Second Test: Black Caps in deep trouble as skipper Kane Williamson departs at MCG

Scott BaileyThe West Australian
VideoWATCH: Neil Wagner claimed Steve Smith's prized wicket for the third time (out of three) this series. Trent Copeland talks us through how he did it.

Travis Head put Australia in a commanding position on day two of the Boxing Day Test, but it’s the bowlers doing the damage to the Black Caps at the MCG.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson (9) is back in the pavilion after skying a James Pattinson bouncer to Tim Paine.

Promoted opener Tom Blundell fell for 15 after pushing at a Pat Cummins delivery in the sixth over of the innings.

In reply to Australia’s 467, New Zealand are 2-44 at stumps on day two with Ross Taylor (28) and Tom Latham (9* off 57) at the crease.

Taylor survived what looked to be a plumb LBW decision, which was given out on the field. The Kiwi batsman reviewed the decision and was given a life when DRS determined Pattinson’s delivery was going over the bails.

Earlier on day two, the under-fire Travis Head posted his second Test career century before falling for 114, after he and Paine put on a 150-run stand.

Australia lost 5-33 after Paine was trapped in front by Wagner in the second over after tea. Initially given not out, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson sent the decision upstairs with Paine on his way for 79.

Head was forced to wait to bring up his ton when Mitchell Starc fell for 1.

Out five times between 50 and 100 in his 15-Test career, a determined Head maintained his concentration on the MCG.

He had a chance to reach three figures in the final over before the break, but instead played out a maiden to Trent Boult.

The pick of the Black Caps bowlers, Neil Wagner (4-83), removed Smith on 85.

The Australian star got one that rose steeply at him from the left-armer, before it collected his handle as he jumped to combat it and the ball lobbed to gully.

Henry Nicholls had to leap high to take the catch, ending Smith’s bid to become the first player to score centuries in five straight MCG Test appearances.

Australia’s former captain had previously played the short ball well, limiting and controlling his pull shots while evading the majority of the bouncers headed his way.

But Wagner’s delivery showed real life in an MCG pitch that has been accused of being too dead in recent years.

Smith’s dismissal left him with an average of 128.71 at the ground, just above Don Bradman’s previous record mark of 128.52.

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