Australia regain top spot in ICC Test rankings

Australia regained top spot in the International Cricket Council Test rankings after completing a seven-wicket victory over New Zealand to wrap a a 2-0 series sweep at Christchurch.

Steve Smith, who recorded his 16th Test fifty, and Adam Voges steered the tourists to their target of 201 shortly after lunch on the final day to replace India in the Test rankings – the first time since 2014.

New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, who broke the record for the fastest Test century in New Zealand’s first innings, bowed out of international cricket to a guard of honour in front of his home ground.

Needing 131 runs on day five, Joe Burns and Usman Khawaja brought up their century partnership in the 31st over before McCullum caught the latter for 45 off the bowling of Tim Southee.

Brendon McCullum played his final international Test match at Christchurch, having scored a total of 14,676 international runs across all three formats

Smith upped the run-rate as he shared a 66-run partnership with Burns, who was eventually bowled by Trent Boult for 65.

With Australia, who have won seven of their nine matches since being bowled out for 60 at Trent Bridge, resuming on 185 for three after lunch, Voges hit the winning runs to clinch the two-match series.

Meanwhile former Australia fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus announced his retirement from first-class cricket due to health reasons.

The 32-year-old, who will continue to play Twenty20 cricket, played 27 Tests and took 99 wickets for Australia but has not featured for their Test side in more than three years, having struggled with hamstring issues.

Source: ECB

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