Australia close in on second Test win


Australia remain on track for victory in the second Test despite a fightback from New Zealand on day four in Christchurch.

Resuming at 121-4 and still trailing, the hosts managed to set Australia 201 to win thanks mainly to Kane Williamson (97) and Matt Henry (66).

Jackson Bird (5-59) eventually did the damage with his best Test figures as New Zealand were dismissed for 335 in their second innings at Hagley Oval on Tuesday.

Despite the tricky target, the flat wicket and some loose bowling by the Black Caps saw Australia finish at 70-1 at stumps.

They require another 131 runs to win with Joe Burns (27) and Usman Khawaja (19) at the crease, looking to complete a 2-0 series victory and claim the number one Test ranking.

Still trailing by 14 runs at the start of the day, the Kiwis needed a strong start - and they got it through Williamson and Corey Anderson (40).

Williamson was given out lbw to Josh Hazlewood (1-92) early, but reviewed and was saved by his inside edge.

Anderson survived a review soon after - again thanks to an edge - and Australia's day got worse when Mitchell Marsh dropped a chance at gully.

Peter Nevill put down a tough chance off Williamson as Australia's frustrations grew, before they were left fuming when the batsman survived another review thanks to a faint edge.

The first session may have belonged to New Zealand, but Bird struck shortly after lunch as Anderson played on.

Williamson's luck ran out when he edged onto his stumps off Bird, who removed Tim Southee (0) in the same over with the new ball.

A 118-run stand between BJ Watling (46) and Henry frustrated the tourists, who were eventually given a tougher than expected chase.

Burns and Warner made a flying start before the latter departed for 22, out caught down the leg side off Neil Wagner (1-13) - who had earlier dropped the right-hander - after a review.