At Brisbane, December, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Australia won by an innings and 96 runs. Toss: New Zealand. Test debut: B. A. Young.
As this was Allan Border's 150th Test match, as it was played on his adopted home ground, as it featured his 27th century (his last before retiring), and as Australia again won handsomely, this became a kind of impromptu Border benefit. New Zealand had brought him despair in his first full season as captain, eight years before, but this shattered and sorry team offered no more than a guard of honour.
New Zealand regained Cairns from injury and brought in erstwhile wicket-keeper Young as opener - overlooking his four ducks on tour - to shield Greatbatch from McDermott. After doubts about Warne's sore spinning finger were resolved, Australia's only change was to bring in McGrath for Reiffel. Batting first on a steamy Brisbane morning, New Zealand began with renewed determination; Young resisted for more than three hours and Jones contributed a vigorous 56. But once Warne's flipper had burrowed beneath his shocked defences and McDermott had nipped Rutherford and Greatbatch in the bud, only the dauntless Blain salvaged respectability. Morrison made his fourth consecutive Test duck as Warne and McDermott collected four wickets each and Healy gathered in five catches to displace Wally Grout in second place behind Rod Marsh among Australian wicket-keepers. Finally, Border took his 150th Test catch, a new landmark for a fielder.
When Australia batted, New Zealand paid dearly for three more dropped catches. Taylor, Boon and Mark Waugh each had a century at his mercy until boredom undermined concentration. But Border and Steve Waugh put their hard heads together to compile a fifth-wicket partnership of 159. Border rediscovered his lost cut shot and profited to reach 100 in the youthful time of just over four hours; the prolonged flourish of his bat to the ecstatic crowd seemed to say farewell as much as thank you. He was out soon after that, whereupon the sky became apocalyptically stormy, but Waugh and Warne, sensing no danger from either the elements or the opposition, twice refused to go off. Waugh's tightened technique took him to his sixth Test century. Next day the pair batted on blithely to a declaration at lunch; Warne had 74, his highest first-class score, and Australia 607, their highest ever against New Zealand and their third total beyond 600 in 1993. Five demoralised New Zealand bowlers conceded at least a century of runs.
Young bolstered New Zealand's second innings with a poised half-century, but Warne, after having Jones caught at mid-wicket from a limp pull, bowled Young with a ball that spun prodigiously around his outstretched front pad. Like Gatting and Gooch before him, Young had discovered that elementary defence was not enough. Rain delayed Australia, but not unduly. On the final morning, McGrath bowled Blain through his gate, Warne bowled Patel through his legs and the last thread of resistance was snapped when Rutherford hooked McGrath deep to the ubiquitous Warne and departed for 86. New Zealand had surrendered their most prized cricket possession, the Trans-Tasman Trophy, with scarcely a squawk.
Man of the Match: S. K. Warne.
Man of the Series: S. K. Warne.
Close of play: First day, New Zealand 208-9 (T. E. Blain 20*, R. P. De Groen 1*); Second day, Australia 241-3 (D. C. Boon 72*, A. R. Border 5*); Third day, Australia 533-6 (S. R. Waugh 113*, S. K. Warne 37*); Fourth day, New Zealand 158-5 (K. R. Rutherford 40*, T. E. Blain 7*).