Cricket: New Zealand take slim lead

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NEW ZEALAND take a precious 67-run lead with two first-innings wickets remaining into today's third day of the third and final Test against Australia in Auckland. Having dismissed Australia for their overnightscore of 139, New Zealand were 206 for 8 at the close yesterday.

The Australian bowlers made New Zealand fight all the way to establish their lead. Ken Rutherford top-scored for New Zealand with 43.

John Wright became the first New Zealander to make 1,000 Test runs at two New Zealand Test venues, having done so at the Basin Reserve during the second Test.

Earlier, Danny Morrison finished off the Australian innings with the 10th ball of the day, bowling Craig McDermott for six.

In the last hour of the day, New Zealand were 178 for 4 until Shane Warne came on. With his second ball, Warne drew Rutherford out of his crease to drive and had him stumped. New Zealand were 178 for 5 and on reaching 200 they lost Tony Blain with Warne striking again. Ian Healy took the catch behind the wicket.

Warne next had Dipak Patel caught behind and Chris Harris at slip by Mark Taylor. It had been an effective spell of 51 balls during which he took 3 for 5 and New Zealand lost four wickets in the last hour for 28.

(Second day: Australia won toss)

AUSTRALIA - First Innings

(Overnight: 139 for 9)

S K Warne not out 3

C J McDermott b Morrison 6

Extras (lb7 nb6) 13

Total 139

Bowling: Morrison 18.4-5-37-6 (nb4); Su'a 14-3- 27-0 (nb2); Watson 19-9-47-3; Patel 4-0-21-1.

NEW ZEALAND - First Innings

J G Wright c Taylor b McDermott 33

M J Greatbatch c Border b Hughes 32

A H Jones c Healy b Hughes 20

* M D Crowe c Taylor b S R Waugh 31

K R Rutherford st Healy b Warne 43

C Z Harris c Taylor b Warne 13

T E Blain c Healy b McDermott 15

D N Patel c Healy b Warne 2

M L Su'a not out 0

D K Morrison not out 0

Extras (b4 lb9 nb4) 17

Total (for 8) 206

Fall: 1-60 2-91 3-97 4-144 5-178 6-200 7-205 8-206.

To bat: W Watson.

Bowling: McDermott 19-6-50-2 (nb1); Hughes 20-6-56-2; Reiffel 22-6-63-0 (nb3); Warne 10-8- 5-3; Waugh 14-6-19-1; Martyn 1-1-0-0.