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At Hagley Oval, Carey and Marsh lead Australia home in a thrilling conclusion.

At Hagley Oval, Carey and Marsh lead Australia home in a thrilling conclusion.

In an exhilarating chase of 279 runs at Hagley Oval, Australia defeated New Zealand’s hopes of a historic triumph with a masterful knock from Alex Carey under duress.

When Travis Head was removed early on day four, Australia’s hopes of winning the second Test and completing the series 2-0 looked seriously threatened at 80 for 5. But Carey and Mitchell Marsh, who was dropped on 28 but hit 80, teamed for a quick 140 runs at the sixth wicket to edge Australia past them in 59 runs.

New Zealand’s hopes were restored when debutant Ben Sears, bowling at a pace of 140 kph, turned the tide of the match by taking the wickets of Mitchell Starc and Marsh on successive deliveries.

Carey, though, remained unfazed and ended Australia’s hero with a perfect 98. Pat Cummins provided him with reassuring support, as he once again got Australia over the finish line, just like he did in the memorable Edgbaston Ashes match last year. The hitters welcomed mid-pitch at an increasingly dismal Hagley Oval as Cummins made 32 and smashed the winning boundary.

Only twice since 2006 had Australia managed to score 279 or more in the fourth innings, compared to 13 other times in history. Having only triumphed over Australia once in the previous thirty years, New Zealand was left feeling deeply let down.

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