Williamson lauds 'brilliant' Wagner after career-best figures

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Neil Wagner

Wellington, December 4: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson heaped praise on paceman Neil Wagner, whose nine-wicket haul guided the Black Caps to a crushing Test win over West Indies.

New Zealand Vs West Indies, 1st Test: Windies collapse to hand Kiwis crushing victory

Wagner finished with career-best figures of 9-141 as New Zealand dismantled the Windies by an innings and 67 runs on day four of the opening Test in Wellington on Monday.

The 31-year-old bowler set the tone with seven wickets in a sensational day-one performance and he claimed another two wickets for 102 runs to see the tourists collapse to be all out for 319.

"He's been brilliant. His ability to bowl that short-pitched bowling as accurately as he does is not an easy thing to do," Williamson said.

"You don't see many bowlers able to do that, that accurately and for that long a period of time.

"But one thing with Neil, certainly in the last couple of years, one of his biggest assets has been his fuller length as well.

"He's bowled a number of overs for not many runs taking on different roles with the ball in hand.

"The nature of , you might go for a few, but you'll create opportunities as well and he was able to change his length today and bowl really well and really economically as well."

''It was a brilliant all-round performance,'' Williamson continued. ''It was nice to bowl first, we put runs on the board to get a long way ahead of the game and one of the most pleasing things was the way the guys adapted when it was tough to get wickets .''

It was another capitulation for the Windies, who were skittled for 134 in the first innings, having been 59-0.

West Indies resumed on 214-2 on Monday thanks to Kraigg Brathwaite (91) and Shai Hope (37) – in response to New Zealand's 520-9 declared – but they lost eight cheap wickets before tea at the Basin Reserve.

Captain Jason Holder said: "We've done reasonably well in the year. There's no need to panic. There's only one Test gone and we have a chance to put things right in the second Test."

''I won't let this Test put a dampener on my spirits in terms of the way we've played cricket in the last few months,'' he added. ''It's important we put this behind us quickly and learn from it.''

Source: OPTA

Story first published: Monday, December 4, 2017, 12:00 [IST]
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