
Australia, on the other hand, will look to off-spinner Nathan Lyon to play a crucial role in securing victory in the two-match series. Lyon’s all-round contribution, including a vital 41 with the bat, has been instrumental in Australia’s dominance thus far.
Despite a valiant effort from Cameron Green in the first innings, Australia’s batting struggled in the second innings, with Phillips wreaking havoc by claiming the crucial wickets of Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, and Green.
As the match heads into the fourth day, both teams brace for a pivotal session of play, with New Zealand aiming to stage a remarkable comeback and Australia eyeing a decisive victory to take the series lead.
(With inputs from Reuters)

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