Dylan Cleaver provides five takeaways from the fourth (and as it turned out, final) day of the first test between the Black Caps and West Indies at Seddon Park.
Start as you mean to go on
In a sign of how effectively the Black Caps have gone about unsettling their opposition in unfamiliar conditions, it is worth noting the results of the first test of their past seven home tests series:
beat West Indies by an innings and 134 runs;
beat India by 10 wickets;
beat England by an innings and 65 runs;
beat Bangladesh by an innings and 52 runs;
drew with Sri Lanka;
beat England by an innings and 49 runs;
beat West Indies by an innings and 49 runs.
That's, well, awesome. The one blip was a test where Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis batted all day on a flat Basin Reserve pitch in a record-breaking 274-run stand to save the test.
No chance of that happening in this test where the pace and carry of the Seddon Park wicket was noted by all, and with a touch of pathos by West Indies captain Jason Holder.
"Not making an excuse, but we've not had these kinds of pitches in the Caribbean for a long period of time," Holder noted, saying he'd like to see them replicated at home to enhance the bounce and carry.
It would have also been nice, he acknowledged ruefully, to play their lead-up games in similar conditions.
"Totally different," he said of the Queenstown Events Centre. "Queenstown was a bit of a graveyard."
Williamson said the surface was the sort of strip you wanted to play test cricket on.
"Nicks were carrying throughout which is great and compliments to the surface. I suppose the last time we were here [against England] it wasn't the case. It was a really fair cricketing wicket."
Overdue success for Southee
The praise for Tim Southee's performance and general role in the side kept coming, this time from second innings bowling star Neil Wagner.
"Tim's been a class performance for us for a number of years now. He's gone tough periods like any other cricketer does and I think it's part of the game – you don't always reap the rewards you want. What he's done is that hard graft; running into the wind, doing the tough yards and bowling for the other guys around him. He's been doing the same things, but now he's getting the rewards which I'm really pleased to see."
BJ Watling will undergo a final fitness test tomorrow to determine whether he hops on the plane to Wellington to take up his spot behind the stumps. The veteran missed the first test of the summer with a hamstring strain, meaning Tom Blundell took the gloves and moved down the order, allowing Will Young a long-awaited test debut.
Watling needs to get through a session running at full pace and observing how freely he has been moving this week, that looks a probability.
Payton Spencer was New Zealand's unused substitute fielder for the final day's play. He's the son of former All Black Carlos Spencer and is making a name for himself as an allrounder in Waikato age-group cricket.
The Hamilton Boys' High product also made the New Zealand Māori secondary schools team earlier this year.