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Australia vs New Zealand 1st Test Match Roundup

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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 07: Kane Williamson of New Zealand is congratulated on his innings by Steve Smith of Australia after being dismissed for 140 during day three of the First Test match between Australia and New Zealand at The Gabba on November 7, 2015 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

1st Test Match Roundup

Australia began their Test series against New Zealand with a bang as they won by a mammoth margin of 296 runs. The hosts looked unplayable, especially with the ball as Mitchell Starc led the Aussies to a fine win with his brutality. 

After winning the toss, Australia decided to bat first. It was a decision that worked for them, despite Joe Burns losing his wicket rather early followed soon by David Warner, as Marnus Labuschagne gave the Aussies a strong start. 

The right-handed batsman is going through a dream run as he scored his third century in a row in the first innings against the Kiwis. He set up a great partnership with former captain Steven Smith, who fell short of a half-century by 7 runs. 

Labuschagne, too, missed a milestone by 7 runs as he got out for 143 after Neil Wagner rocked his stumps off the ground. In the end, after a good effort from the lower-middle-order of Australia, which saw Travis Head score 56, the Aussies finished with 416 runs before losing all their wickets. 

Southee and Wagner both got four wickets each but couldn’t stop the hosts from crossing the 400-mark. 

In response, the Kiwi batting lineup fell without a trace as only Ross Taylor provided some sort of a challenge to the Aussie bowlers. He scored 80 runs from 134 balls with Kane Williamson and Colin de Grandhomme being the only other batters to reach double figures as they scored 30 and 23 respectively. 

Mitchell Starc was the pick of the bowlers as he picked 5 wickets to dismantle the visitors with his brutal pace. 

Australia, then, decided not to enforce the follow-on and came out to bat with the intention of putting a huge target for the Kiwis. 

Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns gave the team a good start after David Warner fell for 19. Labuschagne finished with 50 runs while Burns made 53 runs to provide the platform for his team. 

While the rest of the batsmen disappointed, the job was done as Australia declared on 217, setting up a total of 467 for New Zealand to chase. Tim Southee did well with the ball as he picked up 5 Australian wickets to somewhat halt their free-flowing progress.

On a pitch that was supporting the pacers, chasing anything over even 200 was going to be a tough task and in the end, 467 proved to be too much for the Kiwis.  None of the batsmen got going despite getting decent starts and the highest scorer of the team was BJ Watling, coming in to bat at number 6, with 40 runs from 106 balls. 

There was no miracle to be pulled here from the wicketkeeper, as he has done so often, since Mitchell Starc was not in any mood to allow it. The left-handed pacer finished with four wickets in this innings and 9 overall in the Test. He was also awarded the Man of the Match for his efforts. 

With the first Test in the bag for the Aussies, it would be interesting to see how the visitors respond in the Boxing Day Test as winning that has become imperative to their hopes of conquering the series. 

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