Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood will miss the Boxing Day Test after injuring his hamstring in Perth, coach Justin Langer confirmed.

Scans revealed Hazlewood suffered a low-grade tear during his opening spell on the second day of the first Test against New Zealand.

The 28-year-old lasted just eight deliveries, taking the wicket of Jeet Raval, before being forced from the field.

Langer ruled him out of the MCG clash and suggested Peter Siddle could rival James Pattinson and uncapped seamer Michael Neser for Hazlewood's spot.

"Without doubt, Patto and Michael Neser, they'll be in the squad 100 per cent and we'll look whether we replace Josh with another fast bowler," Langer told reporters.

"The obvious one would be Peter Siddle, actually. He did a really good job in the Ashes, he's bowling very well for Victoria and it's at the MCG, where he's played a lot of cricket.

"We'll see what happens the rest of this game and then make a decision."

Australia will expect to take a 1-0 series advantage to Melbourne after building a 417-run lead by stumps on day three at Optus Stadium.

The hosts are set to resume at 167-6 in their second innings after skittling the Black Caps for 166 on Saturday.

Ross Taylor accepts Australia are in a dominant position after three days of the first Test, yet the New Zealand captain is hoping the Black Caps' spirit can save them in Perth.

Eleven wickets fell on day three as Australia - 167-6 at stumps in their second innings - took a 417-run lead to establish firm control of the day-night encounter.

The Black Caps began the day on 109-5, with Taylor unbeaten on 66, but they were all out for 166 before lunch.

Australia were then 131-1 second time around, but Tim Southee (4-63) and Neil Wagner (2-40) helped stage a fightback to leave the home side six wickets down, and Taylor believes New Zealand will take heart from their display in the final session.

"There's still a long way to go in this Test match, but I thought the fight that we showed as a team, especially in that last session, bodes well for the rest of the series," Taylor told reporters.

"We're a long way behind the game at the moment, but if we can show the fight that we've shown in the last series, I think it will give the team a lot of confidence coming over here."

Taylor went on to add: "Any time you're going to chase 350, 400 on a wearing wicket, it's going to be tough.

"But at the same time we'll see what Australia do tomorrow and hopefully we can take that [declaration] out of their hands and wrap it up.

"Throughout the last few years, the strength of this side is the fighting spirit. Regardless of what happens, we want to fight and fight right to the end.

"It's a strange game, cricket, and the way Australia bowled at us in the first innings - they bowled fantastically well. But it's a time for us to step up as a batting unit and show what we can do. Not only showing what we can do but getting our confidence up as well."

When New Zealand bat again, they will do so knowing Australia are a bowler light after it was confirmed Josh Hazlewood will not bowl for the remainder of the Test due to a hamstring injury.

That did not seem to bother Australia first time around, though, and opener Joe Burns is keen for the hosts not to give their opponents a chance of a recovery on day four.

"Good position to be in," Burns said. "Obviously it's still going to be tough, being a bowler down, but we're really happy with where we're at.

"A little bit disappointing to lose a few wickets tonight but in the grand scheme of the game, we're in a good position, in control of the game. Come out tomorrow, start well and keep driving it home."

Graeme Smith is not looking beyond his initial three-month tenure as South Africa team director after appointing Mark Boucher as Proteas head coach.

Smith wasted no time in getting to work in his temporary role, unveiling Boucher on Saturday and naming Enoch Nkwe - who had been interim team director - as his former team-mate's assistant. 

Ex-South Africa captain Smith this week agreed to take his new role on a short-term basis due to Indian Premier League media commitments.

The 38-year-old says announcing a Test squad to face England rather than considering his long-term future was the priority.

"We will be announcing both the Proteas Test squad and the South Africa A squad to play England on Monday," Smith said.

"The Test squad will then go into immediate camp to prepare for the Test series and some of them will be included in the South Africa A team.

"Aiden Markram is likely to be the only player released for franchise duty in the four-day series as he is in need of match practice after his lengthy injury-enforced absence.

"As far as my vision for the future is concerned, we need to rewind to performance excellence and that will be the focus going forward. Our public want and demand a world-class Proteas side and we must deliver on that.

"As far as my own future is concerned, I face a very busy and at times hectic three months and I am not going to look further ahead than that. I am sure everybody will understand that.

