Aussies lucky to escape penalty after bizarre moment batsmen turn down crucial runs to chat in the middle of the pitch against New Zealand
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Australia are in complete control in their Test against New Zealand in Wellington – but a major talking point was Cameron Green and No.11 batsman Josh Hazelwood controversially not taking a run early on day two.

Pat Cummins’ men have been dominant at the Basin Reserve in Wellington following a record 10th wicket stand from Green and Hazelwood.

They piled on 383 runs with Green notching up a career-best 174* runs after the Aussies had previously been in trouble at 4/89.

In response, the hosts were reeling 5/80 after 26 overs, with key batsmen Kane Williamson and Rachin Ravindra both dismissed for ducks in sensational fashion.

Williamson won’t want to see the replay, with his run out following a direct hit from Marnus Labuschagne a comedy of errors.

Further dismissals of Tom Latham (five), Will Young (nine) and Daryl Mitchell (11) left the home crowd at Basin Reserve on edge, before Glenn Phillips and Tom Blundell steadied the ship.

During the morning session on day two, Green and Hazlewood were toying with the Kiwis, turning down at least two runs to stop in middle of the pitch and have a quick chat. 

‘Nicely timed down the onside,’ former Aussie fast bowler Brendan Julian said.

Then former Black Cap and Cricket Commentator Mark Richardson cracked up laughing and added: ‘They’re not going to take a run.’

Julian said: ‘They actually ran one and stopped in the middle to have a chat, they probably could have got two.’

But replays showed that neither batsman had made their crease for the first run, instead stopping to have a brief word, then turning back to be safely home for zero runs.

‘The umps are actually chatting here, they don’t know how to sort of deal with this,’ Richardson said.

‘What is this? What is that? Is that one short?’

Julian replied: ‘They didn’t go over the popping crease, so there’s nothing.’

Early on day two, Cameron Green and Josh Hazlewood made a half-hearted effort to take a run, enjoying a chat in the middle of the wicket

Early on day two, Cameron Green and Josh Hazlewood made a half-hearted effort to take a run, enjoying a chat in the middle of the wicket

Commentators Mark Richardson and Brendon Julian were confused by the fake run, unsure if they had crossed for a run or not

Commentators Mark Richardson and Brendon Julian were confused by the fake run, unsure if they had crossed for a run or not

Green clobbered his way to 174 runs at the lunch break on day two of the first Test to put the Aussies in a dominant position

Green clobbered his way to 174 runs at the lunch break on day two of the first Test to put the Aussies in a dominant position

Hazlewood (left) provided 22 runs off 62 balls for a record 10th wicket partnership against the Black Caps

Hazlewood (left) provided 22 runs off 62 balls for a record 10th wicket partnership against the Black Caps

While the moment was comical, the Aussies were fortunate not to be whacked with a five-run penalty under a Law of the game that is rarely applied.

Under Law 18.5, batsmen intentionally stopping short of the crease should be called for a ‘deliberate short run’ and penalised five runs. 

In some cases, the incident can be referred to the match referee and the batsmen or even the captain can be fined or suspended. 

Green, who was overlooked for the Pakistan series but restored to the team at No.4 after Warner’s retirement, said it was relieving and satisfying to still be there at stumps.

‘It was a pretty tough wicket out there. Someone just needed to bat through, and I’m glad it was me,’ he said on Thursday night.

‘When you’re not playing in the team it does make you stop and think how special it actually is to play for Australia.

‘Sometimes you do forget that when you’re playing so much, so it’s nice to be back.’

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