New Zealand 510-6 at close in second Australia Test

New Zealand were 510 for six in their first innings at the close on the third day of the second Test against Australia at the WACA Ground in Perth on Sunday.

New Zealand's Ross Taylor celebrates reaching his double century during the third day of the second cricket test match against Australia at the WACA ground in Perth.   -  REUTERS

New Zealand were 510 for six in their first innings at the close on the third day of the second Test against Australia at the WACA Ground in Perth on Sunday.

In reply to Australia's first innings total of 559 for nine declared, Ross Taylor was 235 not out and Mark Craig was on seven. Kane Williamson made 166 and put on 265 for the third wicket with Taylor. It was a welcome performance for the classy Taylor, who has been struggling with form for some time and had not scored a Test century since November last year.

In a game where records have been tumbling with incredible regularity, Taylor posted a new benchmark for visiting players at the WACA and also became the first New Zealander to score a Test double century against Australia.

Starc raised the home crowd from its run-fuelled stupor when he sent down a 160.4 kilometres per hour (99.7 miles per hour) thunderbolt to Taylor before tea. It was part of a fiery spell from the left armer and was the fourth-fastest delivery ever recorded, with Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar holding the record with 161.3 kph.

Australian duo Brett Lee and Shaun Tait both once clocked at 161.1 kph, and seventies firebrand Jeff Thomson is the only other player recorded at over 160 kph. However, none of that group performed the feat in Test cricket.

Fellow paceman Mitchell Johnson moved into fourth on the all-time list of Australian Test wicket-takers when he removed Doug Bracewell late in the day to claim his 311th scalp, passing Brett Lee. Australia did not help their own cause with some dropped catches, while there was embarrassment for local officials early in the day, with play halted for 17 minutes by a malfunctioning sightscreen.

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