Australia have surrendered the Chappell-Hadlee trophy in New Zealand for the second time in 12 months.
But in a chaotic week that saw the selection of a third captain the space of eight days, a farcical abandonment, a tour bolter, a stand-in 'keeper and one of the great all-time ODI performances, what are the key findings for Darren Lehmann and his squad?
1. Even without a Williamson special, Kiwis can still hand out a caning
Australia flew across the Tasman nine days ago feeling good about the prospect of success and head home (or to Dubai) on the end of a two-nil defeat, having been at times comprehensively outplayed. Both sides fought hard throughout two matches in which the fortunes swung like a pendulum, however it was the Black Caps who won those oft-talked about 'key moments'. Tellingly, New Zealand's success was achieved without captain Kane Williamson, who made scores of 24 and 37. The Kiwis are an experienced, well-rounded team who are well coached by the canny Mike Hesson and well led by Williamson, whose strategic field placings often paid dividends and were a particular feature of this series. Even without Martin Guptill in Hamilton, they had the talent at their disposal to post a winning total, and could then call on the world-class services of Trent Boult to defend it. Little wonder they've now won 22 of their past 24 completed ODIs on home soil.
2. The spin riddle is still to be cracked
Australia had five pace-bowling options in both matches and were at full strength with the ball, with the possible exception of allrounder Mitch Marsh. Aaron Finch could call upon Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, James Faulkner and Marcus Stoinis, all of whom performed impressively at different times across the two matches. On the flipside, just 12 overs of spin were bowled out of a possible 100, with part-time offie Travis Head (1-21 from five in Auckland) and full-time leggie Adam Zampa (0-41 from seven in Hamilton) only bit-part bowlers in the context of the series. Certainly it could be argued that both pitches favoured the fast bowlers, however the fact that Glenn Maxwell (picked for the India Test series as an allrounder) is still to bowl a single over in the seven matches he's played since his return to the ODI team remains a perplexing one.
3. The name's Stoinis, Marcus Stoinis
No, you weren't dreaming when you thought Marcus Stoinis emerged from nowhere to deposit sixes all over Auckland in one of the most stunning ODI knocks ever put together by an Australian during last week's series opener. Stoinis, a one-game wonder a week ago, was composed and confident at the crease today, playing patiently as he looked to repeat his feats in similar circumstances; wickets were falling, the target looked a distant one, and he was the last remaining recognised batsman. Ultimately it wasn't his day – he fell for 42 from 48 deliveries – but there were enough signs to show that his 146 not out has made him a new player.
4. Australia are good, but they're not that good
Steve Smith was injured, and as such a late withdrawal, but Australia's decision to omit superstar David Warner from the tour raised eyebrows across the Tasman and, given the tourists' failures with the bat, could certainly have had a bearing on the outcome of the series. Despite the quality of their replacements (Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh have proven themselves to be genuine international match-winners over the years) there is simply no replacing Warner and Smith, two brilliant players who boast records that stack up with just about anyone from any era. While the bigger picture of India is an entirely reasonable (and logical) one through which to view the decision, it was also a selection call fraught with danger against an outfit as dangerous as New Zealand.
5. Pat Cummins is no bunny
Blues quick Pat Cummins walks away from this tour having more than doubled his career runs tally in the space of two innings. Cummins made a vital 36 from 28 in Auckland, and backed it up today with 27 from 35 as he and Mitchell Starc threatened to take the match down to the wire. The 23-year-old spent a lot of time batting in grade cricket while he was struggling with back injuries and the extra work has clearly paid dividends; he can now be considered a capable No.8 – as highlighted by the first three sixes of his ODI career.