8 Nov 2015

Black Caps batting for survival

10:55 am on 8 November 2015

New Zealand must survive two days with the bat to salvage the first cricket test against Australia in Brisbane, with the hosts firmly in control heading into day four at the Gabba.

Australia will resume their second innings on 264 for 4 with a lead of 503 runs.

View RNZ's coverage of day three here

The Black Caps were dismissed for 317 yesterday afternoon, with Kane Williamson top-scoring with 140.

Kane Williamson in action on Day Three, 7 November 2015. New Zealand Black Caps tour of Australia, 1st test at Brisbane 5-9 November 2015.

Kane Williamson top-scored with 140 on the third day of the first test against Australia. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The hosts then decided not to enforce the follow-on, and both their openers Joe Burns and David Warner made centuries.

Australia is likely to declare before play on day four to give themselves as much time as possible to bowl out the Black Caps.

While admitting New Zealand face a near impossible task to save the test, Williamson is not ready to concede defeat just yet.

Australia's Joe Burns (L) celebrates his century as team-mate David Warner looks on during day three of the first Test cricket match between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane on November 7, 2015. AFP PHOTO / Saeed KHAN

Australia's Joe Burns (L) celebrates his maiden Test century as team-mate David Warner looks on Photo: Photosport

The final session yesterday proved costly for the tourists, with both Warner and Burns blasting centuries, ruthlessly exploiting a bowling attack weakened by the loss of injured senior paceman Tim Southee.

David Warner was finally caught for 116 by Trent Boult off Mark Craig - his second ton of the Test. Joe Burns, who brought up his maiden Test century with a six, was finally snared by Craig for 129, caught by Ross Taylor at deep midwicket.

Two more wickets followed before stumps. Australian captain Steve Smith made only one before Williamson caught him off Boult, and nightwatchman Mitchell Marsh went soon after off Craig for two, caught by Brendon McCullum.

Usman Khawajah finished the day not out on nine, with Adam Voges on one.

Classy ton not enough

New Zealand's only highlight of the day was Kane Williamson's 11th test century.

The standout batsman was last man out for 140 as their innings ended, when he was caught behind off Mitchell Starc.

Kane Williamson celebrates his Test century on day three at the Gabba, 7 November 2015. New Zealand tour of Australia, 1st test at Brisbane 5-9 November 2015. Copyright photo: www.photosport.nz

Williamson's 11th Test century was the only highlight for NZ on day three. Photo: Photosport

But his ton was nowhere enough to really eat into the Australians' massive first-innings lead after their 556 for four declared.

Williamson had held the New Zealand innings together on day three after they lost wicketkeeper BJ Watling for 32 and bowler Mark Craig for 24 before lunch, when they were 273 for seven.

Watling snicked a thin edge through to the keeper off Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, while Craig threw away his wicket with a slice to point off spinner Nathan Lyon.

Mitchell Johnson and the Australian team celebrate the wicket of BJ Watling on day 3, 7 November 2015. New Zealand tour of Australia, 1st test at Brisbane 5-9 November 2015. Copyright photo: www.photosport.nz

Mitchell Johnson and the Australian team celebrate the wicket of BJ Watling Photo: Photosport

Doug Bracewell did not add to his score after the break, the paceman bowled by Marsh for 16.

Injured bowler Tim Southee came out to bat with Williamson and put on a quickfire 14 in his usual swashbuckling fashion, despite his bad back - Southee hitting two fours with a 100 percent strike rate before being bowled by Marsh. Trent Boult was not out on 0.

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