Nathan Lyon picks up five to put Australia on course for Test series sweep against New Zealand
Australia extend lead to 243 with all wickets intact in Sydney
Australia took complete control of the third Test against New Zealand in Sydney, stretching their lead to 243 runs with all wickets in hand by stumps on Sunday.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon restricted the Kiwis to 251 after picking up 5-68, handing the hosts a decisive lead of 203 runs. David Warner and Joe Burns added 40 runs for the opening wicket when play was called off for the day.
New Zealand, weakened by the absence through illness of captain Kane Williamson, batsman Henry Nicholls and spinner Mitchell Santner, tried to put up a fight with most of their top order getting starts but failing to convert it into a big score.
Debutant Glenn Phillips (52) made a fighting fifty while stand-in captain Tom Latham made 49 but the Aussies kept up the pressure to gain a significant lead.
“We’re in a very good position here,” said Lyon. “A lot of work to do in the morning and we have to see what lead we the batsmen want to get to.
“It is pretty special to play here in front of your home crowd, in front of your family and friends. Nice to go up on the honours board.”
Phillips, who flew in on the eve of the Test as cover for a team weakened by a virus outbreak, was dropped twice and also caught off a no-ball. Lyon put down two caught-and-bowled chances when Phillips was on two and 17.
Phillips pulled Pat Cummins (3-44) to reach fifty before the pacer had him two balls later, rattling his off-stump.
Lyon bowled Will Somerville and Neil Wagner for ducks and pacer Matt Henry came out to bat despite fracturing his left hand earlier in the match.
Lyon said he expects more help for him in the second innings as the pitch deteriorates further.
“I don’t know if it’s going to spin, if it hits the rough, or go straight,” Lyon said. “So my job is to bowl consistent lines and length and make sure I’m challenging these guys’ defence. If I don’t know what will happen, I can guarantee the batters don’t.”
Updated: January 5, 2020 02:28 PM