Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 6 April 2020

Nathan Lyon rips through New Zealand to secure Australia Test win

Tom Blundell century not enough to save the Black Caps

Nathan Lyon of Australia fields on day four of the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. EPA
Nathan Lyon of Australia fields on day four of the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. EPA

Nathan Lyon took four wickets as Australia thrashed New Zealand by 247 runs to win the second Test at Melbourne and secure the series.

The Black Caps, chasing a massive 488, were in serious trouble after a fiery James Pattinson ripped through the top order to leave them reeling at 38 for three.

But some fighting partnerships spearheaded by Tom Blundell delayed the inevitable until Lyon worked his magic as the pitch deteriorated.

Blundell was last man out for a swashbuckling 121 - his second Test century and his first for two years - as New Zealand were dismissed for 240 with Trent Boult not batting after fracturing his hand in the first innings.

It was the second heavy defeat for the Black Caps, who lost by 296 runs in Perth and will be playing for pride only in the final Test at Sydney later this week.

"It's very pleasing. I thought the way we went about this Test from the moment we lost the toss was outstanding," said Australia captain Tim Paine.

"I thought our batters applied themselves superbly on day one and made it easy for Travis (Head) and I on the second day to set up a big total."

It was Head's first innings century and Paine's quick-fire 79 that took the Test out of New Zealand's reach after captain Kane Williamson's bold decision to bowl after winning the toss.

No team had ever chased down more than 418 in Test history, though the record was set against Australia by the West Indies in Antigua in 2003.

"I felt like there was enough in the surface to bowl first," said Williamson. "It was obviously very important for us to be on top of our game and the surface did offer some sideways movement and swing. But credit to Australia for getting through that first session and putting 400 on the board.

"They've got a fantastic attack with pace and bounce but their accuracy stood apart and they did seem to get more out of that surface."

Updated: December 29, 2019 12:57 PM

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