Carey and Marsh lead Australia to 2-0 Test series win over New Zealand | Cricket News

Carey and Marsh lead Australia to 2-0 Test series win over New Zealand | Cricket News

Carey shared 140-run partnership with Marsh as Australia won the second Test by three wickets in a tense finish.

Alex Carey scored an unbeaten 98 and shared a 140-run partnership with Mitch Marsh to drive Australia to a three-wicket win in the second Test and a 2-0 sweep of the series over New Zealand in Christchurch.

The contest played out on a relatively mild fourth-day pitch on Monday and both sides had moments when they took control. But it was Marsh’s innings of 80 and Carey’s steady hand which guided Australia to victory.

Wicketkeeper Carey then teamed up with captain Pat Cummins as Australia chased down their 279-run victory target before tea on day four.

“It was pretty tense,” said Cummins, who scored 32 not out and hit the winning runs with a four to the point boundary.

“I think the story of this series was in key moments, someone stood up and made themselves a match-winner so yeah, [we] keep finding ways to win. It’s a pretty awesome squad.”

New Zealand, chasing a first home Test win over their neighbours in 31 years, had put the tourists on the back foot with four wickets in the last 90 minutes of play on day three.

After rain delayed the start of day four for an hour, skipper Tim Southee struck with the eighth delivery to dismiss Travis Head for 18 and reduce the tourists to 80-5.

In retrospect, however, Rachin Ravindra fumbling a straightforward catch that would have sent back Marsh for 28 off the previous delivery was perhaps the more significant moment.

“I think whenever you’ve finished a close game you always look back on a number of things,” said Southee, who with fellow stalwart Kane Williamson was playing his 100th Test.

“This morning was always going to be a crucial period with the ball still reasonably new, and we were able to beat the bat a few times but they were able to weather that storm.”

The defeat left the Black Caps with just one Test win in 24 attempts against their closest rivals this century, while Australia will now move above them into second place in the World Test Championships standings behind India.

Carey was denied his second Test century but cared little as he and his captain steered their side to their target 281-7 and a sixth win in seven Tests over the Australasian summer.

“I was happy with that,” Carey said. “I didn’t want to be on strike again. It was a great series and this match ebbed and flowed. We had our backs against the wall this morning, they came out and put us under the pump so it’s nice to chase those runs down.”

Carey, who also took 10 catches over New Zealand’s two innings to match Adam Gilchrist’s Australian record, said Australia “stayed resilient” despite the early pressure.

“Everyone’s had their moments and it’s a really special team we’re playing in.”

New Zealand seamer Matt Henry was named Player of the Series for his 17 wickets over the two matches, the first of which finished with Australian victors by 172 runs in Wellington.

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