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Josh Hazlewood justifies Pat Cummins call as cricket world stunned by 'unfair' scenes

The Aussie fast bowler was in fine form as the Black Caps were bowled out for just 162 in the second Test.

Josh Hazlewood ripped through New Zealand on the first day of the second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch, vindicating Pat Cummins' decision to bowl first. Cummins won the toss and sent the Black Caps in to bat on another green top on Friday, with the tourists bundled out for just 162.

Cummins' decision didn't pay immediate dividends, with openers Tom Latham and Will Young surviving the first hour. But Mitchell Starc broke the partnership when he got Young to edge one to Mitch Marsh at slip, equalling Dennis Lillee's Test wicket haul in the process.

Josh Hazlewood, pictured here alongside teammates in the second Test against New Zealand.
Josh Hazlewood tore through New Zealand after Pat Cummins opted to bowl first in the second Test against New Zealand. Image: Getty

The wicket was Starc's 355th in Test cricket, giving him the same amount as legendary fast bowler Lillee. He later went past Lillee when he had Glenn Phillips caught behind, moving him into fourth place among all Australians - only behind Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Nathan Lyon.

But it was Hazlewood who proved the main destroyer, taking 5-31 from 13.2 overs as the Black Caps were left reeling at 5-84 at one stage. Hazlewood had Latham caught behind for 38 before he sent Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell packing - both on catches in the slips for four runs apiece.

Hazlewood then got the prized scalp of Kane Williamson for 17 in the former captain's 100th Test match, taking four wickets on the trot in the middle order. The Aussie fast bowler produced a trademark delivery to dismiss Williamson, getting the ball to nip back and crash into the veteran's pads adjacent to the stumps.

Williamson opted for a review out of desperation but was made to trudge off when the on-field call was upheld. Hazlewood snared his fifth wicket when he got Matt Henry (29) for the final dismissal of the innings, after the tail-ender combined with Tim Southee (26) for a handy late partnership.

But the Kiwis were eventually all out for 162, with Starc taking 3-59 and Cummins and Cameron Green grabbing one wicket apiece. It marked New Zealand's lowest total in Test matches at Hagley Oval. Cricket fans and commentators were left in awe at Hazlewood's display, with many pointing out how underrated he still is compared to teammates Starc and Cummins.

Josh Hazlewood vindicates Pat Cummins' call to bowl

The performance also justified Cummins' decision to bowl first after he called correctly at the toss. While not as popular in other parts of the world, bowling first is more common in New Zealand in the typically seam-friendly conditions.

The Test match is the last Australia will play until next summer when India travel to Australia. The Aussies lead the two-match series 1-0 and have already retained the Trans Tasman Trophy thanks to of a 172-run victory in Wellington last week.

Josh Hazlewood, pictured here after dismissing Tom Latham in the second Test.
Josh Hazlewood is congratulated by teammates after dismissing Tom Latham. (Getty Images)

Green, who made an unbeaten 174 in the first dig, and Nathan Lyon, who picked up a 10-wicket haul, were the stars on that occasion. While New Zealand can only draw the series and can't win back the trophy, there are valuable World Test Championship points on offer.

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India sit on top of the WTC table in front of New Zealand, but third-placed Australia (the defending champions) can jump over the Kiwis into second with a win in Christchurch. The Black Caps will be desperate to avoid another clean sweep after going down 3-0 in the T20 series that took place before the Tests. The hosts will also be hoping to snare a win for Williamson and captain Tim Southee, who are both playing their 100th Test matches.

with AAP

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