WELLINGTON, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Usman Khawaja completed his fourth test century in his past six innings as Australia consolidated their first test dominance over New Zealand by reaching 238 for three, a lead of 55 runs, at lunch on the second day on Saturday.
Khawaja, who resumed on 57, advanced through to his century with his 19th boundary and was on 115 at the break while Adam Voges was 40 not out, making the most of a controversial reprieve late on Friday.
The 29-year-old Khawaja, who was recalled to the test side last November after more than two years in the international wilderness, has scored a century in each of the four tests he has batted since.
He did not bat in the drawn third test against West Indies in Sydney in January, which was badly affected by rain.
Khawaja has scored 619 runs at an average of 154.75 since his recall against New Zealand at the Gabba in Brisbane, where he scored his maiden test century of 174.
Australia had resumed on 147 for three, just 36 runs behind New Zealand’s 183, following disciplined bowling from Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle that had reduced the hosts to 51 for five in the 12th over.
Voges was lucky to have joined Khawaja on Saturday after he was bowled by Doug Bracewell for seven with two deliveries left on Friday, only for umpire Richard Illingworth to signal a no-ball.
Television replays, however, showed the delivery was legal but because the no-ball had been called New Zealand were unable to ask for a review.
Khawaja and Voges consolidated their advantage on Saturday in brilliant sunshine as the pitch began to lose its green sheen.
The pair quietly accumulated and when they passed New Zealand’s total, the sold-out crowd barely acknowledged it.
Khawaja’s milestone, however, was warmly received with a group of Australian fans on the bank waving flags after he had pulled a short delivery from Mark Craig to fine leg.
He survived a confident lbw appeal against the offspinner on 104 and while New Zealand asked for a review, the ball-tracking technology suggested it would have just clipped leg stump, but not by enough to over-rule the umpire’s call.
Editing by Ian Ransom