Niall Anderson covers off what you may have missed from the final day of the first test between the Black Caps and England in Mount Maunganui.
What were the odds?
The Black Caps' last two tests have produced eerily identical results. Against Sri Lanka in August, New Zealand lost the toss, and were asked to bowl first. They rolled their opponents for a below-par first-innings score, put up a big total in their turn at bat, and then ripped through them again to win by an innings and 65 runs. Against England, they lost the toss, were asked to bowl first, and, you guessed it, all the above happened once more as the Black Caps won by …. an innings and 65 runs. A threepeat in Hamilton, anyone?
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New Zealand bowled 37.2 overs after lunch – and all of them were bowled by either Neil Wagner, Mitchell Santner or Tim Southee. With Trent Boult off injured with a rib injury, and Colin de Grandhomme unused after an early spell, it was left to the trio to carry the load, sharing the ball for nearly one and a half sessions. Southee and Wagner charged in for 39.2 overs between them, while Santner sent down 40 of his own – including 20 on the trot – and they combined for nine second-innings wickets in a match-winning effort.
Shot of the day
Was not by an England batsman, but by multiple cameras. With England trying to hold on for dear life, attacking shots were a rarity, leaving the best shots to come from a humorous moment from Ben Stokes. Trying to keep out a Santner delivery, Stokes edged the ball onto his back leg, with the resulting deflection nearly rolling onto the stumps. Stokes stuck his head between his legs to survey the damage, leading to a brilliant shot on the stump camera, seen below, and several classic snaps, like the one above.
Stat of the day
99 - Test victories for the Black Caps after their destruction of England – with the second test in Hamilton on Friday looming as an excellent chance to become the seventh test side to reach three figures. Today's victory was their 11th over England, to go with their victories over Sri Lanka (16), West Indies (15), Bangladesh (12), Pakistan (12), Zimbabwe (11), India (10), Australia (8) and South Africa (4).