WELLINGTON – New Zealand wrapped up an impressive innings and 65-run victory over England shortly after tea on the final day of the first test at Bay Oval on Monday with Neil Wagner running through the tourists' lower order.
Wagner took three wickets in 17 balls for one run as England collapsed from 132-5 to 138-8 before tea, then broke a 59-run ninth-wicket partnership between Jofra Archer and Sam Curran after they had threatened to thwart the hosts.
The left armer, who finished with figures of 5-44 from 19.2 overs, trapped Stuart Broad in front for a first ball duck to end England's resistance at 197.
Wicketkeeper BJ Watling was named man of the match after his maiden double century of 205 and hefty partnerships with Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner helped the hosts to a first innings of 615-9 declared. "It felt really good," Watling said at the post-match presentation. "The key was to get partnerships, and the boys stuck in there at the end.
"We tried to build as much of a lead as possible and hoped the wicket would do funny things on day five."
After Santner had taken three quick England wickets late on Sunday, the tourists resumed on 55-3 needing to bat the entire fifth day to stop New Zealand from taking a 1-0 lead into the second match of the two-test series on Friday in Hamilton.
And while they showed signs they might be able to see the day out, tentative shot- and poor decision-making led to their downfall.
Captain Joe Root, Joe Denly, Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope were all dismissed playing at balls they did not need to, while Archer fell into a trap set by Wagner when he was well set to bat out the final hour.
Stokes's dismissal was particularly important with the aggressive all-rounder looking settled before he played on, letting out a loud yell of exasperation after chasing a wide, shortish ball from Tim Southee.
His dismissal at 121-5 sparked a collapse, with Wagner then ripping through the lower order.
Denly fell for 35 when he was caught by Watling following a lifting delivery from the left armer. Pope also fell to Wagner, needlessly throwing his hands at a wide full toss only to watch the ball fly to a diving Santner at short cover.
With Trent Boult off the field with sore ribs, Wagner took the second new ball and bowled Jos Buttler for an 18-ball duck with a yorker with the first delivery.
Archer and Curran kept the hosts at bay for more than an hour either side of tea and were starting to look comfortable before Wagner struck again to wrap up the match.
Root said failing to kick on from a decent platform in the first innings had cost England.
"We missed an opportunity if we're brutally honest with ourselves," said Root of England's collapse from 277-4 to 295-8 in their first innings before they were dismissed for 353.
"Could have done with a score over 450, and using that scoreboard pressure as another fielder.
"We did a lot of good stuff, we just need to do it for longer."