The final ICC World Test Championship matches of the 2010s decade culminated today as Australia and South Africa registered thumping wins over New Zealand and England, respectively. Australia defeated New Zealand by 247 runs while the Proteas beat Joe Root's men by 107 runs.
Talking about the contest between the Trans-Tasman rivals first, Man of the Match Travis Head's century had guided the hosts to 467 in their first innings at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In reply, New Zealand lost all their wickets for just 148 runs as Pat Cummins' five-wicket haul ensured that Australia took a big lead in the first innings.
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The Aussies declared their second innings at 168/5 and set a target of 488 runs for Kane Williamson's side. Opening batsman, Tom Blundell tried his best to save the game for the Kiwis but his hundred went in vain as Australia bowled New Zealand out for 240 runs. Nathan Lyon was the wrecker-in-chief with 4 wickets in the second innings.
Shifting our focus to the match that took place in South Africa, wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock played a brilliant knock of 95 runs to help his side reach 284 in the first innings. Playing his final series for South Africa, Vernon Philander scalped 4 wickets while giving away just 16 runs in the first innings and sent the English side packing for 181 runs.
Philander then contributed his bit in the batting department by scoring 46 runs in the second innings. Debutant Rassie van der Dussen registered his maiden half century as South Africa set a target of 376 runs for England. Rory Burns and captain Joe Root tried their best however, Kagiso Rabada's four-wicket haul sealed the deal for the Proteas.
Here's a look at the updated ICC World Test Championship points table as on 29th December 2019 -
India end 2019 as the No. 1 team in the ICC World Test Championship with 360 points. Australia hold the second position with 256 points while Pakistan and Sri Lanka have 80 points each in third. New Zealand and England continue to be at the fifth and sixth positions, respectively.
South Africa have registered their first points on the standings table and a victory in the second Test can take them into the Top 5. West Indies and Bangladesh could not open their account in 2019.Published 29 Dec 2019, 20:58 IST