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NZ vs AUS, On the second day of the second test between New Zealand and Australia, Kane Williamson marked his 100th test appearance with a resilient half-century, delivering his 34th test fifty from 105 balls in a notable 105-run partnership for the second wicket with Tom Latham. Together, they steered New Zealand from 6-1 to 111-2, effectively erasing Australia’s first-innings lead of 94. However, Williamson dismissed for 51 before stumps, leaving New Zealand at 134-2 with a 40-run lead. Latham remained unbeaten at 65, achieving his highest test score against Australia, while Rachin Ravindra stood at 11.

Kane Williamson highlighted the challenging conditions posed by the quality bowling and the pitch, acknowledging the difficulties faced by the team. He expressed optimism about building on the partnership in the upcoming day of the test match. Additionally, he credited Tom Latham for his exceptional performance and leadership on the pitch, acknowledging the bounce and surface conditions.

The test at Hagley Oval held a special significance as both Kane Williamson and New Zealand captain Tim Southee celebrated their 100th test appearances, attracting fans who sought to pay tribute to these cricket stalwarts. Despite receiving a standing ovation during his first innings, Williamson’s contribution limited to 17 runs, while Southee managed 26, the third-highest total in New Zealand’s first innings total of 162.

Marnus Labuschagne rediscovered his form on Saturday, contributing a crucial innings of 90 to propel Australia to a first-innings total of 256, establishing a significant 94-run lead over New Zealand. This notable performance marked Labuschagne’s return to strong batting form. Additionally, Matt Henry delivered an exceptional bowling performance, securing figures of 7-67, including his second seven-wicket bag of his career and his second five-wicket haul of the series.

NZ vs AUS

On the second day of the test match, New Zealand’s innings began with a setback, reaching 6-1 when Kane Williamson walked to the crease amidst an uplifting standing ovation from the packed Hagley Oval. The atmosphere was electric, with both Australian and New Zealand fans showing equal enthusiasm, creating a vibrant spectacle, especially with the added element of fan costumes on “dress-up day.”

Williamson’s innings proved to be pivotal in balancing the match for New Zealand, countering Australia’s initial advantage established on the first day and the beginning of the second. Meanwhile, Australia, beginning the day at 124-4, aimed to surpass New Zealand’s first-innings total, with Marnus Labuschagne leading the charge at 45 not out, supported by nightwatchman Nathan Lyon at 1.

Lyon’s resilience was evident, mirroring his performance as a nightwatchman in the first test, as he contributed 20 runs in a crucial 51-run partnership with Labuschagne, edging Australia within four runs of New Zealand’s total. Labuschagne then achieved a half-century from 90 balls, breaking his streak of five test innings without reaching this milestone, before being dismissed for an impressive 90 just before lunch.

Matt Henry’s exceptional bowling performance, which included taking four wickets, notably limited Australia’s progress, with Mitchell Starc and captain Pat Cummins making notable contributions, boosting Australia’s lead to 24 runs. Despite an early setback with the loss of Young, Tom Latham and Kane Williamson’s resilient partnership furthered New Zealand’s lead to a slim 17 runs before their separation.

Throughout Williamson’s innings, the crowd fervently cheered every boundary, demonstrating their appreciation for his impactful performance, especially as he reached his half-century in 153 minutes.

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