David Warner struck an imperious hundred before Nathan Lyon took apart the New Zealand batting in less that two sessions to sweep the three-match Test series.
Lyon finished with 5/50 in 16.5 overs, while Mitchell Starc took 3/25 to end the tourists' chase of 416 on 136/9. With the injured Matt Henry not coming out to bat, the hosts wrapped up a 279-run win late on the fourth day at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Earlier on Monday, 6 January, Warner and Marnus Labuschagne, Australia's two most prolific performers over the home summer, ensured the bowlers had plenty to defend, as Australia raced to 217/2 declared. Warner's 111* was his third Test hundred of the summer, while Labuschagne fell a little short of 900 runs in that period.
Lyon's contribution in the tourists' second innings began right from the first wicket: An excellent catch at point, diving to his right, to send back Tom Blundell in the third over set New Zealand up for collapse. Lyon and Starc shared the top-order wickets: Tom Latham (lbw), and Jeet Raval and Glenn Phillips (caught behind) couldn't be saved by reviews, as New Zealand were quickly reduced to 22/4.
Pat Cummins made it 38/5 by castling Ross Taylor with an out-swinger. And while Colin de Grandhomme frustrated Australia with a fighting half-century, Lyon stepped up to break the 69-run sixth-wicket stand, when the batsman found mid-wicket.
The tail was quickly cleaned up, as Australia confirmed the second place on the ICC Test Championship table.
Starting the day on 40/0, Australia openers Warner and Joe Burns raced to their 100-run partnership. Their intent in adding quick runs to pave the way for a declaration was clear: Burns stepped down to Will Somerville and smashed him over long-on for six, while Warner struck back-to-back fours off Matt Henry in the first five overs of the morning. Moving at a run a ball for the most part, they got close to the hundred stand with a reverse-swept four by Warner and another six over long-on by Burns off Todd Astle.
Astle got his own back, setting up Burns with prodigious turn before slipping in a googly. But dropping Labuschagne when the first-innings double-centurion was on 4 meant he allowed another useful stand to blossom.
Warner ran three after pushing the ball to mid-wicket and celebrated his fourth hundred in the last five Tests at SCG with his trademark leap.
ROSS TAYLOR ➞ 7174*— ICC (@ICC) January 6, 2020
Stephen Fleming ➞ 7172
Brendon McCullum ➞ 6453
Kane Williamson ➞ 6379
Martin Crowe ➞ 5444
Taylor is now New Zealand's highest run-scorer in Tests! 🙌#AUSvNZ | @BLACKCAPS pic.twitter.com/8qxmjFIXaQ
While Labuschagne brought up another fifty, he fell not long after, caught at long-on, and that was Tim Paine's cue to declare.
Since the batsmen had received two warnings from the umpires for running on the protected area of the pitch, the team was penalised five runs. Those runs were added to New Zealand's first-innings total, leaving them with 416 to chase.
During his 22, Taylor surpassed Stephen Fleming to become New Zealand's highest run-scorer in Tests. That was the only bit of positive news for New Zealand amid another collapse.
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