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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Australia hang in for series win over Black Caps

Australia secured a series win against the Black Caps with a remarkable victory in the second Test, overcoming a precarious position on day four at 80 for 5.

Alex Carey and Mitchell Marsh played pivotal roles in the turnaround with a 140-run partnership, bringing Australia within 59 runs of victory. Carey finished with an unbeaten 98, providing a steady hand under immense pressure.

Debutant Ben Sears for New Zealand briefly swung the momentum with quick wickets, including Marsh’s at 80 and Mitchell Starc’s, offering the home side a glimmer of hope. However, Carey’s composure and Pat Cummins’ supporting knock of 32, including the winning boundary, sealed the win for Australia in challenging conditions at Hagley Oval.

It was only the 14th time Australia had chased down a target of 279 or more in the fourth innings. It also capped a busy period for Australian cricket, having played 22 Tests in the last 15 months, and set the stage for their next major series against India.

For New Zealand, the loss continued a long-standing struggle against Australia, with only one win in the past three decades against their trans-Tasman rivals. The defeat was particularly disheartening given New Zealand’s strong position heading into day four, following a resilient comeback since being bowled out for 162 in their first innings.

Key moments such as Marsh’s reprieve after being dropped early in his innings and Carey’s survival of a close lbw call after a successful DRS challenge were turning points. Despite some tense moments and a challenging pitch, Australia’s middle and lower order managed to navigate their way to a memorable victory.

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