Australia post crushing victory over New Zealand

December 1st, 2008 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Adelaide, Dec 1 (IANS) Brett Lee took five wickets as Australia beat New Zealand by an innings and 62-runs on the fourth day of the second and final cricket Test and bagged the series 2-0 here Monday.New Zealand were bundled out for 203 in their second innings following their first innings 270. Australia had scored an imposing 535 in their first innings.

Brendon McCullum provided the only resistance for the visitors with a fighting unbeaten 84 before Australia wrapped up the series at the Adelaide Oval.

Brad Haddin was declared the Man of the Match while vice-captain Michael Clarke Man of the Series.

Lee, who went through a form slump on the India tour, returned with his career-best figures with a match haul of nine wickets. Mitchell Johnson took three for 29 in the second innings.

The visitors started the day at 35 for no loss, but Lee (5-105) bowled a hostile spell to clean up the top-order.

New Zealand batsmen have struggled against Australia in the series but their worst came in their last innings of the tour. They were reduced to six for 84 with Lee claiming four wickets in his first spell of 10 overs giving just 23 runs.

Opener Aaron Redmond (19) was Lee’s first victim caught by Clarke at point after the visitors could add only four runs to their overnight score. Lee then got rid of Jamie How (28) with skipper Ricky Ponting taking a stunning one-handed catch in the second slip.

The middle order then succumbed to the pace of Lee and Johnson as four batsmen went back to the pavilion without reaching the double figure.

McCullum played a fierce knock, cracking 14 boundaries and two sixes in his 134-ball stay. He added 50 runs for the ninth wicket with Iain O’Brien, who was out for a duck but defended 38 balls to delay the inevitable before being dismissed by Lee.

Australia will next host South Africa for a three-Test series this month.

Brief Scores: New Zealand 270 and 203 (Brendon McCullum 84 not out; Brett lee 5/105, Mitchell Johnson 3/29. Australia 535 all out.

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