Mitchell Starc ripped apart New Zealand’s middle order to put Australia on top in the historic day-night Test before struck down by injury in Adelaide on Friday.
The new leader of Australia’s pace attack removed in-form Kane Williamson (22), skipper Brendon McCullum (4) and debutant Mitchell Santner (31) to have the Black Caps teetering in the middle session of the pink-ball Test before more than 40,000 fans.
But the left-arm speedster began noticeably limping on a troublesome right ankle and was forced from the field before the dinner break on the opening day.
Heading into the final night session of the first Test to be played under lights, New Zealand were 173 for seven with wicketkeeper BJ Watling on 24 and Doug Bracewell on five.
The central interest in the day-night Test was how the newly-designed pink ball would react in night conditions under lights, but the Kiwis were in danger of being bowled out on the first day of the scheduled five-day third Test.
The Black Caps’ innings unravelled with the loss of three wickets in 11 balls shortly the first tea break.
Tom Latham was out attempting to cut spinner Nathan Lyon and was caught behind by Peter Nevill for no addition to his tea score of 50.
Ross Taylor, who amassed the highest score of 290 by a touring batsman in Australia in last week’s drawn Perth Test, followed seven balls later.
Taylor edged Peter Siddle to Nevill for 21 and skipper Brendon McCullum’s miserable scoring series continued when he was out to an injudicious slash outside off-stump.
Starc’s delivery was wide but McCullum went after it and gave a healthy snick for Nevill’s third straight catch for just four.
Starc then bowled Santner for 31, reducing the Kiwis to 142 for six.
– Ankle injury nags Starc -But Starc left the field shortly afterwards for treatment on his right ankle. He has experienced problems with bone spurs this season.
Mark Craig was bowled by a sharply turning Lyon delivery nearing the dinner break for 11.
New Zealand lost the key wicket of the in-form Williamson in the first session, after being trapped leg before wicket by Starc.
Starc, who has taken over as the leader of the Australian bowling attack after last week’s retirement of Mitchell Johnson, hit Williamson’s pads with a yorker in front of the stumps with the fourth delivery of his second over in his second spell.
Martin Guptill was the first Kiwi batsman out when he was trapped leg-before for one in Josh Hazlewood’s second over.
The Black Caps, needing a win to draw the three-Test series after losing the Brisbane opener, opted to bat after winning the toss in the much-anticipated Test match featuring a pink ball for the first time.
The Adelaide crowd was announced at 44,405 at the dinner break with more fans expected to swell the attendance in the first evening session in 138 years of Test cricket under lights.
The day-night Test is one of cricket’s rare innovations and follows the advent of one-day internationals in the 1970s and the glitzy Twenty20 format in the last decade.
New Zealand, unbeaten in their last seven Test series since 2013, will have to win the historic Test to draw the series after Australia won the Brisbane opener by 208 runs and last week’s second Test in Perth finished in a high-scoring draw.