Aussie-NZ 2nd Test drifts towards draw

2015-11-17 07:12
Mitchell Johnson (Gallo)

Perth - Australia's batsmen were looking to douse a New Zealand comeback in the final day of the second Test at the WACA Ground in Perth on Tuesday.

At lunch on the fifth day, Australia were 331 for five, an overall lead of 266 runs with five wickets in hand and two sessions to play.

Peter Nevill was 22 not out and Mitchell Johnson, who had announced his retirement from international cricket before play started, was on 20.

Australia lead the three-Test series 1-0 after a 208-run victory in the first Test at the Gabba and the Black Caps need to win to have any hope of regaining the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

A draw had looked almost certain when Australia resumed on Tuesday with centurions Steve Smith and Adam Voges at the crease.

However, New Zealand removed both before lunch to revive their hopes of a remarkable comeback, with Smith caught behind by BJ Watling from the bowling of Trent Boult (2-71) for 138.

The form woes of Mitchell Marsh then continued when he made just one, trapped lbw by Doug Bracewell.

Australia had lost 3-24 when Voges was adjudged lbw for 119 from the bowling of Tim Southee (2-67).

They were just 229 ahead at that stage, with Usman Khawaja yet to bat due to a hamstring strain. However, Nevill and Johnson set about steadying the ship, adding 37 in quick time.

There had been plenty of speculation about Johnson's future during the match and he announced his retirement before play got under way, having informed his teammates after day four.

In his 73rd and final Test, Johnson claimed 1-157 in the New Zealand first innings and has bowled without his usual impact in the series.

He has taken 311 Test wickets to be fourth on the list of all-time Australian wicket-takers.

Read more on:    australia  |  mitchell johnson  |  cricket

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