Neil Wagner claimed his eighth five-wicket haul as New Zealand thumped England by an innings and 65 runs on the final day of the first Test on Monday (November 25) and took a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Resuming the day on 55 for 3, England were bundled out for 197 for 1 in 96.2 overs. Wagner finished with bowling figures of 5 for 44 as not a single English batsman could touch the 40-run mark.
Earlier, New Zealand’s bid to wrap up the match suffered a major setback in the first session of the final day when Trent Boult was sidelined by injury. The left-arm paceman bowled just one over today before leaving the field with a pain on the right side of his ribs. That however didn’t stop New Zealand as the other bowlers stepped up and did the job for their team.
Mitchell Santner, who enjoyed a golden Sunday with his maiden Test century and three wickets before stumps, sent down 14 overs for a miserly 17 runs on the fifth morning without further success. England crept along with a mere 66 runs off the first 41 overs for the loss of only Joe Root’s wicket as they battled for survival.
It was Colin de Grandhomme who claimed Root’s wicket with a bouncer that the England skipper could only steer to Tom Latham in the close-fielding cordon who snapped up a smart catch. It ended a disappointing match for Root who only managed two in the first innings after moving back down the order to his favoured number four slot, having batted at three during the recent Ashes series.
Joe Denly and Ben Stokes showed good composure and managed to stitch a 52-run stand in 26 overs but nine overs after lunch, England’s patience ran out and New Zealand cashed in. Stokes, on 28, chased a wide Tim Southee delivery that should have been left and instead chopped it on to his stumps. Wagner, who had been wicketless at that stage, then fired up his left-arm bouncers and accounted for Denly, Ollie Pope and Jos Buttler as England lost four wickets for just 17 runs.
Denly, who delivered a solid 74 for England in the first innings, was on 35 when he was caught behind. The right-hander wanted to leave the delivery alone but the ball bounced a bit more and clipped the glove before landing straight into the hands of wicketkeeper BJ Watling. Santner then took an outstanding catch at short cover in the bowling of Wagner to send Pope back for 6. He then knocked over Jos Buttler for a duck to reduce England to 138 for 8.
It looked like the game would get over in the second session but Sam Curran (29*) and Jofra Archer (30) played few entertaining shots and managed to take the game to the final session. Wagner however returned and got rid of Archer and Stuart Broad in consecutive deliveries to complete his five-wicket haul and give New Zealand the lead in the series.
The second and final Test will be played at the Seddon Park in Hamilton from Friday.