After bowling out England for just 58 in the first innings, New Zealand rode on skipper Kane Williamson’s 18th Test ton (102) and Henry Nicholls’ unbeaten 145 to post a mammoth total of 427/8 (declare) in the first Test at Eden Park, Auckland.
Rain on days two and three threatened to spoil a seemingly inevitable procession for the hosts, but the final day’s play was more than enough for the Black Caps to get a result out of it. Owing to the 3-fers from Trent Boult, Neil Wagner and Todd Astle, New Zealand claimed an empathic innings and 49 runs victory to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series.
After the match, Williamson hailed the excellent all-round performance of his side and termed their first innings effort with the ball as “perfect storm”.
"The first innings was the perfect storm. The boys put the ball in a beautiful area, found the edge and off stumps,” Williamson said at the post-match presentation.
"Then for the guys to build those partnerships with the bat against an England bowling attack where runs were tough to come by [was outstanding],” he further added.
The Kiwi skipper also hailed England batsmen for their fighting spirit in the second innings after the debacle in the first dig. Thanks to half-centuries from Stoneman (55), Root (51), Stokes (66) and Woakes (52), England made 320 in their second dig.
"We were expecting the tough graft coming into today and England showed that. They fought hard and we applied that pressure and we stuck with them through that long game and pounced on those opportunities,” Williamson said.
He concluded by expressing his delight for leading the Black Caps in a fulfilling Test match.
"'It was a brilliant match for our team in all departments. It was a fulfilling Test," Kane Williamson concluded.
The second and final Test between New Zealand and England will start on Friday (March 30) at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.