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Cricket: Carey stars as Australia clinch 2-0 win in New Zealand

Test cricket news

Wicketkeeper Alex Carey has led Australia to their highest-ever successful run chase in Tests against New Zealand, securing a 2-0 sweep of the Trans-Tasman Trophy series.

In a career-defining performance it was Carey who brushed off his recent poor form with the bat to score 98 not out as the Aussies chased down a target of 279 with three wickets in hand.

Sitting at 5-80 when Carey came to the crease on Monday morning, the Aussies looked set for their first Test loss in New Zealand for over 30 years; however, a 140-run partnership alongside all-rounder Mitch Marsh turned the momentum of the match.

In a late twist, Black Caps debutant Ben Sears had Marsh trapped in front for 80, before Mitchell Starc chipped one towards mid-wicket the very next ball.

But Aussie skipper Pat Cummins then came to the rescue, guiding Australia home with an impressive 32 not out.

With the winning runs coming off the skipper’s bat, Carey was left stranded just short of his second century in Test cricket.

“I was happy with that,” Carey laughed.

“I didn’t want to get on strike again.”

Cummins later confessed: “I had no idea he was on 98.”

Carey was named man of the match for his efforts, and post-match he addressed the concerns around form within the Australian batting line-up.

“Someone has always been able to step up with the bat when needed,” he said.

“This group’s been able to get out of situations. Each guy’s had a game where they’ve been able to do that.

“You look across the board, everyone’s had their moments. It’s a really special team that we’re playing in.”

This 2-0 series win means that Australia jump up to second place on the World Test Championship ladder, sitting behind India in top spot.

Despite New Zealand losing both Test matches, player of the series honours went to Black Caps fast bowler Matt Henry, who finished with 17 wickets and 101 runs.

While the Aussie men now have an eight-month break before their next Test match, they will return to action in June for the T20 World Cup held in the USA and West Indies.

Top cricket betting sites have Australia pegged at +400 to win the tournament, with India leading the T20 World Cup betting market at +275.

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