Pat Cummins achieves major milestone as captain Nathan Lyon goes past Courtney Walsh in Test wickets

As the first Test match between Australia and New Zealand unfolded at Wellington’s Basin Reserve, Australian cricketers stamped their authority with a string of remarkable achievements on Day 2. The visiting team, riding on the back of a substantial first innings total, saw their bowlers wreak havoc on the home side, with spinner Nathan Lyon spearheading the charge to dismiss New Zealand for a meager 179.

Cameron Green’s unbeaten masterclass of 174 runs from 275 deliveries was instrumental in elevating Australia to a commanding total of 383 runs. With the bat set aside, it was then time for the bowlers to shine, and Lyon did not disappoint. His haul of four wickets not only decimated the Kiwi batting lineup but also allowed him to surpass the West Indies legend Courtney Walsh’s career tally of Test wickets.

With an experience spanning 239 Test innings, Lyon now proudly boasts 521 dismissals, inching closer to the milestone of Australian great Glenn McGrath, who stands at 563 Test wickets. As Lyon etched his name in history, Australian captain Pat Cummins too had cause for celebration. By claiming the wicket of New Zealand’s Daryl Mitchell, Cummins reached a personal milestone of 100 Test wickets while captaining his side. This remarkable feat places him amongst a rare breed of only ten cricketers ever to have achieved such success.

Cummins, with his 100 dismissals in just 47 Test innings as captain, now also stands as the second Australian—to Richie Benaud—to reach the century mark in this unique category, all the while maintaining an impressive average of 23.84 and capturing seven five-wicket hauls. Not only does he now hold the distinction of being the first Australian pace bowler to accomplish this as a captain, but he has also become the inaugural player to secure 100 Test wickets within the span of the prestigious ICC World Test Championship.

As captain, Cummins has amassed 264 Test wickets at an enviable average of 22.44, positioning himself as Australia’s highest-ranked bowler in the ICC Test rankings. This impressive performance has underscored his pivotal role in the Australian squad as they continue to dominate on the international stage.

Meanwhile, the Kiwis found some resilience in Glenn Phillips, who contributed a vital half-century and Matt Henry, who added a brisk 42 runs. Their efforts lifted New Zealand from a precarious 113/7, giving them a fighting chance with a first innings total of 179. Alongside Lyon’s impressive figures, Josh Hazlewood contributed with a couple of wickets, bringing the Australian bowling prowess to the forefront.

However, the Black Caps did not let themselves be completely outdone on their turf, with captain Tim Southee making early inroads into the Australian second innings. The removal of Steve Smith for a golden duck and the cheap dismissal of Marnus Labuschagne left the Aussies on a shaky 13/2 by the close of Day 2. Southee’s precise bowling reminded everyone that despite Australia’s commanding position, the host nation was still ready to fight back.

As Day 2 concluded in Wellington, the narrative was replete with individual glories and records – a testament to the intense individual and collective efforts visible in Test cricket’s ever-evolving landscape. With both teams locking horns and records tumbling, the remainder of the match promises to be as thrilling as it is historical.

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