New Zealand’s dismal tour of Australia had another session added to it with the hosts stretching their lead to 375 courtesy David Warner‘s unbeaten 89 at Lunch on Day 4 of the Sydney Test. Australia added 132 runs in the session, for the loss of Joe Burns’s wicket, to take pole position in their bid to inflict a series whitewash on the visitors.
in overcast conditions, and an overnight lead of 243 and with all wickets still in hand, Australia signaled their intent from ball 1. The unbeaten openers came out with an aggressive approach, with both Warner and Burns on the attack. Even Marnus Labuschagne looked to score off every ball he faced.
The opening pair continued from where they’d left off the previous evening and converted their start into a century partnership in no time. While Warner looked to fetch some quick runs via boundaries, Burns dealt in sixes – hitting both New Zealand spinners for one each before departing for 39. Warner meanwhile raised his 31st Test half-century, off only 82 deliveries.
New Zealand’s only success came nearly an hour into the day’s play when Todd Astle followed up the classic leg-spin delivery with a well-disguised wrong’un to fox Burns out at the stroke of the drinks break. The Australian opener completely failed to read the googly that was pitched on the off and spun back into the batsman who was beaten on the inside edge. Denied the loud LBW appeal, confident New Zealand took the call upstairs and three reds on the ball-tracking forced Aleem Dar to overturn his original call.
Labuschagne joined hands with Warner in the middle and was among the runs off the second ball as the message from the dressing room was evident. Of his fifty partnership with Warner, the No. 3 batsmen had chipped in 33. Offered a reprieve as early as when he was on four – when Astle failed to pouch a simple return catch off his own bowling – Labuschagne went into the break with 36 against his name and having added 65 with Warner to the second wicket stand.
Brief scores: Australia454 and 172/1 (David Warner 89*, Marnus Labuschagne 36*; Todd Astle 1-41) lead New Zealand251, by 375 runs.