Cricket: Australia back on top of the world

By David Leggat In Christchurch

Australia celebrate the Trans-Tasman trophy after winning the second test. Photo / Getty
Australia celebrate the Trans-Tasman trophy after winning the second test. Photo / Getty

Australia wrapped up a seven-wicket victory over New Zealand, and with it a 2-0 series victory shortly after lunch on the final day at Hagley Oval today.

Requiring 201 to win, and having started the day at 70 for one, Australia were 16 runs away at lunch - which had been extended by 15 minutes to give them a chance to complete the win before the interval.

The winnings runs came from an Adam Voges drive to the cover boundary. Australia finished on 201 for three and the win enabled Australia to return to the top of the world test rankings, for the first time since 2014.

Australia will receive a cheque for $A1.39 million from the International Cricket Council for their achievement.

Opener Joe Burns completed a strong match double, of 170 and 65 while Smith backed up his first innings 138 with an unbeaten 53.

The win gives Australia an impressive 4-0 drubbing of New Zealand over the course of five home and away tests this season.

New Zealand had started the summer with high hopes of pressing Australia, but it went wrong from the first match in Brisbane and Australia had the better of their opponents from then on.

The match was the last for New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, the first player to play 100 successive tests. He retires after 101 tests but not in the way he'd wanted.

However he made the match an occasion to savour by hitting the fastest ever test century in the first innings, off just 54 balls.

On his final day as a New Zealand player McCullum snaffled one final catch to lift his record to 209 and called for one last referral, off Adam Voges for lbw off a Trent Boult delivery, which was rejected.

Both teams now set their sights on the world T20 tournament in India starting in mid-March.

- NZ Herald

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