Christchurch - Australia sealed a 2-0
series victory over New Zealand to reach the top Test ranking on Wednesday but
captain Steve Smith was forced to defend their aggressive style as he was
charged with dissent.
With Smith smacking 53 off 46 balls,
Australia polished off the 131 runs they needed on the last day to reach their
201 target just after lunch in what was New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum's
The match had no sooner finished than Smith
was charged over Tuesday's profanity-laced confrontation with the umpires that
earlier saw fast bowler Josh Hazlewood fined 15 percent of his match fee.
Adam Voges was not out 10, while the only
wickets to fall on day five were those of Joe Burns for 65 and Usman Khawaja
for 45 as Australia finished on 201 for three to win by seven wickets.
The victory confirmed Australia's
superiority after they won the first Test by an innings and 52 runs, and
allowed them to overtake India as the world's top Test side.
"It's always special when you get to
number one in the world. That's our goal as a team to be number one in the
world in every format of the game," Smith said.
However, Smith also had to dispute
suggestions that Australia, often controversial over their uncompromising play
and habit of sledging, or insulting the opposition, were cricket's bully boys.
"I don't think we're not nice guys. We
play a good hard, aggressive brand of cricket," Smith said.
"For us it's about knowing where that
line is and myself and Josh Hazlewood have crossed that line in this Test match
and that's not what we're about.
"Hopefully we can learn from that and
continue to develop as a team and get better."
For New Zealand the drubbing by their
arch-rivals put a cloud on the much-loved McCullum's farewell, as their captain
took his final bow on the world stage after 101 Tests.
"We're obviously disappointed to lose
the Test match and the series but the right team won," McCullum said.
"We threw everything at them at key
times but they were able to withstand us. It's not the ideal way to go out but
at the same time, I've had a great time."
The brittle animosity throughout the
series, which came to a head on Tuesday, was put aside the moment Voges hit the
winning runs with a four.
Smith immediately searched out McCullum to
shake his hand and congratulate him on his career, which included a record
54-ball century in the first innings.
"The way he played in the first
innings to score the fastest ever Test 100 is testament to the guy's
character," Smith said.
"They were under the pump and he came
out and took the game on and got them into a pretty good position."
McCullum's rollicking 145, in which he also
reached a record 107 career sixes, was not enough to save New Zealand.
After resuming Wednesday at 70 for 1, with
David Warner (22) out late the previous evening, Australia took 34 overs to
score the remaining 131 runs required.
Khawaja took his overnight 19 to 45 before
giving Tim Southee his first wicket of the Test after 29 overs.
Southee had bottled up Khawaja for eight
consecutive deliveries before getting an edge with a ball angling away outside
off stump which went to McCullum at first slip.
Man-of-the-match Joe Burns, having laid the
foundations for victory with his 170 in the first innings, scored his fourth
Test 50 before being bowled by Trent Boult for 65 just before lunch.
The series sweep made Australia world
number one and earned them a US$1 million prize at the end of the cricket year.
This was the last Test before cricket's
attention turns to the World Twenty20 championship in India next month.