Smith, Burns combine for Australia on day two


Steve Smith and Joe Burns struck crucial centuries as Australia closed in on New Zealand's first-innings total on day two of the second Test in Christchurch.

Resuming at 57-1, the tourists lost Usman Khawaja early but were able to recover thanks to a 289-run partnership from Smith (138) and Burns (170). 

The duo spent most of the day at the crease but losses of concentration saw them dismissed in almost identical fashion late on, as both were caught by Martin Guptill off Neil Wagner (2-63). 

However, the impressive partnership had already done the damage as Australia were 363-4 at stumps, trailing by seven runs with six wickets still remaining in the first innings at Hagley Oval.

It was also the highest stand of any Australian duo in New Zealand, eclipsing the 264-run mark set by Ian and Greg Chappell in Wellington in 1974.

Khawaja (24) started the day hoping to continue his good form but his stay was a brief one after he was caught by captain Brendon McCullum at first slip off Trent Boult (2-85).

But some assertive batting saw Smith and Burns dent New Zealand's chances of levelling the Test series following McCullum's heroics the previous day.

Burns completed his third Test hundred - he finished with 20 fours - while also posting the highest individual score by an Australian opener in New Zealand - beating Ian Redpath's 159 from 1973-74.

Meanwhile, captain Smith secured his 14th Test century after recovering from a fierce blow on the back of his helmet by a bouncer from Wagner. 

The two were unable to last the day as a combination of fatigue, lack of concentration and some inspired bowling from Wagner proved too much to handle.

Adam Voges (2 not out) and Nathan Lyon (4 not out) will continue Australia's first innings on Monday as the tourists look for a clean sweep in the two-match Test series.