The first test match between Australia and New Zealand ended in favor of the hosts, with Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne hitting more than half a century each. Australia ended the match 256-4, ending the first test day in control.
The match began with what seemed like New Zealand’s advantage after their skipper, Kane Williamson, won the toss and bowled first. Australia’s Joe Burns was out in an instant, after being bowled out by Trent Boult, and David Warner was sent off after lunch. All seemed to be in favor of the visitors. At that point, the Australian side had to be patient, as told by Smith after the game.
The patience paid off, as Smith and Labuschagne were able to take charge, hitting over half-centuries. Smith made 77 while Labuschagne made 63, as the latter continues to hold the record for the highest test-run scorer in 2019, with 1085 runs. Smith also managed to make 950 runs in total, despite playing in fewer matches than Labuschagne. He also made his 28th test half-century.
The match was well attended with over 80,000 spectators. This fixture was the first in 32 years as the two countries last faced themselves in 1987, despite being neighbors.
Smith was greeted amidst boos and cheers as he made his way into the pitch, although he later commented that he took no notice of it as he has trained himself to block out noise from the crowd. The New Zealand side came out in their numbers, dressed in their Kiwi outfit, cheering their boys to victory. Boult admitted that the presence of the crowd was a bit intimidating at first, but he was quick to adjust to it.
This would be New Zealand’s second loss as Australia won the first test, 296-run, and as noted by Smith, they would plan to score more.
Written by: Leon Osamor