Nathan Lyon closes in on Glenn McGrath's record as New Zealand capitulate in first Test

The Australian spinner starred on day four as New Zealand were bowled out for 196.

Pictured Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon is closing in on Glenn McGrath in the all-time Test wicket-takers list after ripping through the Black Caps middle order on day four. Image: Getty

Nathan Lyon is rapidly closing in on Glenn McGrath's Test wicket tally after ripping through New Zealand's middle order on day four of the first Test between Australia and New Zealand. The Black Caps started the day 3-111 chasing 369 at the Basin Reserve but suffered a horror collapse, bowled out before lunch for 196.

Lyon was in his element late on Saturday, thrown the ball in the sixth over and quickly dismissed Tom Latham and Kane Williamson in his first four overs. And he continued in the same form on Sunday, taking three early wickets to snuff out any chance of a Black Caps comeback.

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On day four, Lyon first removed the dangerous Rachin Ravindra and then wicketkeeper Tom Blundell in the same over. After surviving the first half an hour, Ravindra backed away from a short delivery and top-edged a cut shot straight to Cameron Green at point, departing for 59. Moments later Blundell was caught at short leg by Travis Head for a third-ball duck, dismissed the same way as he was in the first innings.

A short time later Lyon claimed his third scalp of the day and his fifth in the second innings, trapping the Black Caps' day three star Glenn Phillips in front. From there things only got worse for the Kiwis as Lyon dismissed Tim Southee to bring up his fourth 10-wicket Test, finishing the second innings with figures of 6-65. The Kiwis capitulated on day four losing 7-85 as Australia came away with a 172-run win.

With the packed international schedule only allowing for a two-Test series, Australia's win means they will retain the Trans-Tasman Trophy, a trophy the Black Caps haven't held since 1994. New Zealand have only registered one Test win against Australia since then - a victory in Hobart in 2011.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 03: Australia celebrate the win during day four of the First Test in the series between New Zealand and Australia at Basin Reserve on March 03, 2024 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
The Kiwis capitulated on day four losing 7-85 as Australia came away with a 172-run win in the first Test. (Hagen Hopkins via Getty Images)

Nathan Lyon inches closer to Glenn McGrath on all-time wickets list

Lyon's six-wicket haul on day four sees the 36-year-old close in on Glenn McGrath's sixth spot on the all-time Test wicket-takers list. Lyon's 10 wickets in the first Test against New Zealand sees his tally rise to 527, with the legendary Aussie paceman's 563 well within his sights.

In the first innings, Lyon took 4/43 in 8.1 overs and in doing so surpassed West Indies legend Courtney Walsh to become the seventh-highest wicket-taker in Tests. Only Muttiah Muralitharan, who leads the way with an extraordinary 800, Shane Warne, James Anderson, Anil Kumble, Stuart Broad and McGrath have taken more Test scalps than Lyon.

Most wickets in Test cricket history (as of March 3):

  1. Muttiah Muralitharan (SL) - 800

  2. Shane Warne (AUS) - 708

  3. Jimmy Anderson (ENG) - 698 (still playing)

  4. Anil Kumble (IND) - 619

  5. Stuart Broad (ENG) - 604

  6. Glenn McGrath (AUS) - 563

  7. Nathan Lyon (AUS) - 527 (still playing)

  8. Courtney Walsh (WI) - 516

  9. Ravi Ashwin (IND) - 507 (still playing)

  10. Dale Steyn (SA) - 439

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