New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson lauded the effort of his lower order batsmen after they ensured a draw in the Christchurch Test against England to seal the two-match Test series 1-0.
England were cruising to a comprehensive victory on the final day after reducing the hosts to 219/7. However, Ish Sodhi and Neil Wagner had a different plan in mind as they pulled off one of the best rearguard efforts in the recent history of Test cricket. The duo batted nearly 32 overs and eventually England ran out of time and light.
While Sodhi ended 56 not out from 168 balls, Wagner put on an exhibition of defence to accumulate 7 runs off 103 balls.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Williamson said: "Was an amazing day of Test cricket. Want to thank Joe and his team. Was a hard fought series, nothing in it really. We were fortunate enough, especially in the first innings at Auckland. We didn't get off to the best start today, knew that it would be a tough day but plenty of resolve shown by Latham and de Grandhomme."
“Special mention to Ish and Wagner for sticking it out. They dealt with a lot of short stuff and hung in there. Great effort from the side, we kept chasing the game and had a chance of winning the game if all went right of drawing it. Good to be on the right side of the result. Been a great summer, would have been nice to have more Test cricket maybe," the Black Caps skipper added.
The leg-spinner Sodhi was delighted to make a telling contribution with the bat after going wicketless in both the innings with the ball.
"Bit of drama at the end. Wagner was with me in the tough periods. He's a bit of a fighter with the ball and he showed with the bat too today. They started bowling bumpers and it was hard to pick up, but it was a pretty true wicket. Wagner kept me going .. '5 more mins to go .. 2 more mins to go.' I got one on the fingers that's pretty sore now,” Sodhi said.
“It kept ringing for a while but that's the beauty of the game. You take it on the chin. We've only done this once before. Quite disappointed with my performance with the ball this series. To be able to contribute with the bat (means a lot)," he concluded.