Smith century sends Finch off in style as Australia secure series whitewash over Black Caps

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Finch
had
announced
prior
to
the
game
this
would
be
his
final
ODI
and,
though
he
made
just
five
in
Cairns,
team-mate
Smith
excelled,
his
105
from
131
balls
helping
the
hosts
to
267-5

Marnus
Labuschagne
(52)
adding
a
valuable
half-century
as
Australia
sealed
a
series
whitewash.

Several
in
New
Zealand’s
line-up
made
starts
but
failed
to
build
big
totals,
Glenn
Phillips’ middle-order
partnerships
with
Jimmy
Neesham
and
Mitchell
Santner
not
proving
enough
to
make
the
chase.

Finch
was
given
a
guard
of
honour
and
a
handshake
with
opposite
number
Kane
Williamson
after
a
minute’s
silence
was
held
as
a
mark
of
respect
following
the
death
of
the
Queen.

Some
textbook
swing
bowling
from
Tim
Southee
meant
there
was
no
dream
send-off
for
Finch,
but
Smith,
a
contender
to
be
the
new
ODI
captain,
led
the
way.

His
century
off
126
was
the
slowest
of
his
career,
though
his
second
fifty
runs
came
off
only
46.

He
and
Labuschagne
focused
mostly
on
surviving,
but
Alex
Carey
(42)
added
69
with
Smith
in
10
overs
to
boost
the
run
rate,
before
the
latter
was
bowled
by
Santner.

New
Zealand
made
49
for
the
opening
wicket
before
Devon
Conway
was
caught
by
Smith
at
backward
point
and
the
tourists
struggled
to
score
runs
freely,
tumbling
to
112-5.

Phillips’ work
with
Neesham
and
Santner
made
sure
Australia
had
to
push
hard
for
their
win
but
ultimately
New
Zealand
fell
short,
Mitchell
Starc
finishing
3-60
to
wrap
up
the
series.


Spectacular
Smith

It
was
not
just
Smith’s
work
with
the
bat
that
proved
so
influential.
He
also
made
important
catches
from
Conway,
Mitchell
and
Neesham
to
knock
New
Zealand
off
their
stride.

While
Santner
was
able
to
keep
the
pace
going,
his
dismissal
and
Phillips’
exit
brought
an
end
to
any
hopes
of
a
turnaround.


Finch
farewell

After
145
ODI
caps,
Finch’s
illustrious
spell
in
the
format
will
come
to
an
end
but
it
was
unfortunate
he
could
not
go
out
with
a
bang.
The
home
supporters
gave
him
the
send-off
he
deserves,
however,
and
he
issued
his
backing
to
Smith
to
succeed
him
prior
to
Sunday’s
final
match.

Finch
departs
having
guided
Australia
to
a
10th
straight
ODI
win
on
home
turf
against
New
Zealand,
a
run
that
dates
back
to
2009.
Indeed,
they
have
now
won
their
last
five
matches
against
their
neighbours
in
the
format
(home
or
away),
which
matches
a
winning
streak
they
enjoyed
against
the
Black
Caps
between
November
2006
and
February
2007.

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