Australia secured a series victory by taking an unassailable two-nil lead in the three-Test series versus New Zealand despite admirable resistance from Tom Blundell at the MCG.
Blundell’s 121 was the sole high point for New Zealand as they slumped to a 247-run defeat in the Boxing Day Test to Australia.
The tourists were set a demanding target of 488 for an unlikely win after Australia added 31 to their overnight score at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The end of Travis Head, bowled by Neil Wagner for 28, signalled the end of the Australia innings with Tim Paine declaring on 168 for five.
FULL SCORECARD: Australia cruise to 247-run victory over New Zealand
James Pattinson claimed three key wickets inside eight balls, Tom Latham falling for eight and Kane Williamson (0) and Ross Taylor (2) finishing their innings prematurely as New Zealand slumped to 35 for three.
Blundell’s resistance was the sole frustration for Australia as he started to run out of batting partners, Nathan Lyon snaring four wickets and the tail giving out at the end of the fourth day with Trent Boult unable to bat.
Babar hit 11 boundaries of the highest order in an unbeaten stay of exactly 100 balls.
Mark Wood finished the job.
Pakistan made a solid start after deciding to bat first.
Pakistan elected to bat under grey skies at Old Trafford.
The England and Yorkshire fast bowler saw his career cut slightly short by injury problems.
Nagging uncertainty over Stokes’ recent quad injury means England will not know how to balance their side until the eleventh hour.
Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie both hit centuries in the shock victory.