Australia have won the second Test against New Zealand by 246 runs and have thereby taken a 2-0 lead in the three-match series which means that there is no way back for the Blackcaps.
Australia added 21 runs to their overnight score of 147-4 before skipper Tim Paine declared to set New Zealand an unlikely target of 488 runs. Tom Blundell survived an LBW scare from Mitchell Starc and then got going from one end. However, New Zealand kept on losing wickets from the other end. Skipper Kane Williamson continued his horror run of form as he was adjudged LBW on the bowling of James Pattinson for a duck. Just when it seemed that things could not become worse, Ross Taylor was bowled by Pattinson in the same over to send New Zealand in deep trouble at Lunch.
Henry Nicholls (33), wicketkeeper BJ Watling (22) and Mitchell Santner (27) all got starts but failed to capitalize on it as Australia had New Zealand six down for 172. Blundell however, carried on playing positive shots from one end and reached his second Test century, soaking in the applause from the MCG crowd on what was a wonderful and gritty innings given the circumstances.
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New Zealand lost their last three wickets quickly as they were bundled out for 240, handing Australia a mightly 247-run win in the Boxing Day Test. Nathan Lyon was the pick of the Australian bowlers in the second innings with figures of 4/81. Travis Head was declared the Man of the Match.
The Aussies have made a statement with another series win at home and it will be interesting to see whether there is any challenge from any touring team in the near future, especially in the longest format.Published 29 Dec 2019, 14:18 IST