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Australia completes formalities



PLUCKY EFFORT: Ricky Ponting makes an acrobatic dive to pouch Chris Martin to signal Australia's victory. — AP

ADELAIDE, NOV. 30. Australia finished off a clinical 213-run win over New Zealand just after lunch on Tuesday on the fifth day of the second cricket Test to secure a series sweep.

Chris Martin was the last man out, caught by Ricky Ponting off Shane Warne's bowling as New Zealand was dismissed for 250 with almost two full sessions left.

The New Zealand tailenders resisted for two hours today resuming at 149 for five.

But when Daniel Vettori's rearguard half century ended in the over before lunch, so did New Zealand's hopes of forcing a draw.

Vettori scored 59 from 78 balls before hitting a Darren Lehmann ball to Jason Gillespie at mid-wicket and New Zealand slipped to 243 for nine.

Paul Wiseman finished unbeaten on 15 after sharing a 37-run stand with Vettori and putting on seven with No. 11 Martin. Australia's five bowlers picked up two wickets apiece in the last innings.

New Zealand needed to bat all day to salvage a draw in the second Test after losing last week's series-opener at Brisbane by an innings and 156 runs.

Bad start

For the visitor, the day started badly. Jacob Oram, who scored a century in the first Test and was unbeaten 40 at stumps Monday, was out in the second over when he edged Glenn McGrath to Adam Gilchrist with the addition of one to New Zealand's total.

The last five wickets fell for 100 runs as the top-ranked Australia maintained its decade-long unbeaten run in Test series at home and recorded its fourth series win of the year.

New Zealand held the Australians to a 0-0 series on its last trip across the Tasman but lacked the element of surprise and a recognised paceman in this series.

``Obviously (it's) very disappointing to be losing the series 2-0, but I think we're big enough and smart enough to admire a side we've just played and the cricket they've played,'' said New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming.

`Ruthless display'

``I haven't seen a bowling display or a batting display as ruthless as that for some time, so congratulations to Australia," he added.

``It's no great surprise, you've heard it from other captains before, but it's amazing cricket and we've certainly learnt some massive lessons.''

Fleming said the New Zealanders expected some heavy criticism from home but would rebound for the three-match limited-overs series starting next week.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting said the New Zealand result was a progression from last month's 2-1 win over the Indians, Australia's first series win in India in 35 years.

``We certainly played some great cricket ... obviously (it's been) another fantastic series for us,'' he said. ``Once again, at different times everyone has put their hand up and did the job, so well done.''

Oram and Brendon McCullum, 34 overnight, held New Zealand's hopes of forcing a draw if they could last long enough until forecast rain hit Adelaide.

But McCullum's exit followed soon after Oram's. He was trapped lbw by Jason Gillespie for 36 as New Zealand slipped to 160 for seven.

Vettori and James Franklin combined in a 46-run partnership that stalled the inevitable result until Franklin was caught behind off Michael Kasprowicz's bowling to make New Zealand 206-8.

On Monday, Ricky Ponting set New Zealand 464 to win when he declared Australia's second innings closed at 139-2.

McGrath, Gillespie, Kasprowicz and Shane Warne then took a wicket apiece to have the tourists reeling at 36-4 before a middle order rally added 113 for the loss of one wicket in the session before stumps on the penultimate day.

Justin Langer put Australia in a commanding position with his 215 in Australia's first innings of 575-8 declared and was voted player of the match.

The pacemen followed up with McGrath snaring four wickets and Gillespie taking three to skittle New Zealand for 251 in reply — giving Australia a 324-run advantage on the first innings.

Ponting opted against enforcing the follow-on, allowing his opening batsmen to achieve milestones in the second innings. Langer (46) surpassed 6,000 career Test runs and Matt Hayden (54) notched 1,000 runs for the fourth consecutive calendar year. — AP

SCOREBOARD

Australia — 1st innings: 575 for eight decl.

New Zealand — 1st innings: 251

Australia — 2nd innings: 139 for two decl.

New Zealand — 2nd innings: M. Richardson c Langer b Kasprowicz 16, M. Sinclair lbw b Gillespie 2, S. Fleming b McGrath 3, S. Styris c Clarke b Warne 8, N. Astle c Langer b Lehmann 38, J. Oram c Gilchrist b McGrath 40, B. McCullum lbw b Gillespie 36, D. Vettori c Gillespie b Lehmann 59, J. Franklin c Gilchrist b Kasprowicz 13, P. Wiseman (not out) 15, C. Martin c Ponting b Warne 2; Extras (b-1, lb-12, nb-5) 18; Total 250.

Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-18, 3-34, 4-34, 5-97, 6-150, 7-160, 8-206, 9-243.

Australia bowling: McGrath 12-2-32-2, Gillespie 16-5-41-2, Kasprowicz 14-4-39-2, Warne 27.3-6-79-2, Lehmann 13-0-46-2.

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