Williamson hails Black Caps bowlers after crushing Zimbabwe


Kane Williamson thanked his bowlers after starting his New Zealand captaincy with an innings defeat of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo.

Sean Williams scored the fastest Test century by a Zimbabwe batsman to hold the Black Caps up on day four, but his 119 ultimately did little to prevent Williamson's men racking up a convincing win.

New Zealand had wrestled the initiative on day one, bowling the hosts all out for 164 before piling on 576-6 declared thanks to centuries from Tom Latham, Ross Taylor and BJ Watling.

Neil Wagner's six-for in the first innings helped New Zealand get off to a superb start, that work not going unnoticed by the new skipper.

"That first innings bowling effort after losing the toss on a good surface was outstanding by our boys and certainly put us ahead of the game," Williamson said.

"It was certainly a hard-fought match. We were good with the bat, we applied ourselves which was important on that surface. 

"We knew we were going to have to work hard, it was going to be slow scoring at times but to get the get the score we did put Zimbabwe under pressure."

Taylor was named man of the match after his unbeaten 173 in New Zealand's batting effort, but he too pointed to the bowlers' efforts as more pivotal.

"I am not quite sure if I deserve it," he said. "The bowlers bowled well to put us in this position. Winning Tests, ODIs, and T20s are rewarding. I know Zimbabwe will come at us hard in the second Test. 

"There is definitely room to improve."

Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer was enthused by his side's second-innings showing, and hinted at a tweak in selection for the rest of the series.

"I am feeling a little bit stiff, but not too bad," he said.

"The fight was excellent. After the first innings, I thought we were soft. Williams stuck in. But, we didn't learn quick enough after the first innings. 

"We probably have ten guys sick in the change room. We may go in for an extra seamer in the next Test. I don't see it [the composition] changing so much."