Pat Cummins does it again as dodgy Kiwi detail causes confusion in Aussie Test win

Cummins denied his teammate a century milestone after hitting the winning runs against New Zealand.

Pat Cummins says he didn't know Alex Carey was just two runs away from a century after hitting the winning runs against New Zealand to complete an epic victory in the second Test in Christchurch. Carey (98 not out) hit the highest score of any batter to guide the Aussies to a memorable three-wicket win on day four.

The wicketkeeper's form with the bat had led to plenty of questions about his place in the side but Carey answered the critics with one of the finest knocks of his Test cricket career. The 32-year-old first combined with Mitch Marsh (80) to give the Aussies hope after they'd slumped to 4-34, putting the Kiwis in the box seat to claim their first home Test win against Australia in 31 years.

Seen here, Australia captain Pat Cummins poses with the Trans-Tasman trophy after his side's Test series win over NZ.
Pat Cummins poses with the Trans-Tasman trophy after he and Alex Carey guided Australia to an epic second Test win over New Zealand. Pic: Getty

Marsh and Carey put on 140 runs together - the biggest partnership of the series - following the early wicket of Travis Head (18) on day four. The pair stood up when the pressure was at its greatest, with Carey left to guide the visitors to victory when Marsh was trapped LBW by impressive Test debutant Ben Sears.

Sears then then removed Mitchell Starc with the very next ball to reduce the tourists to 7-220, bringing Cummins to the crease with Carey. The Aussie skipper survived the hat-trick ball after edging one to the boundary for four, before sharing in his latest match-winning partnership with the bat.

Cummins memorably combined with Nathan Lyon to guide Australia to a win in the Edgbaston Test during last year's Ashes series. The Aussie captain also shared in a record 202-run, eighth wicket stand with Glenn Maxwell during the ODI World Cup that saw Australia score an improbable win against Afghanistan.

In Christchurch, Cummins showed again that he's a man for the big occasion, even if he did deny Carey a memorable century. The Aussie skipper faced backlash from many fans for not letting Carey bring up his ton when he was only two runs short of the milestone.

Pictured left to right, Australia captain Pat Cummins and Alex Carey.
Australia captain Pat Cummins' winning runs denied Alex Carey the chance to reach his century after being stranded on 98 against New Zealand. Pic: AAP

The Aussie skipper said after the match that he had no idea Carey was on 98, with a dodgy scoreboard at Hagley Oval apparently to blame. The commentators mentioned on the coverage that the scoreboard was only showing the wickets, and not the number of runs the batters were on, which goes some way to explaining Cummins' confusion.

Pat Cummins denies Alex Carey memorable century

“I had no idea he was on 98!” Cummins said after the match. “That would have been embarrassing if he was celebrating (his ton) and I wasn’t looking." Carey later admitted in his post-match interview that he was happy Cummins got the winning runs after suggesting the tension was too much to bear.

“I was happy with that!” Carey joked about Cummins hitting the match-winning runs that denied him a shot at a century. “I didn’t want to get on strike again!” While plenty of critics took aim at Cummins, many others applauded the skipper for putting the team above the individual.

Carey didn't show any signs of resentment towards his captain as the pair shared a warm embrace out in the middle after the win. While Australia's fighting victory and never-say-die attitude is rightly being celebrated around the cricket world, the win came amid a number of batting failures.

Marsh and Head both offered up their wickets in Tim Southee's first over of the day, both cutting straight to point a ball apart. Rachin Ravindra dropped a sitter to give Marsh a reprieve and a run, but Will Young made no mistake when Head offered a carbon-copy shot on the very next delivery.

Ravindra's blunder was a painful reminder of the nine dropped catches that plagued the Kiwis across the two Tests. Australia had two full days to reel in their target, but the new ball after 80 overs loomed large given the threat of the Kiwi seamers.


The century stand between Carey and Marsh wasn't without fortune either. The latter almost played on from Southee's bowling, while Carey fell the right side of two reviews. Scott Kuggeleijn also cost his side 10 byes in one over as Australia scored 62 in the last 10 overs before the main break.

Seen here, Mitch Marsh and Alex Carey.
Mitch Marsh and Alex Carey combined for a crucial century stand that helped set up Australia's win. Pic: Getty

Sears struck in his first over after lunch, removing Marsh LBW and Starc out caught at square leg, beaten for pace. Under lights, Glenn Phillips, Southee and Neil Henry all probed in their hopes of an eighth wicket, but couldn't find the next breakthrough as Australia sealed an epic victory.

The win is just Australia's second of 16 chases (Edgbaston being the other) over 200 since they last won at Hagley Oval in 2016. It also sees their stranglehold of the Trans-Tasman Trophy continue, with the Kiwis still without a home Test win against Australia since 1993.

with AAP

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.

Yahoo Australia