NEW Zealand may have beaten Zimbabwe soundly inside four days but skipper Kane Williamson is predicting more hard work for his side in the second Test.
An ill Sean Williams scored a maiden Test century for the home side but could not stave off a comprehensive innings and 117-run victory by the Black Caps in the first Test in Bulawayo.
New Zealand were always in control after Neil Wagner’s six wickets in the first innings routed the hosts for 164, and they followed it up with a first innings total of 6-576 declared.
Williamson says his side’s hostile first innings bowling was key on a slow track, where it was always going to be tough to bowl a side out twice.
“And it was, they showed a lot of fight, so certainly credit to Zimbabwe for that.
“Certainly coming in today there are some tired bodies but it was nice to be able to do the job.” Williamson said the slow and low pitch meant being “attacking” also involved patience and building pressure.
His side had slipped away from that during Zimbabwe’s second innings of 295, which had allowed Williams to score his 119 – but Zimbabwe had players more than capable of similar performances. “I think we were fortunate, executed well with the ball in the first innings … but we know that that’s not going to happen every time.
“We need to be at our best on these surfaces against Zimbabwe who know these conditions very well and can play performances like Sean Williams did today, which was a great knock, so we will have to be better again for the next game.”
Zimbabwe continued their dismal record against New Zealand and are now winless in 16 meetings, this being their 10th loss.
“The fight was excellent. After the first innings, I thought we were soft,” Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer said.
“We probably have 10 guys sick in the change room.”
Tom Latham (105), Ross Taylor (173 not out) and BJ Watling (107) all scored centuries for New Zealand, while Williamson fell just short on 91.
The second and final Test starts on Saturday at the same venue.