Australia seal comfortable series win with 7-wicket victory over New Zealand
The Aussies were already 1-0 up in the series, thanks to a convincing innings victory in the 1st Test at Wellington and ended up delivering a clean sweep with another clinical performance.
Play began on Day 5 with Australia needing another 131 to win with 9 wickets still intact. Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja added another 33 runs to the overnight score of 70 for 1 before Khawaja fell for 45, edging Southee to McCullum at first slip. It turned out to be the Kiwi skipper's last catch in international cricket.
Smith meant business from the moment he came in and scored at more than a run-per-ball. Together with Burns, who was batting solidly at the other hand, the Aussie skipper began to eat away at the target of 201 as the duo put on 66 in just 11.1 overs.
By the time the young opener was eventually dismissed for a well-made 65 from 162 balls, the Australians were just 22 runs away from a comfortable victory. The man in form, Adam Voges, walked in and made short work of the remaining runs alongside Smith.
Voges remained unbeaten yet again on 10, while Steven Smith was not out on 53 off just 46 balls as they sealed a victory for the Australians by 7 wickets. The 2-0 series win ensures that Australia is now the No. 1 ranked team in Tests.
New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum bid an emotional farewell to international cricket as he thanked everyone for supporting him throughout his career. McCullum also congratulated Australia on their remarkable performance and claimed that they have a great leader in Steven Smith.
Smith, on the other hand, expressed his disappointment at having to see the swashbuckling Kiwi walk away. However, he was all praise for the way his team had played, particularly the batting, which he felt has been the key to their success in the recent past.
Australian opener Joe Burns received the Player of the Match award for his scores of 170 and 65 in the Test. Burns claimed that this was the best he has played in his career so far and said that he just wanted to bat as long as he could.
The focus now shifts for both teams to prepare for the upcoming ICC World Twenty20, which will be played in India next month.