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Carey, Marsh and Cummins lead thrilling chase of 279

Carey, Marsh and Cummins lead thrilling chase of 279

Alex Carey’s unbeaten 98 and Mitchell Marsh’s 80 guided Australia to a thrilling chase of 279, completing a 2-0 series sweep against New Zealand. Their 140-run partnership for the sixth wicket set a new record for the highest partnership in the fourth innings against New Zealand. Australia’s victory extended their dominance over New Zealand in Test cricket, with the Black Caps having only one win in the last 31 years.

Australia started the final day on the edge, needing 202 runs with four wickets down. Mitchell Marsh, who had scored quickly the previous evening, survived an early scare when he was dropped by Rachin Ravindra. However, his partner Travis Head fell soon after. Alex Carey, under pressure to retain his place in the team, played confidently, scoring boundaries off Tim Southee and Matt Henry.

Carey survived close LBW and caught-behind appeals, and along with Marsh, maintained a scoring rate above 4 runs per over. Marsh reached his fifty with a pull shot, while Carey brought up his half-century with consecutive boundaries. By lunch, they had added 94 runs, with Australia needing 105 more for victory.

In the second session, Marsh and Carey accelerated the scoring, with Marsh hitting boundaries off Southee and Carey flicking a legside delivery for four. However, Ben Sears, on debut, dismissed Marsh and Mitchell Starc in consecutive balls, bringing New Zealand back into the game.

With the target reduced to 59, Pat Cummins joined Carey at the crease. Cummins, with his experience in tense chases, played a crucial role, surviving a hat-trick ball and scoring important runs. Carey, just two runs short of a century, played aggressively, hitting boundaries off Sears and Glenn Phillips. Cummins then hit the winning runs, finishing on 32 not out, as Australia won by three wickets.

Brief scores: New Zealand 162 & 372 lost to Australia 256 & 281/7 (Alex Carey 98, Mitchell Marsh 80, Pat Cummins 32; Ben Sears 4-90) by three wickets.

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