To get an indication of how much a test victory over England meant to Neil Wagner, you only had to hear him talk.
Or, perhaps more accurately, hear him try to talk.
"I'm losing my voice a little bit," Wagner laughed when interviewed pitch-side by Radio Sport, after his five-wicket bag spurred the Black Caps to an innings and 65 run victory on the final day of the first test in Mount Maunganui.
After 19.2 overs of grunting, shouting and roaring in celebration, Wagner's voice was on its last legs, and his body was just as beat-up, as the veteran seamer was again the architect of a thrilling test victory.
• 'Wouldn't happen in England': Cricket star reveals NZ racial abuse
• Record run continues as Black Caps destroy England
• Stars in doubt: Black Caps suffer injury scares during big win
• What you may have missed from Black Caps win
It was a grueling effort, but you get the feeling he wouldn't have it any other way.
"It feels pretty unreal to be honest," Wagner said, explaining his fading voice.
"I started yelling and trying to get the boys up – it was tough work and tough graft and I thought everyone dug in and played an exceptional role – from the batting to the bowling to the fielding. Everyone contributed which is what we love about this team – a very satisfying win."
Perhaps more satisfying was the way in which it was won, on a pitch that seemingly offered little for a bowler like Wagner. With less pace and bounce available than usual, Wagner had to tweak his strategy slightly in order to extract maximum reward. While there was still the expected peppering of short-pitched deliveries – the ball to dismiss Joe Denly, in particular, was exceptional – Wagner also picked up wickets with a yorker, a low full toss, and a wide, slow, knuckleball that Ollie Pope creamed to a flying Mitchell Santner at short cover.
Wagner said he was pleased to show what he can do in different conditions.
"It's quite nice to get something that's actually a little bit different, to show you've got different skills and you're not just a one-trick pony.
"It had its challenges – it was hard to land on, and quite hard to actually get your timing right at the crease. But you've got to play to the conditions and it was nice to finally get a wicket in our home conditions that actually turns and plays a bit different."
Wagner, Santner and Tim Southee combined to bowl all 37.2 overs that the Black Caps sent down after lunch, and Wagner had particular praise for Santner, who finished with career-best figures of 3-53 in 40 overs.
"I think he had a smile from ear-to-ear, if his ears weren't there it would go right around," grinned a just-as-delighted Wagner.
Black Caps captain Kane Williamson, also sporting a deserved smile, was elated with Wagner's performance.
"An outstanding effort – bowling resources were fairly thin, so guys had to pick up a bit of slack, and someone like Neil's certainly not shy of bowling a few extra overs. He always demands it but [yesterday] he didn't have a say in it, it was going to happen.
"He's another player who continues to show so much heart to keep pushing this team forward."