Australia rout New Zealand, seal series | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 30, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 30, 2019

Australia rout New Zealand, seal series

"We want to win every Test match, there’s no doubt about that. We know we’ve wrapped up the series here today, which was pleasing, but with the (ICC) Test Championship every Test is really important. So winning the series is almost less important until we wrap up next week hopefully with another good win.'

TIM PAINE

AUSTRALIA CAPTAIN

 

Nathan Lyon took four wickets as Australia thrashed New Zealand by 247 runs to win the second Test at Melbourne and the series Sunday with a battling century from opener Tom Blundell proving futile.

The Black Caps, chasing a massive 488 to win, were in serious trouble after a fiery James Pattinson ripped through the top order to leave them reeling at 38 for three.

But some fighting partnerships spearheaded by Blundell delayed the inevitable until Lyon worked his magic as the pitch deteriorated.

Blundell was last man out for a swashbuckling 121 -- his second Test century and his first for two years -- as New Zealand were dismissed for 240 with Trent Boult not batting after fracturing his hand in the first innings.

It was the second heavy defeat for the Black Caps, who lost by 296 runs in Perth and will be playing for pride only in the final Test at Sydney later this week.

It was Head’s first innings century and Paine’s quick-fire 79 that took the Test out of New Zealand’s reach after captain Kane Williamson’s bold decision to bowl after winning the toss.

No team had ever chased down more than 418 in Test history, though the record was set against Australia by the West Indies in Antigua in 2003.

“I felt like there was enough in the surface to bowl first,” said Williamson.

“It was obviously very important for us to be on top of our game and the surface did offer some sideways movement and swing. But credit to Australia for getting through that first session and putting 400 on the board.

“They’ve got a fantastic attack with pace and bounce but their accuracy stood apart and they did seem to get more out of that surface.”

Williamson called Blundell’s 121 a “magnificent” innings.

“Obviously it was hard work out there, the task was immense. But you look at some small positives... that was a truly fantastic innings,” he said after the defeat -- their second Test loss inside four days.

SCORES IN BRIEF

AUSTRALIA: First innings 467 and second innings 168 for 5 decl (Warner 38, Wade 30 not out; Wagner 3-50)

NEW ZEALAND: First innings 148 and second innings 240 all out (Blundell 121, Nicholls 33, Watling 22, Santner 27; Pattinson 3-35, Lyon 4-81)

Result: Australia won by 247 runs and led the 3-match series 2-0.

Player-of-the-match: Travis Head.

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