Australia v New Zealand, 3rd Test, Adelaide, 3rd day November 29, 2015

Australia sneak home in tense finish

Australia 224 (Nevill 66, Smith 53, Bracewell 3-18) and 7 for 187 (S Marsh 49, Boult 5-60) beat New Zealand 202 (Latham 50, Starc 3-24, Hazlewood 3-66) and 208 (Santner 45, Hazlewood 6-70, M Marsh 3-59) by 3 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Shaun Marsh top scored in Australia's chase © Getty Images

It lasted only three days, but Test cricket's first match with a pink ball provided an electric finish. At 8.47pm on a Sunday, under floodlights, in front of 33,923 spectators, Australia squeezed out a victory over New Zealand that was far tenser than the one-sided World Cup final between the same countries, eight months ago to the day. Chasing 187, Australia eked out their last two runs through Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc, who could barely jog given the stress fracture in his foot.

The three-wicket win was confirmed as Siddle punched one past point off Tim Southee, Starc hobbling through to give Australia a 2-0 win in the series. By the end, New Zealand had six slips; it was all or nothing for Brendon McCullum's men, a five-wicket haul from Trent Boult having given them a chance. For a while Australia were doing it easier, but a couple of late wickets brought the Test back to life.

Shaun Marsh steered Australia to within 11 of their goal but when he edged to slip for 49 off Boult, New Zealand had a sniff. In Boult's next over he claimed Peter Nevill, whose inside edge was snapped up sharply by BJ Watling. Australia still needed two, and surprisingly Starc limped to the crease ahead of Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon. A Siddle straight drive off Southee crashed into the stumps at the bowler's end, adding to the tension, before the winning runs came.

It was a breathless end to an experimental match, and there will certainly be more day-night Tests in future. The match crowd of 123,736 was an all-time Adelaide Oval record for a non-Ashes Test, despite the fact that the game lasted only three days. The low scores were more the result of batsmen failing to knuckle down than of the pink ball doing anything untoward; in all four innings the ball held its colour well, and there was appropriate swing and seam movement.

The longest individual innings of the Test was the 117-ball effort of Shaun Marsh in Australia's chase. He walked to the crease hoping the result of this match was in his hands, and certain that his own Test future was. At 32, on his sixth chance at Test cricket, and having been run out for 2 in the first innings, this was it. Australia's captain and vice-captain had just departed. New Zealand had the momentum. At 3 for 66, Australia needed 121 more runs.

New Zealand confidently appealed for an lbw from Marsh's first ball but he had managed an inside edge on to his pad off Boult. His start might have been nervy but he survived. Marsh began to find a few runs here and there, helped along by a short one from Mark Craig that was cut to the boundary. His confidence grew, as did his calm. A 49-run stand with Adam Voges steadied Australia, until Boult induced an edge to slip from Voges on 28.

The Marsh brothers then found themselves batting together for Australia for the first time in any format. What a time for it to happen. Mitchell Marsh survived some shaky moments and the brothers put on 46, pushing Australia to within sight of the win. For a while it looked as if they were going to be together to score the winning runs in a Test; Steve and Mark Waugh batted together 73 times in Test cricket but managed that achievement only once.

However, Mitchell became overconfident after lifting Mitchell Santner for a six, and next ball holed out to mid-on for 28 trying another lusty blow. It looked like Shaun would have to get Australia home on his own, but his edge off Boult sent palpitations through both camps. In the end, New Zealand just hadn't set Australia quite enough, despite the low-scoring nature of the match.

The bowlers at least made Australia work hard for it, Boult especially asking more questions of them than a TV quiz show host. Boult led the attack outstandingly, swinging the ball in to trap Joe Burns lbw for 11 and then adding Steven Smith in a similar manner for 14. Just before Smith fell, David Warner's streaky innings ended when he edged to slip off Doug Bracewell for 35. Australia lost their first three wickets for 66, but the rest of the order did just enough.

They could thank Hazlewood for ensuring the target was gettable. His career-best 6 for 70 - and nine wickets for the Test - made him Man of the Match, and he stepped up as leader of the attack in the absence of the injured Starc. New Zealand added 92 to their overnight total for the loss of their last five wickets, three of which were claimed by Hazlewood.

He started the day by having Watling caught at second slip without adding to his overnight score of 7, but Australia's hopes of a swift end to the innings were dashed by debutant Mitchell Santner. He top scored with 45 and looked confident throughout his innings, striking five fours and one six, and compiling useful partnerships with both Craig and Bracewell.

Craig managed 15 before he gave Hazlewood a five-for by edging behind and Santner looked set for a half-century when he lofted Lyon over long-on for a six that took him to 45. However, Lyon outfoxed him two deliveries later, dragging his length back to turn one past the advancing Santner, who was stumped. In spite of the rush of blood - and of a dropped catch later in the day when Smith skied one to midwicket - Santner's debut was impressive.

Southee holed out for 13 off Mitchell Marsh and Bracewell was left unbeaten on 27 when Hazlewood ended the innings by bowling Boult just before tea. It meant Australia faced a tricky chase and would have to bat in the swinging evening conditions but they were good enough - just. And a memorable end to Test cricket's first day-nighter was set to play out.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

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