"Because of the time frame the Proteas Test squad is my most immediate concern and we will be rolling out plans for the Proteas Women and the under-19s, who both face important ICC global events next year, in the immediate future."

It was also confirmed on Saturday that Linda Zondi resumes as convener of the national selection panel, while unsurprisingly Faf du Plessis remains Test captain ahead of a four-match series with England on home soil.
 
Meanwhile, ex-Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince will take charge of South Africa A for the upcoming tour match against England.

Australia are in command of the first Test against New Zealand, despite collapsing in the final session on day three at Perth Stadium, after Marnus Labuschagne's purple patch with the bat continued.

Eleven wickets fell at Perth Stadium on Saturday, the excellent Mitchell Starc (5-52) claiming his 13th five-wicket Test haul as the tourists were dismissed for 166 in the first session - Ross Taylor making 80.

Australia were cruising with Labuschagne (50) and Joe Burns (53) at the crease, but slumped from 131-1 to 167-6 by the close, Tim Southee taking 4-63 and Neil Wagner 2-40.

Tim Paine's side, without Josh Hazlewood for the rest of the match due to a hamstring injury, remain in complete control despite that late flurry of wickets, leading by a mammoth 417 runs. 

The Black Caps had resumed in deep trouble on 109-5 and they were soon six down when BJ Watling chopped on to a sharp delivery from Pat Cummins.

Taylor added only 14 runs to his overnight total before edging Nathan Lyon to Steve Smith at first slip - and Colin de Grandhomme was caught by the former Australia skipper on 23 when he contentiously became Starc's fifth victim.

Third umpire Marais Erasmus upheld Aleem Dar's on-field decision to give De Grandhomme out despite it not being clear if the ball had struck the all-rounder on the glove.

Labuschagne got in on the act by bowling Mitchell Santner through the gate with a classic leg break and Lyon ended the innings just before lunch by getting rid of Southee.

David Warner passed 7,000 Test runs – taking him above the great Don Bradman on the all-time list in the process - before falling for 19, the left-hander picking out substitute fielder Tom Blundell with an attempted pull when a short ball from Southee got big on him.

Burns was dropped by De Grandhomme on 24 and played with more fluency after a watchful start to his knock, with the in-form Labuschagne - who scored a third consecutive Test century in the first innings - in great touch at the other end. 

They pressed on after taking tea at 75-1, reaching half-centuries in quick succession, while umpire Dar - standing in a record 129th Test - needed treatment on his knee after a collision with Santner.

Labuschagne was looking ominous until he pulled Wagner straight to Santner at midwicket, while Burns followed after fending a short ball from Southee to Henry Nicholls in the gully.

Smith fell to Wagner for only 14 before a fired-up Southee removed Travis Head and Tim Paine - who failed to score – though Australia are still firmly on top despite the dramatic finish to proceedings.

Former South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher has been appointed as the head coach of the Proteas.

Boucher will be assisted by Enoch Nkwe, who stepped in as interim team director after the departure of Ottis Gibson following a disappointing Cricket World Cup campaign.

Titans head coach Boucher's appointment was confirmed on Saturday, just a few days after Graeme Smith was installed as Cricket South Africa's acting director of cricket.

Linda Zondi resumes as convener of the national selection panel, while unsurprisingly Faf du Plessis remains Test captain ahead of a four-match series with England on home soil.
 
Meanwhile, ex-Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince will take charge of South Africa A for the upcoming tour match against England.
 
Smith, who this week accepted the director of cricket role for an initial three-month period, believes his former team-mate Boucher's experience will be crucial for a young South Africa side.
 
"I have brought Boucher on board because I feel he will bring the toughness to turn a young and inexperienced Proteas squad into a battle-ready outfit. With his experience of a long career as an international cricketer he has first-hand experience of what it takes to succeed in the Test arena," commented Smith.
 
"I have the highest regard for Enoch as well and I want to create a clear path for him to grow into a top international coach.
 
"At the same time there is a clear need to maintain continuity and stability in the Proteas management team and we will be retaining the technical support staff along with Volvo Masubelele continuing as team manager and Justin Ontong as fielding coach.
 
"I will be appointing batting and bowling consultants, and these will be announced in the next couple of days."

The appointment of 43-year-old Boucher, who retired in 2012 due to an eye injury after playing 147 Tests and 295 one-dayers at international level, comes a week after Jacques Faul was named Cricket South Africa's acting chief executive, replacing the suspended Thabang Moroe.

