Aussies rapt with stunning turnaround - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aussies rapt with stunning turnaround

By Jim Morton 13/03/2005 06:52:07 PM Comments (0)

Australia celebrated its fourth-day knockout of New Zealand as one of its most satisfying Test victories in recent years after rising off the canvas only a day before.

Less than five sessions after dodging the indignity of following-on, the world champions completed a remarkable nine-wicket first Test thrashing with more than a day to spare at Christchurch's Jade Stadium.

Shane Warne took the 29th five-wicket haul of his Test career and his 1000th first-class scalp to set up a typical Australian quick kill by routing NZ for 131.

A sixth straight Test victory was finished by Justin Langer (72 not out) and Ricky Ponting (47 not out) in belligerent fashion with an unbeaten 110-run stand in 94 minutes as they polished off the 133 runs required.

Warne later announced he would finish his playing days living in England and captaining county side Hampshire for the next four winters and he remained keen to continue playing Test cricket for Australia for at least another two years.

The damage was done before Warne weaved his magic with the pace attack turning an evenly-poised scrap into a one-sided cakewalk by reducing the Black Caps to 4-71 in only 24 overs.

The leg-spinner then had Craig McMillan caught at bat-pad and bowled Hamish Marshall around his legs before cleaning up the tail to take 5-39 from 14 overs bowling into gaping footmarks.

Ponting voiced his pride in the fightback after being 6-201, 232 runs behind on the first innings, before lunch on Saturday when man-of-the-match Adam Gilchrist (121) joined Simon Katich (118) for a 212-run stand.

"To think the game is over now, today is pretty remarkable," said the skipper, who admitted he was "bluffed" by the greenish wicket when choosing to bowl first at the toss.

"It's a very satisfying win after being behind the eight ball for much of the game.

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