New Zealand’s Williamson expects better in second test despite big win


WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has given West Indies a warning that the hosts will only get better for the second test in Wellington after they completed a comprehensive innings and 134-run victory in the first test in Hamilton on Sunday.

Cricket – New Zealand v India – First Test – Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand – February 22, 2020 New Zealand’s Kane Williamson in action REUTERS/Martin Hunter

Despite being asked to bat on a green pitch at Seddon Park on Thursday, New Zealand were in control of the game from midway through the first day as Williamson and Tom Latham laid the foundation for their massive 519 for seven declared.

The bowlers then took over on day three, almost running through the West Indies line up twice on Saturday before they completed victory before lunch on the fourth day.

“It was nice after such a long break to put in a strong performance,” Williamson told reporters of the fact his team had not played a test since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A really good collective effort but something to build on. It’s important we take some lessons from this into the next one (and) … the big thing for us is to keep improving as a group.”

While Williamson’s career-best 251 in New Zealand’s innings earned him the man-of-the match award, it was the way his bowlers hunted as a pack to put the visitors under constant pressure that was the defining characteristic of the match.

Williamson said the rearguard second innings fightback by Jermaine Blackwood and Alzarri Joseph, which forced the game into Sunday, did not deter the bowlers despite some frustration at several dropped catches.

“Full credit to the bowling attack,” Williamson said.

“Sometimes when you hit your areas and the ball is moving around and you’re taking the edge then you sort of get a little bit ahead of yourself.

“It was a great lesson for us to try and get back to being patient and knowing you will get opportunities if you stay in your areas.

“It was great the guys stuck with it.”

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Christopher Cushing


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