5 best spells by an Australian in New Zealand ft. Josh Hazlewood

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Riding on a sensational bowling spell by Josh Hazlewood on Day 1 of the second Test against New Zealand, Australia seized advantage and initiative from the home team after they started well in the first hour of the day. Hazlewood took his maiden fifer in New Zealand to skittle them out for just 162 runs.

Australia came into the Test with a 1-0 lead after a resounding win in the Wellington Test. The World Test champions have been the better team in the series so far and a 2-0 result could be a fair reflection of how things have gone in the series.

The Aussies, despite not ending the day as well as they would have liked, would have been the happier team at the end of the opening day. The overall bowling effort from the visitors has been quite exceptional and a series victory will go a long way in cementing their dominance in the WTC points table.

Having said that, let us have a look at 5 best spells by an Australian in Tests in New Zealand:

# 5. Dennis Lilee- 6/72 in Auckland, Feb 1977


It was way back in 1977 that one of the fastest bowlers of the yesteryears, Dennis Lille took 11 wickets in a Test in Auckland to help Australia win the match by 10 wickets. Lilee took five in the first innings and followed it up with six in the second innings to set up a convincing win for Australia.

Lilee, who was at the peak of his prowess, made the New Zealand batters dance to his tunes. He bowled fast and moved the ball at pace besides having the ability to hurry batters consistently. It was his fifer which helped the visitors bowl New Zealand out for just 229 in the first innings.

The Australian batters ensured they got a sizeable lead before Lilee tormented the Kiwis again in the second innings. He took the wickets of the top three which included Glenn Turner, Geoff Howarth, and Bevan Congdon before wiping out the tail to finish with figures of 6/72.

# 4. Mitchell Johnson- 6/73 in Hamilton, March 2010


Johnson was one of the last fast bowlers who posed a serious intimidation factor which has relatively gone out of the game in the recent past. While there have been bowlers with supreme skill sets in the recent past, Johnson remains one of the most feared fast bowlers of the modern generation.

Back in 2010, Johnson breathed fire in a Test against New Zealand in Auckland when he took his team to a comfortable victory. Australia batted first in the game and could only muster 231 in their first innings. New Zealand couldn’t take significant advantage of that low score and could only secure a slender lead of 33 runs.

The Australian batters put up a remarkable all-round performance in the second innings, scoring a massive 511 to nearly eliminate the hosts. On a pitch that didn’t pose too much of a challenge, especially as the game progressed, Johnson produced a spell for the ages finishing with figures of 6/73.

Johnson started the New Zealand slide with wickets of openers BJ Watling and Tom McIntosh before ripping through the middle order which included the likes of Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill. He wiped out the tail in the end with the wickets of Tim Southee and Beeng Arnel as Australia won by 176 runs.

# 3. Bill O’Reilly- 5/14 in Wellington, March 1946

Considered one of the finest spinners to have graced the game, leg spinner Bill O’Reilly finished with sensational figures of 5/14 in a Test match in Wellington way back in 1946. An intimidating figure standing at 6″ 2′, Reilly was the kind of bowler who managed to grip the ball on hard pitches and delivered those at a pace like a medium pacer.

In what turned out to be a spell for the ages, Reilly destroyed New Zealand’s middle and lower middle order and was instrumental in rolling them over for just 42 in their first innings. He got a significant purchase from the surface and his spell was crucial in Australia winning the Test by an innings and 103 runs. Reilly took another three wickets in the second innings as the Kiwis were skittled out for 54.

# 2. Nathan Lyon- 6/65 in Wellington, Feb 2024

Nathan Lyon celebrates picking a wicket during the first Test.Cameron Green in the first innings, Australia posted 383 on the board which was way above par for the course. New Zealand were pushed back further when they were bowled out for just 179 in their first innings.

However, the likes of Glenn Phillips and Matt Henry ensured that the hosts kept their hopes alive by bowling them out for just 164 in the second innings. In the second innings, Lyon was at his absolute best and kept landing the ball in the same area time after time which led to a capitulation for New Zealand. He finished with 6/65 as Australia took a 1-0 lead in the series.

# 1. Josh Hazlewood- 5/31 in Christchurch, March 2024

Hazlewood celebrates picking a wicket in the second Test against New Zealand.Daryl Mitchell and Rachin Ravindra, who came into the series after scoring a truckload of runs against the Proteas. He finished it off with the wicket of Matt Henry to skittle out the Blackcaps for just 162 runs.

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Edited by Vaishnavi Iyer

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