PERTH, Nov 16: Bat continued to dominate ball as Australia built a second-innings lead over New Zealand on day four of the second Test at the WACA Ground in Perth today.
After Ross Taylor hit a career-best 290, the highest score ever by a visiting batsman in Australia, to steer New Zealand to a first innings lead, Steve Smith and Adam Voges posted twin centuries to help the home side recover after a shaky start.
At the close, Australia were 258 for two in their second innings, with Smith on 131 and Voges on 101, for an overall lead of 193.
It was Smith�s 12th century and fifth this year, but his first in a second innings, while for 36-year-old Voges it was just his second hundred and came in his first Test on his home ground. Voges reached his century from the penultimate over of the day.
Smith was dropped on 96 when wicketkeeper BJ Watling put down a tough chance down leg-side off paceman Matt Henry.
Although the match appeared set to be a draw on a lifeless wicket which has offered little assistance to the bowlers over the first four days, Australia will hope to declare on the final day and dismiss the Kiwis cheaply.
Australia already lead the three-Test series 1-0 after beating New Zealand by 208 runs at the Gabba.
In reply to Australia�s imposing 559 for nine declared after winning the toss, the Kiwis were dismissed for 624 just before lunch, their highest total against their trans-Tasman rivals on the back of Taylor�s mammoth knock and 166 from Kane Williamson.
That made it a record combined first innings total for a Test at the WACA Ground.
Kiwi hopes were then raised when Australian openers Joe Burns (0) and David Warner (24) fell early, leaving the home side precariously placed at 46 for two, with the injured Usman Khawaja (hamstring) not taking his place at number three.
The Kiwis were still 19 runs ahead at that stage, but Smith and Voges then added 212 runs for the third wicket.
Taylor was the last man to fall in the New Zealand innings as he attempted to join captain Brendon McCullum (302 v India) as only the second Kiwi to reach a triple century in Test cricket.
However, on 290 the right-hander holed out to substitute fielder Jonathan Wells off spinner Nathan Lyon to end a 37-run 10th-wicket stand with Trent Boult (23 not out).
Former skipper Taylor passed several milestones in his innings, which was his first century since November last year, and ended a form slump that even he admitted was starting to worry him.
Australia 1st innings (559-9 decld)
New Zealand 1st innings: M Guptill lbw Starc 1, T Latham c Smith b Lyon 36, K Williamson c Johnson b Hazlewood 166, R Taylor c sub b Lyon 290, B McCullum b Marsh 27 BJ Watling c Lyon b Starc 1, D Bracewell c Neville b Johnson 12, M Craig c Johnson b Lyon 15, M Henry b Starc 6, T Southee c and b Starc 21, T Boult not out 23. Extras: (b7, lb11, w5, nb3) 26. Total: (all out, 153.5 overs) 624. Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-87, 3-352, 4-432, 5-447, 6-485, 7-525, 8-554, 9-587, 10-624. Bowling: Starc 37-7-119-4, Hazlewood 32-2-134-1, Johnson 28-2-157-1, Lyon 37.5-6-107-3, Marsh 15-1-73-1, Smith 4-0-16-0.
Australia second innings: J Burns c Taylor b Southee 0, D Warner c Latham b Boult 24, S Smith batting 131, A Voges batting 101. Extras: (w1, nb1) 2. Total: (2 wickets, 63 overs) 258. Fall of wickets: 1-8, 2-46. Bowling: Southee 13-3-40-1, Boult 10-0-50-1, Bracewell 10-3-34-0, Henry 12-3-45-0, Craig 17-0-81-0, Williamson 1-0-8-0. � AFP