Mitchell Johnson achieved his second ten-wicket match haul in Tests to finish off New Zealand before lunch as Australia swept to a 2-0 series victory. New Zealand resumed at 185 for 5 chasing a record-breaking target of 479, but Johnson and Doug Bollinger dismissed them for 302 to secure a 176-run victory.
Johnson was responsible for causing the early damage in the pursuit on day four when his high-speed spells gained three wickets and he backed up with another three. The 6 for 73 followed his 4 for 59 in the first innings and gave him 12 victims for the series. The performance ensured Australia finished an unbeaten summer with seven wins in eight Tests.
The hosts started well through Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum, who combined for 87, but they could not push on after their half-centuries and the game was lost following some late heavy hitting from Tim Southee. Southee blasted 45 from 25 balls, with seven fours and a six, and was the last-man out when he found Michael Clarke at deep point off Johnson.
McCullum was the biggest hope of a big score and he mixed attacking patches with periods of defence in his 51. After being hit on the hand by Johnson in the second over of the day, he waited and gained some revenge when he struck the bowler for three consecutive fours. The first was a streaky edge, but a crisp shot through point and a flashing drive through cover ensured some points for the batsman.
Simon Katich dropped McCullum twice, at short leg on 30 and short cover on 43, but the mistakes were wiped out when Bollinger took the new ball. Bollinger pushed McCullum on to the back foot and he squirted an edge to Michael Hussey in the gully.
Australia remained focused despite the early delays and after McCullum’s boundary burst Johnson and Hauritz delivered six consecutive maidens. Guptill was also determined and wanted to bat through the innings, but his resistance ended on 58 when he slashed at Johnson and Ricky Ponting collected a sharp take to his left at second slip. Guptill had eased a drive through mid-on for four off Bollinger and he later brought up his half-century with a boundary from a push through cover off the same bowler.
Bollinger added his second wicket with Jeetan Patel’s edge to Marcus North at third slip before Southee helped inflate his figures to 2 for 87 off 16 overs. Southee pulled a six to start a Bollinger over that went for 12 and slogged four boundaries in a row in his next effort, which cost 17. It allowed New Zealand some smiles at the end of a difficult series.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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