No play was possible on day four of the first Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka due to a wet outfield at Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Only 32 balls were bowled on Friday due to overnight rain and bad light, after just 18.2 overs of action for the same reasons on the second day.

There was further frustration on Saturday, with play called off at midday due to more bad weather in Rawalpindi.

Sri Lanka were due to resume on 282-6 in the only innings of the match so far, Dhananjaya de Silva unbeaten on 87.

The first Test in Pakistan for a decade is destined to end in a draw.

Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood will not bowl for the remainder of the first Test against New Zealand in Perth.

Hazlewood suffered a hamstring strain during day two and Australia confirmed on Saturday the 28-year-old would not bowl for the rest of the Test.

He bowled just eight deliveries, taking the wicket of Jeet Raval (1), before the injury.

Matthew Wade was used for two overs by Australia, who had reduced New Zealand to 129-6 in response to their 416 to begin day three.

Both teams are a bowler down for the Test, with Lockie Ferguson having suffered a calf strain on day one for the Black Caps.

Steve Smith produced a stunning one-handed catch to remove Kane Williamson on the second day of Australia's first Test against New Zealand, though Mitchell Starc always expected his brilliant team-mate to take the chance.

Starc finished with 4-31 from 11 overs at stumps as the Black Caps were reduced to 109-5 in reply to Australia's first-innings total of 416.

While Ross Taylor will resume on 66 not out on Saturday, Australia have already got the key wicket of Williamson, who fell for 34 when Starc and Smith combined in spectacular fashion.

Former Australia captain Smith flung out his right hand to take a remarkable diving grab at second slip, not that the bowler of the delivery shared the crowd's amazement.

"Unfortunately for him, you sort of expect that from Steve," Starc explained to reporters.

"He's done that a few times. It was fantastic to create that buzz in the crowd and certainly out on the ground for us.

"The big wicket of Kane - being the captain as well - to hang onto him was a big moment in tonight's session.

"It was a fantastic catch, and it's always nice to see the boys hang on."

Starc added: "It happens pretty quick. It was a special grab.

"He's such a good player, whether it be with bat or in the field, you almost, unfortunately for him, expect that he's going to hold onto those nine times out of 10."

It was not all plain sailing for the hosts, who lost Josh Hazlewood to a suspected hamstring injury after he had bowled just eight balls - one of which clattered into opener Jeet Raval's stumps.

The extent of Hazlewood's problem is due to be confirmed on Saturday, with Starc already facing up to the possibility of Australia being one bowler down for at least the remainder of this Test.

"It's never nice seeing anyone go down, especially one of your best mates," Starc added.

"I'm not sure how those scans have come back, hopefully there's some positivity out of that. I guess it makes it tough now with a bowler down. It was for the Kiwis with [Lockie] Ferguson going down.

"The plus side is we've got them five down tonight and hopefully for Josh it's not too bad and, if it is going to keep him out for the rest of the week, it's not too big a break to get that hammy right."

Starc shone with the pink ball in the day-night Test, though admitted he still prefers all-day matches.

Asked whether he wanted all Tests to be day-night encounters given his performance, Starc replied: "Nope. Don't overdo it, I'd say.

"It's great for cricket but I'm still a traditionalist at heart. Don't take too many away from the red-ball game."

Mitchell Starc put Australia in command in the absence of Josh Hazlewood while Steve Smith took a sensational catch to leave New Zealand in big trouble on day two of the first Test.

Marnus Labuschagne fell for 143 after making his third consecutive Test century on the opening day at Perth Stadium, and Travis Head struck 56 in Australia's 416 all out.

Neil Wagner (4-92) and Tim Southee (4-93) stepped up again with Black Caps debutant Lockie Ferguson unable bowl due to a calf injury sustained on Thursday.

New Zealand lost both openers inside two overs of their reply, but their trans-Tasman rivals suffered a big blow when Hazlewood ambled off with a suspected hamstring injury after dismissing Jeet Raval. 

Starc came to the fore late in the day-night contest on Friday, Smith diving to remove Williamson (34) in spectacular fashion as the left-arm paceman took 4-31 to reduce the tourists to 109-5 at stumps.

Ross Taylor will resume on Saturday unbeaten on 66 with New Zealand trailing by 307 and BJ Watling yet to get off the mark.

