New Zealand were expected to put on a show in Brendon McCullum's hundredth test, instead it was Australia who were on the ball, thrashing the Kiwis by an innings and 52 runs. A victory in the second and final test will ensure that the baggy greens finish as the number one ranked test team.
Coming into day four trailing by 201 runs, the Kiwis got off to the worst start possible losing Corey Anderson in just the fourth over of the day, the left-hander falling to Mitchell Marsh without troubling the scorers. BJ Watling, the keeper-batsman has not been in good form of late and that was not to change anytime soon, Nathan Lyon going past his defence to bowl him for 10 runs.
With just the tail left, it was only a matter of time before the hosts crumbled, a late order resistance from Mark Craig and Tim Southee only prolonging the inevitable. In what was a wretched performance, the only bright spark of the Kiwis was the performance of Henry Nicholls, who scored 59 in the second innings, the highest score by a debutant batting at number four. The Kiwis were eventually bowled out for 327 runs, giving Australia a massive innings and 52 run victory.
For all their improvement, the Kiwis are yet to challenge Australia in the longer format of the game, losing the three-match series 2-0 when they toured Down Under late in 2015. This was the hosts first loss in 12 games at home, a record dating back to 2012. With skipper McCullum set to bid farewell, they will be looking to get back to winning ways and ensure that he bows out of the game on a high. The second test starts on 20 February, Saturday at Christchurch.