24 Feb 2016

McCullum lurches into retirement

2:08 pm on 24 February 2016

Australia have won the second cricket test against New Zealand in Christchurch by seven wickets to claim a two-nil series win and send the the Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum into retirement with a loss.

Brendon McCullum in his penultimate Test match

The retiring Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum. Photo: Photosport

The Australian batsmen reached the victory target of 201 just after lunch on the final day's play at Hagley Oval.

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Skipper Steve Smith was unbeaten on 53 and Adam Voges finished on 10 not out.

The two-nil series win means Australia will climb above India as the world's number one ranked test team.

The defeat was McCullum's 101st test and final match for New Zealand.

The 34-year-old now heads into international retirement but will still play on the lucrative Twenty20 circuit.

After crushing New Zealand in the first test by an innings and 52 runs in Wellington last week, today's win was Australia's seventh in 11 games under Smith's captaincy.

Voges hit the winning runs, a boundary through the covers.

Australia had looked like achieving their victory target when they reached 169 for two at the scheduled lunch break before Joe Burns (65) was bowled by Trent Boult in the additional four overs offered by the umpires.

Voges and Smith then opted to chase victory after the break.

Usman Khawaja (45) was the only other wicket to fall in the first session when he was well held by Brendon McCullum at first slip off Tim Southee.

Australia had only needed to draw the match at Hagley Oval to retake the top ranking in test cricket from India.

Burns resumed on 27 and Khawaja on 19 with Australia 70 for one after being set 201 runs to win the match having dismissed the hosts in their second innings for 335 after tea yesterday.

Knowing they had the luxury of time to score the further 131 required, neither Burns nor Khawaja took any unnecessary risks in the first session, though Smith and Burns did increase the run rate after the left hander departed.

Neil Wagner, who took a career best 6-106 in the first innings with short pitched tactics, resorted to it again today but the left armer rarely threatened on a placid pitch and in hot conditions.

He was however bowling with a broken hand in a remarkable show of strength from the paceman.