Labuschagne put away a couple of glorious drives after Australia resumed on 248-4, but Wagner ended his fifth-wicket stand of 76 with Travis Head by bowling the in-form number three around his legs.

Head looked in great touch in a positive knock, finding the boundary frequently before driving Southee to Mitchell Santner in the covers.

The Black Caps bowled with discipline after lunch, and Raval, used more than he would have anticipated in the absence of Ferguson, dismissed Pat Cummins for 20.

Starc added a brisk 30, smashing Santner for six over long-on, and captain Tim Paine a patient 39 before both were dismissed by Southee, with Australia all out on the stroke of tea.

New Zealand got off to a nightmare start to their reply under the lights, Tom Latham caught and bowled by Starc without scoring in the first over and Hazlewood cleaning up Raval with only his fourth ball.

Taylor joined Williamson at the crease with the tourists in the mire on 1-2, and they would have been relieved to see Hazlewood walk off after pulling up in his second over.

The current and former captain had to contend with some hostile short stuff from Cummins and Starc, but they weathered the storm under pressure and Taylor struck Nathan Lyon for three boundaries in an over.

There was no review from Australia when Williamson appeared to feather Cummins behind, but Smith took off to his right to grab a stunning one-handed catch to remove the prolific skipper - ending a stand of 76.

Although Taylor brought up a hard-earned half-century, Starc strangled Henry Nicholls caught behind down the leg side and generated late swing to bowl nightwatchman Wagner first ball in a great spell to leave New Zealand on the ropes.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka were again frustrated by the weather as only 32 balls were bowled on day three of the first Test at Pindi Cricket Stadium.

Just 18.2 overs were possible on the second day in Rawalpindi, and a combination of a wet outfield following overnight rain and bad light left the players kicking their heels again on Friday.

Dhananjaya de Silva moved on to 87 not out in the afternoon session after a wet outfield put paid to any action before lunch, but the umpires brought the players off in the gloom with Sri Lanka 282-6.

They did not return after tea on another cold, miserable day, with Dilruwan Perera unbeaten on six and Dhananjaya unable to press on to complete a sixth Test century.

The first Test in Pakistan for a decade is almost certainly heading for a draw.

New Zealand have been dealt a blow with Lockie Ferguson unable to bowl for the rest of the first Test against Australia due to a calf strain.

Making his Test debut, Ferguson suffered the injury on day one in Perth on Thursday.

The paceman had bowled 11 overs for figures of 0-47, but that will be the end of his involvement with the ball in the series opener.

"INJURY UPDATE: An MRI scan has confirmed a right calf muscle-tendon strain for Lockie Ferguson which will prevent him bowling in the remainder of the 1st Test, although he is available to bat," the Black Caps wrote on Twitter on Friday.

"Awaiting a further report which will inform the next steps of his recovery."

Australia finished the day at 248-4 after Marnus Labuschagne made an unbeaten 110.

Marnus Labuschagne says "riding the wave" has been the key to his success after the Australia batsman scored a third consecutive Test century on day one of the series against New Zealand.

Labuschagne's purple patch continued on a slow-scoring deck in Perth, the number three reaching stumps on 110 not out with Australia 248-4 in the day-night encounter.

Don Bradman and Charles Macartney are the only other Australians to have scored three successive hundreds in the longest format.

Labuschagne also became the fourth-fastest Australian to score 1,000 Test runs and the number three says staying in the moment has enabled him to spend so much time in the middle.

"No hundred is easy, but today there was definitely patches where scoring really dried up completely and you just had to be patient and trust you were going to come out the other side," said the 25-year-old.

"It's about riding the wave, not trying to get too high when you are going well, keep everything consistent, keep it process-driven in terms of your mind.

"It's great to get runs, but just making sure you are doing your routines, keeping that clear mind on the field and from there you're just playing the ball as it comes. It's making sure you put a real high price on decision making."

Test debutant Lockie Ferguson went for a scan after suffering a calf injury on a searing hot day and Labuschagne says Australia must try and make the tourists' bowlers suffer in the field if they are a bowler short.

"I think one of the boys said when we came back in that he [Ferguson] pulled up with an injury, but me and [Steve] Smith didn't even know," the centurion said.

"It's a massive advantage they do have an all-rounder [Colin de Grandhomme] in their side, so that probably does lighten the load but it's a massive advantage if we can really bat well tomorrow and keep them out there.

