Cummins hails Lyon, Green after victory in first New Zealand Test

Lyon spun the visitors to victory in the morning session on day four in Wellington, taking six wickets

By AFP

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Australia's Nathan Lyon (third right) is congratulated by teammates after taking the wicket of New Zealand batsman Tom Blundell. — AP
Australia's Nathan Lyon (third right) is congratulated by teammates after taking the wicket of New Zealand batsman Tom Blundell. — AP

Published: Mon 4 Mar 2024, 12:13 AM

Australia captain Pat Cummins heaped praise on team-mates Nathan Lyon and Cameron Green on Sunday for match-winning performances as his side secured a 172-run triumph over New Zealand in the first Test.

Lyon spun the visitors to victory in the morning session on day four in Wellington, taking six wickets as New Zealand crumbled to 196 all out.


New Zealand lost their last seven wickets before lunch for 70 runs, with four falling to off-spinner Lyon, who finished with figures of 6-65 off 27 overs and 10-108 in the match.

The 36-year-old capitalised on spin-friendly Basin Reserve conditions and some meek batting from New Zealand, who began the day on 111-3 needing an unlikely 258 more runs to win.


Green's career-high unbeaten 174 on day one rescued Australia from 89-4, having been put into bat, to reach 383 and set up a decisive 204-run first-innings lead.

It gave Green the nod over Lyon as man of the match and Cummins said that was a fair outcome.

"Cam was amazing, he was really the difference in the end," Cummins said.

"I thought the way he went about it, with that intent, really put the pressure back on the bowlers on day one.

"There was as much bounce as I've seen in any wicket for a long time but thankfully it spun which, with Nathan in our side, is always a pretty good thing."

New Zealand pace bowler Will O'Rourke is a doubt for the second and final Test starting in Christchurch on Friday after leaving the field with a tight hamstring on day three.

Captain Tim Southee said he wouldn't rule out a shock recall for veteran pace bowler Neil Wagner, who retired last week.

The 37-year-old had been named in New Zealand's squad, but tearfully announced his retirement after being left out of the first Test side, ending a 64-Test, 260-wicket career.

Southee ruled out calling up Trent Boult because he has only been playing white ball cricket of late, but was less adamant when asked about Wagner.

"Obviously the Test match has only just finished so we'll see how Will scrubs up and we'll go from there," Southee said.

Cummins said Australia would be prepared if Wagner returned. "It'd be the world's shortest retirement," he said of the short-ball specialist. "It'd be good to see his high energy."


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