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Australia win series 2-0

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Last updated on: March 29, 2005 12:59 IST

Australia thumped New Zealand by nine wickets to win the third and final Test with a day to spare in Auckland on Tuesday and clinch the three-match series 2-0.

Set 164 to win, Australia raced home in the 30th over with captain Ricky Ponting smashing an unbeaten 86 at better than a run a ball and opener Justin Langer scoring 59 not out.

The Australians got the runs in less than a session after mopping up the New Zealand second innings at tea with paceman Glenn McGrath left stranded on 499 Test wickets.

McGrath took four for 40 in the innings but will have to wait until the Ashes before he can join Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan and Courtney Walsh in the exclusive 500 club.

Warne also captured four wickets on Tuesday as the Kiwis collapsed in two sessions despite defiant half-centuries from Nathan Astle and Daniel Vettori.

Astle top-scored with 69, sharing a 70-run partnership with Lou Vincent then an 81-stand with Vettori, who finished with 65 and a series average of 66.

New Zealand started the day on 11 for two and needed to make 91 to force Australia to bat a second time. But they lost captain Stephen Fleming for three and Hamish Marshall for seven in the first half hour.

Fleming completed a miserable series with the bat when he hit a return catch to Jason Gillespie, then Marshall gave McGrath his 498th victim when he nicked the ball to wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist, who was named man of the series after scoring 343 runs at 171.5.

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Check schedule and match reports

Vincent struck four boundaries and two sixes before a brilliant throw from Michael Clarke ended his cameo. Warne captured the next four wickets, denying McGrath the chance to reach his magical milestone.

Australia, who won the first Test in Christchurch by nine wickets then drew the second in Wellington after rain washed out most of the match, suffered an early setback in their run-chase when Matthew Hayden was run out by Vettori for nine.

But Ponting and Langer made sure of the result with an unbroken partnership of 148, Ponting slamming 11 fours and two sixes and Langer contributing 10 boundaries.


New Zealand first innings 292

Australia first innings 383

New Zealand second innings (overnight 11-2)
C.Cumming lbw b McGrath 0
J.Marshall c Langer b McGrath 3
H.Marshall c Gilchrist b McGrath 7
S.Fleming c and b Gillespie 3
N.Astle c Katich b Warne 69
L.Vincent run out 40
B.McCullum lbw b Warne 0
D.Vettori c McGrath b Warne 65
J.Franklin c Ponting b Warne 23
P.Wiseman b McGrath 23
C.Martin not out 4
Extras (b-1 lb-14 nb-2) 17
Total (all out, 69.2 overs) 254

Fall of wickets: 1-0 2-9 3-15 4-23 5-93 6-93 7-174 8-220 9-227 10-254

Bowling: McGrath 16.2-5-40-4, Gillespie 16-4-63-1 (nb-1), Kasprowicz 14-2-59-0 (nb-1), Warne 23-5-77-4

Australia second innings
J.Langer not out 59
M.Hayden run out 9
R.Ponting not out 86
Extras (lb-10 nb-2) 12
Total (for one wicket, 29.3 overs) 166

Fall of wicket: 1-18

Bowling: Martin 8-1-51-0 (nb-2), Franklin 7-0-40-0, Vettori 4-0-19-0, Astle 7-0-33-0, Wiseman 3.3-0-13-0

Result: Australia won by nine wickets

Man of the match: Ricky Ponting (Australia)

Series result: Australia won 2-0

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