Pink ball continues to baffle as wickets fall


The pink ball under lights continued to prove a tough challenge for both sets of players on day two of the third Test in Adelaide, as New Zealand reached stumps on 116 for five, leading by 94 runs, after Australia were out for 224 themselves.

This left the match slightly in Australia's favour, but a lead of 200-odd could prove enough for the Kiwis, judging by the way the ball has been swinging, and by the way the fielders have been struggling to pick it up under lights.

New Zealand had been bowled out for 202 on day one, and the hosts ensured a lead of just 22 runs on day two, thanks in large part to the 66 from Peter Nevill with help from the tail. 

The Black Caps then struggled again, with Josh Hazlewood doing the damage by taking three wickets in the absence of injured Mitch Starc.

The day began with Australia on 54 for two, with Steve Smith and Adam Voges in the middle. Voges was unable to advance past 13, but Smith continued on and recorded 53 before falling to Mark Craig.

The Marsh brothers, Shaun and Mitchell, were both out for single figures, leaving the task of ensuring a slender lead to Nevill. Nathan Lyon was a handy help too, adding 34, and Starc made 24 despite his ankle injury, as they passed 200.

Once Doug Bracewell removed Nevill, the final wicket to fall, New Zealand needed to bat for seven overs before dinner. They made 22 without loss, so the scores were level at the break.

But the night session under lights proved tricky, and New Zealand's top order failed to settle. Only Ross Taylor's score of 32 showed much application, though Hazlewood and Mitch Marsh were accurate and disciplined with the ball.

At stumps, Mitchell Santner was on 13, while BJ Watling had recorded seven. They will need to bat well on day three before twilight hits, to ensure a defendable lead.