A crowd of 47,441 witnessed Australia bowl New Zealand out for 202 before reaching stumps at 54 for 2 on the first day-night Test in history, in Adelaide, today.
The attendance figure – higher than that for all five days of the second Test combined – ensured there was a strong sense of occasion at the historic match, the first Test featuring pink cricket balls.
Concerns that the ball would misbehave under lights were largely unfounded despite 12 wickets falling in the day.
Mitchell Starc (3 for 24) led a strong Australian performance but he will not bowl in the rest of the Test after scans confirmed he has suffered a fractured foot.
New Zealand suffered an early setback after winning the toss when Martin Guptill fell lbw to Josh Hazlewood in the fourth over of the day.
Kane Williamson (22) fell lbw to Starc’s yorker after a run of 15 dot-balls but Tom Latham (50) pressed on, reaching his fifty off 92 balls just before tea – the first interval of the day.
A ceremony was held at 4.08 pm local time during the break of play to mark the first anniversary of the death of Phillip Hughes, the 408th Australian Test cricketer.
Latham’s downfall – caught behind off Nathan Lyon – was the first of three wickets to fall for four runs, a collapse that left the Black Caps faltering on 98 for 5.
Ross Taylor (21) drove tamely at Peter Siddle (2-54) and was caught behind before Brendon McCullum fell in the next over, flailing at Starc.
Mitchell Santner (31) countered in partnership with BJ Watling (29) before he was bowled by Starc and when Siddle claimed his 200th Test wicket – Doug Bracewell picking out Joe Burns at short midwicket – New Zealand looked unlikely to post 200.
Tim Southee (16) rode his luck to take the tourists past that mark before shovelling a catch to David Warner off Hazlewood, who finished with 3 for 66.
Australia began their first innings under lights and lost Warner in the fourth over when the opener slashed Trent Boult to third slip.
Burns (14) also fell cheaply, bowled as he poked tentatively at Bracewell, but skipper Steve Smith (24 not out) and Adam Voges (nine not out) successfully saw out the day.