Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
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Australia 454 (Labuschagne 215, Smith 63, Wagner 3-66, de Grandhomme 3-78) and 2 for 217 dec (Warner 111*, Labuschagne 59) beat New Zealand 256 (Phillips 52, Lyon 5-68, Cummins 3-44) and 136 (de Grandhomme 52, Lyon 5-50, Starc 3-25) by 279 runs
Australia demolished New Zealand for the third match in a row to complete a 3-0 series sweep and a 5-0 home Test summer at an overcast SCG, also ensuring that every match - against New Zealand and also Pakistan earlier - finished inside four days.
Set 416 for victory, New Zealand were in trouble quickly, losing Tom Blundell, Tom Latham, Jeet Raval and Glenn Phillips in quick succession on a wearing pitch. Nathan Lyon, alternating sharp spin and straighter deliveries with plenty of bounce, completed the job after tea with the help of some ordinary New Zealand batting and one stunning catch from James Pattinson, to claim ten wickets for the match.
There was a sense of inevitability about the day, as the Australians benefited from a wide array of confident performers against a visiting side that has been battered on the field but also off it by illness and injury. It also served as a kind of greatest-hits package for the hosts, from David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne with the bat to Mitchell Starc, Lyon and Pat Cummins with the ball.
Labuschagne finished the Test summer with no fewer than 896 runs from five matches, with Warner not too far behind him. Lyon, Starc and Cummins all enjoyed dominant displays with the ball, while other contributions from Pattinson, Joe Burns, Travis Head, Steven Smith and captain Tim Paine came whenever they were needed.
Under overcast skies, the hosts piled up 132 runs before lunch, with Warner scooting from 23 overnight to a century shortly after lunch. His eight most recent Test innings at the SCG now read 101, 4, 122*, 113, 55, 56, 45 and 111*. Burns and Labuschagne provided ready support, although Warner and Labuschagne were somewhat contentiously penalised five runs for running on the pitch by umpire Aleem Dar late in Australia's innings. Labuschagne's dismissal brought Paine's declaration.
They were aided by a New Zealand side that seemed mainly to be waiting for the inevitable declaration and world record fourth-innings chase, although Todd Astle bowled nicely to deceive Burns, and should have dismissed Labuschagne caught and bowled for the second time in the match, only to drop a simpler chance than in the first innings.
The Australians showed their intent to score very early on, as Warner worked the ball around and ran with intent in between regular boundaries, while Burns danced down the wicket to loft Will Somerville nonchalantly over the boundary in front of the SCG's venerable Members Stand.
Astle would have more success, beating Burns with a big legbreak from the last ball of his first over for the day and then pinning him lbw with a googly on the front foot with the first delivery of his second - albeit only after Latham's review of Dar's not-out verdict.
Labuschagne was fortunate to survive the return catch he offered Astle soon after, but he was quickly into stride alongside Warner, as Australia pushed their lead close to 400 by the time of the interval. The rate lifted further on resumption, and Warner was soon toasting his 24th Test century.
Labuschagne was warned and then penalised by Dar for running on what the umpire deemed to be the danger area of the pitch shortly afterwards, and the No. 3's dismissal - with an eye-popping aggregate of 896 runs for the five-Test home season - signaled the end of the innings.
Blundell, who has found the going harder after his Melbourne century, was out to a superb diving catch from Lyon at point after he had thrown everything at a wide ball from Starc. Latham was a victim of a somewhat aggressive lbw decision by umpire Marais Erasmus, the ball looking a fair chance of slipping past leg stump and only shown to be barely clipping it on ball-tracking. In this way, it was a near action replay of Kane Williamson's end on the final day at the MCG.
Raval was not convinced, either, that had edged a Lyon off-break through to Paine, though real-time snicko showed a spike to confirm Dar's decision. Glenn Phillips reviewed when he also edged Lyon into Paine's gloves, but was quickly on his way when HotSpot showed a clear mark on the bat.
Cummins made only one mark on the day but it was, as ever, a major one, squaring up Ross Taylor for the second time in the match, shortly after the No. 4 had passed Stephen Fleming as New Zealand's all-time highest Test run-maker. Where on day three Taylor had been lbw, here he lost off stump.
Colin de Grandhomme and BJ Watling endured for a while, close enough to the scheduled close to suggest New Zealand might drag the contest to day five. However, de Grandhomme followed a sublime cover-driven six off Lyon to pass 50 with a ridiculous loft into a packed leg-side field for Burns to take the catch.
From there, the end followed quickly, enough time for Pattinson's stunner to dismiss Astle and then a trademark yorker from Starc to account for Somerville, leaving Lyon to claim the ninth and final wicket as an injured Matt Henry did not take the field. Australia had been dominant, and by margins that suggested they are almost certain to face India in the 2021 Test Championship final.
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