Alex Carey masterminds miracle Australian win with epic knock as Pat Cummins hits winning runs over New Zealand

Alex Carey has masterminded a miracle three-wicket Test victory for Australia over New Zealand before being stranded on 98 not out when Pat Cummins struck the winning runs.

The Aussies began day four on 4-77 and lost Travis Head (18) early — the ball after Mitch Marsh survived a simple dropped catch — but Carey and Marsh regrouped to reach half-centuries before lunch and reduced the target to 105.

Australia were in fresh jeopardy when Marsh (80) and Mitchell Starc (golden duck) fell in consecutive deliveries with 59 runs to win but Carey, who survived a pair of reviews in his innings, pushed on to win the match with his skipper.

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Cummins, who contributed 30 runs to the chase in 44 balls, has now been in at the end for several significant victories in recent history.

He was not out against England at Edgbaston in the Ashes, the World Cup group stage win over Afghanistan when Glenn Maxwell scored 201 not out, and the subsequent semi-final victory over South Africa.

A rain delay saw proceedings start an hour late, with the Kiwi bowlers surely licking their lips at the cloud overhead.

After taking nine wickets in the first three days, Matt Henry was expected to be the dangerman, but instead Australia’s bats lowered their colours to NZ captain Tim Southee.

Seeing off Henry’s first over, both Marsh and Head then offered up their wickets in the second over of the day, both cutting straight to point a ball apart.

Rachin Ravindra dropped a dolly to give Marsh a reprieve and a run, but Will Young made no mistake when Head offered a carbon-copy shot for a left-hander on the next delivery.

Despite a reminder on the scoreboard that there were more than 1000 balls left in the Test, Australia were batting as if the run rate required was one a ball, rather than one an over.

Marsh was agonisingly close to playing on from Southee’s bowling when his cut shot ricocheted off his leg and just wide of the stumps.

Henry thought he’d taken his 10th wicket when he trapped Carey in front with an inswinger, only for the wicketkeeper to be saved by a review.

New Zealand reviewed a Scott Kuggeleijn delivery that they thought Carey might have snicked in an attempted ramp, only to discover clean air between bat and ball.

Thanks mainly to Kuggeleijn – who cost his side 10 byes in a single over – Australia scored 62 in the last 10 overs before the main break.

– with AAP

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