Neil Wagner (L) of New Zealand celebrates Steve Smith captain of Australia being caught watched by Adam Voges of Australia (R) during day two of the second cricket Test match between New Zealand and Australia at the Hagley Park in Christchurch on February 21, 2016. AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE
Neil Wagner (L) of New Zealand celebrates Steve Smith captain of Australia being caught watched by Adam Voges of Australia (R) during day two of the second cricket Test match between New Zealand and Australia at the Hagley Park in Christchurch on February 21, 2016. AFP PHOTO / MARTY MELVILLE

Christchurch : Century-makers Joe Burns and Steve Smith shredded the New Zealand attack to have Australia in charge of the second Test, before both fell in the dying stages of day two in Christchurch on Sunday.

Burns hit a career best 170, his third century, and Smith made 138, his 14th, as Australia ended the day at a commanding 363-4 in reply to New Zealand’s 370.

After Brendon McCullum’s 145-run blitz gave New Zealand the first day honours on a green, seaming wicket, Burns and his captain Smith ensured the momentum swung Australia’s way as the pitch flattened out.

Burns spent a lot of time successfully fighting off Neil Wagner’s short-ball tactic before eventually pulling one to Martin Guptill at square leg with 28 balls left in the day. Five balls later, in a repeat scenario, Guptill gave Wagner his second wicket and Smith was gone.

Adam Voges was on two with Nathan Lyon, sent in as night-watchman, on four. Until Smith’s dismissal, the only moment of concern in his classy innings came when he was felled by a fearsome Wagner bouncer in the last over before tea.

He lay prone on the ground for a few moments, but as the New Zealand players rushed to his aid, Smith staggered to his feet and after medical attention he resumed his innings with a single off the next ball.

Burns spent 434 minutes in the middle from the start of the Australian innings and in a patient stand easily eclipsed his previous Test best of 129, also against New Zealand, in Brisbane last November.

He received a vital reprieve after he was given out, caught behind for 35, only for the umpire’s decision to be overturned when replays showed the ball had glanced off his arm and not the glove.

The Burns-Smith partnership produced 289 runs, an Australian third-wicket record against New Zealand. Matt Henry was handed the second new ball ahead of Tim Southee and whipped down six aggressive overs which appeared to extract new life out of the wicket.

His third delivery with the new ball jagged back enough to beat Burns down the leg side and race to the boundary for four byes, the first extras in the innings. Another delivery sailed over Burns’ stumps.

But like Wagner and his fired-up spell in the dying overs with the old ball, he was left frustrated by an inability to find an edge that would reach the cordon behind the stumps.

NZ first innings: 370

Australia

Warner c Guptill b Boult…………….12

Burns c Guptill b Wagner………….170

Khawaja c McCullum b Boult……..24

Smith c Guptill b Wagner…………138

Voges not out…………………………….2

Lyon not out……………………………..4

Extras: (b4, lb9)………………………13

Total: (For 4 wkts)…………………363

Fall of wickets: 1-25, 2-67, 3-356, 4-357.

Bowling: Southee 22-4-71-0, Boult 24-5-85-2, Henry 27-6-88-0, Anderson 12-1-32-0, Wagner 20-4-63-2, Williamson 5-0-11-0.

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