Williamson falls after Australia set New Zealand record chase

PERTH, AUSTRALIA (AFP) – New Zealand made a shaky start to their unlikley bid for a world record run chase yesterday as they lost two wickets before lunch on the fourth day of the first Test at Perth.

Australia declared their first innings at 217 for nine, setting the Black Caps a victory target of 468 on a wearing pitch developing a number of cracks.

The task got harder for New Zealand when they lost opener Jeet Raval and leading batsman Kane Williamson before lunch.

Raval made just one, becoming Mitchell Starc’s sixth victim of the match, before captain Williamson fell to the first ball of the innings from spinner Nathan Lyon for 14.

Williamson got off to a fast start with boundaries from the first two balls he faced, but was caught at short leg fending a ball that bounced and turned sharply off his glove into the hands of Matthew Wade.

At lunch New Zealand were 31 for two, with Tom Latham on 10 and Ross Taylor on five, still needing a further 437 runs with eight wickets in hand.

The Kiwis only managed 166 in their first innings and the world record chase is the West Indies’ 418 for seven to beat Australia at St John’s in 2003, although the home side are without injured opening bowler Josh Hazlewood.

Australia’s second innings fell away dramatically after being 131 for one at one stage on the third day.

The home team lost seven wickets for 58 runs, as they struggled against a sustained barrage of short-pitched bowling on another hot Perth day. Tim Southee again impressed with 5-69, after also picking up four wickets in the first innings.

Australian players celebrate the dismissal of New Zealand’s Kane Williamson during play in their cricket test against New Zealand. PHOTO: AP