New Zealand’s Neil Wagner took a brilliant return catch to claim the prize wicket of David Warner just before tea Thursday in the day-night opening Test against Australia in Perth.
After Australia won the toss and elected to bat against the pink ball in scorching heat, Warner looked set to continue his golden summer as the home team neared the interval having only lost the wicket of Joe Burns.
After an unbeaten triple century against Pakistan his run-glut ended on 43 when he miscued a full ball and left-arm quick bowler Wagner clutched a sharp right-handed reflex catch millimetres above the turf on his follow-through.
At tea the home side were 76/2, with Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith at the crease: the duo would remain unbeaten in the second session too.
After a horror run in the Ashes, the resurrected Warner had made an incredible start to the 2019-20 season and again looked in imperious form until Wagner’s catch.
The left-hander scored 489 runs against Pakistan in two innings in the previous Test series, including his 335 not out in Adelaide, which followed 287 runs in six matches Twenty20 matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka where he was dismissed only once.
Fellow opener Burns made just nine before being trapped lbw by the gentle swing of Colin de Grandhomme.
However, replays showed the ball would have missed leg stump and Burns would have been saved had he chosen to review.
Ranked second in the world in Test cricket, New Zealand were unable to select star paceman Trent Boult due to a side strain, with fast bowler Lockie Ferguson called up to debut.
The two sides observed a minute’s silence before the match to honour the victims of the White Island volcano eruption.
(Reporting by AFP)