The two gates of Lyon disturb New Zealand in the Sydney test

Sydney, January 5 (AFP) Spinner Nathan Lyon grabbed two key wickets when New Zealand hesitated after a promising start in Sydney's third test here Sunday.

Lyon eliminated the Melbourne Test centurion, Tom Blundell, and withdrew Jeet Raval after a solid start in the Blackcaps innings.

The Kiwis went to lunch at 141 for three on the third day in response to Australia's 454 with experienced Ross Taylor on 21 and newcomer Glenn Phillips no three.

Lyon could have had another gate, but dropped a direct opportunity caught and thrown to give Phillips life in two, and cut his right thumb in the process forcing him to require treatment before continuing.

A little disappointed to have dropped a simple catch, Lyon said as he left the field at lunch.

There is not much in that wicket, the need to keep pushing hitters should be an interesting session. Raval, who was eliminated after two twin batting failures in Perth's first test, hit number three positively.

But his tickets came to an end when he was hit by Lyon and was caught in the leg before the wicket by 31 of 58 balls.

Latham was out two balls later at the next time of Pat Cummins, made by a more complete delivery of the slower surface and directly hitting Mitchell Starc midway.

The new boss, a substitute for Kane Williamson not available, was denied a deserved half century with 49 on his 133-ball vigil and reduced the Blackcaps to 117 by three.

Blundell fell on the fifth of the day over the Lyon bowling by 34.

Blundell tried to play with his back foot just to fail and the ball fell from inside the left leg and headed for the stumps.

It was a crucial wicket for Australians, who were frustrated by Latham and Blundell starters throughout the final session on Saturday. Blundell faced 105 balls.

The Sydney Test is played in the context of one of Australia's most devastating forest fire seasons, with at least 24 people losing their lives in fires across the country, even on the outskirts of Sydney. The game will be suspended in the match at the discretion of the referee, in case the smoke significantly affects air quality or visibility, but the sky above the ground has remained largely clear until now. AFP SSC SSC

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