Aussies sweep Black Caps, claim no.1 Test ranking


Australia returned to the summit of Test cricket after seeing off trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand by seven wickets in Christchurch on Wednesday.

Needing 131 runs to win in pursuit of New Zealand's 201, the result was never in doubt as Australia chipped away at the target with ease on the fifth and final day of the second Test to sweep the series 2-0 against the Black Caps.

Resuming at 70-1, Usman Khawaja (45) and Joe Burns (65) were the only wickets to fall on Wednesday, as Steve Smith (53 not out) and Adam Voges (6 not out) helped the Aussies dethrone India as the number one Test nation shortly after lunch at Hagley Oval.

It was not the international farewell New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum had hoped for in his 101st and final Test.

Although, the retiring skipper did have a helping hand in dismissing Khawaja as the Kiwi bowling attack toiled tirelessly at Hagley Oval.

The Australians never looked in any real danger, except for Burns being struck on the helmet following a bouncer in a nervy moment.

Khawaja - an outside of chance of posting a fifth-consecutive century - added 26 runs to his overnight score before he was caught by McCullum at slip off the bowling of Tim Southee (1-30).

That wicket brought Smith to the crease and the Aussie captain teamed up with Burns, who added a half-century to his first-inning ton, before he was clean bowled by Trent Boult (1-60).

Burns' walk back to the pavilion only delayed the inevitable as the tourists posted the remaining 17 runs after the break, with Voges hitting the winning boundary.