Australia 467 & 168 - 5 declared (54.2 overs)
New Zealand 148 & 240 - 9 (71.0 overs)
Photo courtesy: Andrew Brownbill/AP
News courtesy: The Guardian
Australia's home summer - They've won all four Tests this summer inside four days, two by an innings and two by more than 200 runs. Dominant.
Australia are one win away from their first perfect Test summer in six years after wrapping up the trans-Tasman trophy with a 247-run flogging of New Zealand. Nathan Lyon bowled Australia to victory on Sunday’s fourth day of the second Test at the MCG, giving them an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Opener Tom Blundell offered the only real resistance for New Zealand, batting superbly to hit his second century in just his third Test, out for 121 in his maiden first-class match as an opener. But it mattered little as the Black Caps finished on 9-240, chasing 488 for victory, with Trent Boult unable to bat because of a broken hand.
James Pattinson claimed 3-35 on Sunday to make it six wickets for the match in his first Test on Australian soil in almost four years. The Victorian broke the Black Caps’ backs with the key scalps of skipper Kane Williamson and veteran Ross Taylor in one over just before lunch.
It reflected a miserable Test for the New Zealand captain, who won the toss and opted to bowl only to see player-of-the-match Travis Head’s century help Australia to amass 467 first-innings runs. Williamson scored just nine in the first innings, and watched Australia hit 5-168 in their second innings before declaring midway through Sunday morning.
Lyon rolled through the touring middle order to finish with 4-81, his best moment coming when he deceived Henry Nicholls (33) with one that spun past his bat to be stumped by Tim Paine. Lyon has taken 13 wickets in the final innings of matches this summer, reinforcing his status as one of the best finger spinners in the world.
Pat Cummins finished his dominant year wicketless in the fourth innings, but still played a key role in the victory with 5-28 in New Zealand’s first dig.
Defeat ends New Zealand’s unbeaten run in Test series, the Kiwis having either drawn or won their past seven going back to early 2017. They will also drop the out of the world’s top-two ranked teams, after struggling with the bat for a second-straight Test and lacking impetus with the ball.