"Batters, we've just got to keep putting runs on the board and with our world-class bowling attack, it gives them the upper hand."

Neil Wagner said New Zealand can only cross their fingers and hope debutant Lockie Ferguson has not bowled his last ball in the first Test against Australia.

The Black Caps paceman pulled up with a calf injury on day one at Perth Stadium after bowling just 11 overs.

Ferguson went for an MRI scan to discover the extent of the damage, leaving the tourists a bowler down as Marnus Labuschagne (110 not out) made a third consecutive Test century.

Wagner, who took 2-52 as Australia closed on 248-4 in the day-night contest, felt for Ferguson as New Zealand wait to discover how serious his injury is.

The seamer said: "It's gutting, isn't it. It's pretty heartbreaking and I know he'll be devastated.

"We'll all get right behind him and hopefully it's not too bad. We haven't heard anything back yet so hopefully it's good, or better news than what everyone is expecting."

Wagner added: "Hopefully we'll find out [the results] pretty soon. Fingers crossed it's not too bad, he's a quality player and we would have loved to have seen him bowl more."

New Zealand, already without left-arm seamer Trent Boult due to a side strain, will assess Ferguson's fitness prior to Friday's play in the series opener.

 

Marnus Labuschagne continued his stunning form with a third straight Test century as Australia made a strong start against New Zealand in Perth.

After winning the toss, Australia ended Thursday on 248-4 in the day-night contest, which is the first of three Test matches between the teams.

When he was on 95, Labuschagne, who had gone past 1,000 runs in only his 12th Test earlier in the innings, smashed a six off Mitchell Santner over long on.

He calmly saw out the day from there, finishing on 110 not out from 202 deliveries with 14 boundaries and that one maximum, and will return on day two alongside Travis Head (20no).

Labuschagne's exploits came after he recorded scores of 185 and 162 against Pakistan last month.

Neil Wagner (2-52) provided the main resistance for New Zealand, who lost Test debutant Lockie Ferguson to a calf injury and will hope the problem is not serious after being a bowler light for the final 22 overs.

Opener Joe Burns rued his decision not to appeal after being given out lbw to Colin de Grandhomme for just nine in the 13th over, replays showing the delivery would have missed leg stump.

David Warner could not replicate his epic partnership with Labuschagne from the Pakistan series as he fell for 43, sending a low full toss back to bowler Wagner, who dived forward to take a key scalp.

It meant Warner remains tantalisingly short of Don Bradman's Test haul of 6,966 runs, now six adrift.

But Labuschagne did find a partner in Steve Smith, the pair putting on 132 for the third wicket.

That crucial partnership should have been thwarted only for Smith to be dropped by Tom Latham at second slip off the bowling of Ferguson while on 19, Ross Taylor unable to gather the rebound.

Smith eventually fell for 43, though he had occupied the crease for 164 balls by the time Wagner had him caught by Southee.

New Zealand took the new ball as soon as it became available and Southee claimed his first wicket when he bowled Matthew Wade for 12, a superb in-swinging delivery doing the job.

Head survived an lbw appeal and a dangerous moment where he inside-edged past his own leg stump, but he gained in confidence from there and ended the day with four boundaries.

Labuschagne was the constant presence at the other end and he will have his sights set on a huge score as Australia's patience approach gave them the edge after an intriguing first day.

Dhananjaya de Silva was moving towards making a century for the second Test running when bad light halted play on a heavily disrupted second day as Pakistan hosted Sri Lanka.

An early rain delay and bad light before the close meant only 18.2 overs of play was possible in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

Sri Lanka used the available time to increase their first-innings total from 202-5 to 263-6, with Dhananjaya still unbeaten on 72 runs from 131 balls.

He reached his fifty in 94 deliveries and had recorded 11 boundaries when umpires declared no further play was possible.

Dhananjaya also scored a century in his last Test outing against New Zealand in August.

The only wicket of the day came when Niroshan Dickwella fell for 33 off the bowling of Shaheen Afridi.

Shaheen's involvement was a boost for Pakistan after he left the field with injury on day one, and he removed Dickwella after a good low catch by Babar Azam at gully.

Number eight Dilruwan Perera has two runs and will resume alongside Dhananjaya on day three.

This is Pakistan's first Test in their home country since the 2009 terror attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore.

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