Steve Smith's stunning catch off Kane Williamson summed up Australia's dominance against New Zealand in the Perth Pink Ball Test. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Steve Smith might have not hit a fifty-plus score in three consecutive innings. For all the Bradmanesque standards that Smith has set with the bat in the modern era when it comes to the longest format, this current dip is slightly worrying. However, if Smith does not contribute with the bat, he can definitely contribute on the field. On day 2 of the Perth Pink Ball Test between Australia and New Zealand at the New Perth stadium, Smith had a moment of brilliance on the field to send back on his modern-day competitors Kane Williamson on the way. New Zealand had a disastrous start in response to Australia's 416 with Jeet Raval and Tom Latham falling to Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.
Williamson, along with Ross Taylor steadied the innings with some positive batting. While Taylor was going after the Australian bowling, Williamson focused on steady accumulation and the duo built a 75-run partnership. However, Starc returned and aided by Smith's magic sent back the New Zealand captain in style. Starc bowled a short delivery that climbed up steeply outside off, Williamson suffered a lapse in judgment as he poked at it.
The edge flew to first slip where it could have gone to the boundary but Smith dived full length to his right and plucked a catch with one hand to send Williamson back for 34. The wicket once again rejuvenated Australia and Starc proceeded to cause havoc, taking the wickets of Henry Nicholls and Neil Wagner. At stumps, Taylor's 33rd fifty helped New Zealand end on 109/5, still trailing by 307 runs. Starc ended with figures of 4/31 but the hosts were dealt a blow with Hazlewood limping off due to a calf strain after bowling just eight balls.
Australia began the day confidently with Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head batting confidently. Both batsmen took Australia past 300 but Labuschagne missed the chance to score a 150 as he was bowled by Neil Wagner. Head aggressively took on the New Zealand bowling and smashed 10 fours in his fifty but he was sent back by Tim Southee. The ower order chipped in, with skipper Tim Paine sharing partnerships of 38 and 45 with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc. However, Wagner and Southee combined to take four wickets apiece as Australia were bowled out for 416. The hosts are firmly in control of the Test match and Smith's catch off Williamson summed up yet another day of domination for the Australians in the ICC World Test Championship clash against their Trans-Tasman rivals.