Thanks to brilliant bowling by James Pattinson and Nathan Lyon, Australia crushed New Zealand by 247 runs to win the 2nd Test match played at Melbourne Cricket Ground, MCG on Sunday. Australia have earned 40 more points in the ICC Test Championship.
Starting on the overnight score of 137 for 4, Travis Head and Matthew Wade played few overs. After Neil Wagner dismissed Travis Head, Australian captain Tim Paine declared the innings on 168 for 5. Head and Waded added 58 runs for the 5th wicket.
Chasing a massive target of 488 runs to win, New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Tom Blundell looked positive against the Australian bowlers. James Pattinson provided the breakthrough for Australia dismissing Tom Latham for 8. Latham and Blundell added 32 runs for the opening wicket. Pattinson got big wickets of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor in quick succession to leave Kiwis in tatters at 35 for 3. New Zealand went into lunch at 38 for 3.
After the lunch break, Henry Nicholls and Tom Blundell looked to play strokes against the Australian bowlers. Lyon bowled a beauty of a delivery to get the wicket of Henry Nicholls . Nicholls and Blundell added 54 runs for the 4th wicket. The debutant made the batting look easy and reached his half-century off 106 balls. After reaching his fifty, Blundell played his natural game to put some pressure on the Australian bowlers. At the tea break, New Zealand were 131 for 4.
In the 3rd session, Blundell and Watling continued to put pressure on the Australian with aggressive stroke play. Nathan Lyon provided the breakthrough for Australia dismissing BJ Watling which turned and hit the inside edge into hands of David Warner. Watling and Blundell added 72 runs for the 5th wicket. Lyon then got the wicket of Colin de Grandhomme who tried to hit a big shot. Mitchell Santer came to the crease and played some lovely strokes against Nathan Lyon which entertained the Kiwis crowd. Blundell reached his maiden Test century off 185 balls. Lyon produced another good delivery to get rid of Mitchell Santer for 27. Santer and Blundell added 40 runs for the 7th wicket. Tim Southee was run out in a mix up. Blundell enjoyed his batting with attacking stroke play and was finally dismissed for a brilliant 121 by Marnus Labuschagne. Trent Boult did not come to bat due to an injury. Australia won the match by 247 runs and lead the series 2-0.
Australia 467 in 155.1 overs ( Travis Head 114, Steve Smith 85, Tim Paine 79, Neil Wagner 4/83, Tim Southee 3/103) and 168 for 5 d in 54.2 overs ( David Warner 38, Joe Burns 35, Neil Wagner 3/50) beat New Zealand 148 in 54.5 overs ( Tom Latham 50, Pat Cummins 5/28, James Pattinson 3/34) Tom Blundell 15, Pat Cummins 1/8) and 240 in 71 overs ( Tom Blundell 121, Henry Nicholls 33, Nathan Lyon 4/81, James Pattinson 3/35) by 247 runs.
Travis Head has been named the man of the match for his brilliant 114. Australia takes a 2-0 lead in the series. The third and final Test match would be played from 3rd January at Sydney.