New Zealand v Australia, 1st Test, Wellington, 4th day February 15, 2016

Australia wrap up resounding victory


Australia 562 (Voges 239, Khawaja 140, Smith 71) beat New Zealand 183 (Hazlewood 4-42, Lyon 3-32) and 327 (Latham 63, Nicholls 59, Lyon 4-91, Marsh 3-73) by an innings and 52 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 03:31
Highlights - Australia swing New Zealand out

Emphatic doesn't quite do it justice. Unrelenting throughout, Australia put on another exhibition of high quality bowling to seal a vast victory over New Zealand and place one hand on the ICC Mace awarded to the world's No. 1 Test team. A deflating result for the visitors in Brendon McCullum's 100th Test was only a tail-end flurry short of New Zealand's heaviest ever loss at home to Australia.

Having set up the match with expert use of seaming early conditions on the first morning, Australia's bowlers asked quite different questions on the fourth morning. Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood and Jackson Bird all used reverse swing to good effect, while Nathan Lyon homed in on a footmark outside the right-handers' off stump to gain sharp spin. The absence of Peter Siddle, resting a back complaint, was well compensated for.

Steven Smith will be a most contented captain, having overseen a performance in which many questions about this team have been answered. They chose the right XI for the conditions, they bowled impressively, and most importantly batted with command even after Joe Burns and David Warner were out cheaply with the ball still new on day one. New Zealand will be left to wonder over the significance of the "no-ball" that reprieved Adam Voges early.

Henry Nicholls endured longest for the hosts, on the way to making the highest score by a New Zealand debutant batting at No. 4. But his dismissal on 59 by Bird left the tail exposed to the bounce and conventional swing of the second new ball. Southee and Trent Boult entertained another strong Basin Reserve crowd with a late flurry against Lyon, but it was merely a parting shot.

Having lost McCullum from the last ball of day three, New Zealand's chances of survival were slim, and they narrowed further when the 63-over old ball began bending in both directions. Corey Anderson struggled with the ball moving away from him around the wicket, but after a few play and misses Smith directed Marsh to go over the wicket and try to straighten one down the line.

Two balls into the tactic, Marsh pitched one in line and swung it back to pin Anderson in front. Like McCullum he reviewed, but it was a futile gesture for a delivery crashing into middle and leg.

BJ Watling arrived and his first ball from Lyon hit the aforementioned footmark and narrowly missed spinning back to strike the off stump with the batsman offering no shot. Lyon took note of this, and it was not long before he delivered a slightly flatter delivery on the same line that had Watling playing back, fatally. The turning ball was through him in an instant.

Nicholls had absorbed all this pressure, but Bird's decision to send one down at a full length made the difference, coaxing the batsman into a flick across the line. Again there was some swing, and the ball flicked off the pads into the stumps. At this, the Australians took the second new ball, and a Hazlewood lbw review against Doug Bracewell was declined due to a lack of conclusive evidence before the interval.

Hazlewood had his due reward soon after resumption, when Bracewell was struck in front: this time there was no bat to confuse the issue. Southee's blows dented Lyon's figures somewhat, but the bowler was content to keep tossing it up in expectation of a miscue, which was exactly what happened.

Mark Craig and Boult entertained for a time also, but in playing so freely they did nothing so much as underline how well the Australians had bowled to the batsmen. A match over in fewer than four days had taken place on a pitch that would still be good for batting on day five. In pursuit of Test cricket's top perch, Smith's men had played to a very high standard indeed.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • subhasish on February 18, 2016, 5:23 GMT

    Smith always understand the situation as a captain you should know game position but Clarke was different he always play ultra aggressive cricket situation demand or not but he plays aggressive under smith Australia settle at the moment

  • David on February 17, 2016, 2:58 GMT

    @ModernUmpiresPlz I think you are being a little unfair. We are not wishing for a three test series so that we'd still have a chance to win. Such a suggestion is ridiculous. More it is a wish for NZ to play more test cricket period. The big countries (Aus, Eng, Ind) play around 12-16 Tests a year. NZ play 10 test at most, and more and more of our test series seem to be only two or even one test long. We will only improve as long as we can continue to challenge ourselves, preferably against the very top teams, which Australia clearly is at present. Hoping for more test cricket in this particular series is a compliment to Australia, not whinging because we've been beaten. That it was a NZC decision makes it even more disappointing.

  • ESPN on February 17, 2016, 2:25 GMT

    2nd Test (if NZ get there fantasised green top and there fantasised bowling first) Australia 60 (18.3 overs) (5 claimed catches all by McCullum) Extras 14 Boult (8/15) New Zealand 429 (flattened pitch according to Aus fans and McCullum should have been out first ball) MCculum 258 Hazlewood 5/110 Australia 408 (flattened pitch according to NZ fans) Smith 134 Southee 3/91 New Zealand 38 all out chasing 40 McCullum 17 not out (even had to open due to demands) Bird 10/0 in ten balls (NZ were 38/0) Australia win by 2 runs.

  • Brian on February 16, 2016, 20:08 GMT

    @THETRUEORACLE - OK, Voges should have been out on 7, but was given not out. Why not get him out again before he sores another 232 runs? Teams all over the world at all levels face this situation every week, but usually knuckle down and get the guy before he inflicts so much damage. Seems with all your complaining, you have very little faith in your bowling attack to break through again?

  • Xiong on February 16, 2016, 14:41 GMT

    @redneck Thanks for pointing out the most ridiculous thing I've seen some NZ commenters complaining about, that they only get 2 tests. NZC willingly traded a scheduled test for ODI cricket on the back of a strong performance in the World Cup including beating Australia in NZ. Now, when they go down 1-0 in the 2 test series they blame us for not giving them 3 tests and apparently robbing them of their chance to win the series. If you're going to point fingers for something at least know who you should be pointing them at.

  • wils on February 16, 2016, 13:17 GMT

    Let say VOGES was rightfully given out @ 7. Now the delivery MMarsh got out on would have been faced by Khawaja and he would have smashed it through covers for 4. And the delivery Khawaja got out on, would have been faced by Marsh and he would have lifted it for a six. And a delivery Neville got out on would have been faces by Khawaja and he would have hit it for 3 runs and the delivery Siddle got out on, would have been faced by Neville and he would have driven straight down and hit Trent Boult's left arm and fractured it. Now NZ is without one bowler and Aussies would have made 650+ runs and would have won by an innings and 152 runs. Just a scenario on what would have happened if the umpire would have not called a no-ball. Prove me wrong. Please publish.

  • richard on February 16, 2016, 13:05 GMT

    Brilliant victory. NewZealand completely outclassed. I'm liking Smith as Captain, he is a proper Test Captain leading an inexperienced Australian outfit. The future looks bright.

  • Damian on February 16, 2016, 12:09 GMT

    Move along nothing to see here, in 10-20 years time who is going to look at this test match and think oh yeah Voges should have been out, I would guess that 99% of people on here couldn't remember every single ball bowled in a test match in 1996. And like then this Test will also be remembered in the future as just another Test Match.

  • Dale on February 16, 2016, 8:35 GMT

    @dunger.Bob n brusselslion as a kiwi supporter I completely agree with the slow starters picture. I actually think we need to look at our prep as the slow start problem h often occurred during tests as well. quite a few of our victories in the last few years have been come from behind wins. I wonder if this nz team is struggling mentally with the expection now on it. the only expection on nz use to be a batting collapse n loss. the last few years we've won a bit n are starting series with new expection that maybe the players are not yet use to.

  • Pol on February 16, 2016, 6:57 GMT

    The man of the match should have been awarded to Richard Illingworth. After all his influence on the game was massive.

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