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Aussies wrap up MCG Test, series over NZ

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29th December, 2019
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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.

If they win at the SCG, it will mark the first time since the 2013-14 Ashes whitewash they have won all Tests in a home summer without a loss or a draw.

Opener Tom Blundell offered the only real resistance, 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 also 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 Ross Taylor in one over just before lunch.

The wicket of Williamson came via a controversial DRS call which showed the ball just clipping his leg stump, after he was given out lbw on-field.

But it summed up a miserable Test for the New Zealand captain, who won the toss and opted to bowl only to see man-of-the-match Travis
Head’s century help Australia to amass 467 first-innings runs.

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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 their middle order to finish with 4-81, his best wicket coming when he deceived Henry Nicholls on 33 with a delivery that spun past his bat to be stumped by Tim Paine.

He has taken 13 wickets in the final innings of matches this summer, proving his status as one of the best finger spinners in the world.

Pat Cummins finished his dominant year, going wicketless in the fourth innings, but still played a key role in the victory with 5-28 in the first.

The loss ended New Zealand’s unbeaten run in Test series, 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.

© AAP