The Super Rugby Pacific kicks off, the Black Caps and White Ferns reign supreme and Nico Porteous takes gold in the cold. Video / Photosport
Black Caps captain Tom Latham described his side’s landslide victory against South Africa as “the perfect performance”.
The Black Caps destroyed South Africa in the first of two Tests at Hagley Oval by a
innings and 276 races, eliminating the visitors for 95 and 111 in one of their most impressive Test wins – so impressive that Latham found it hard to find fault with it.
“It was a fantastic performance, showing up on day one and winning the draw was a big part of that, but the guys still had to get the ball in the right area, and they did.  overs and then backing up with the bat on a wicket which was a little tricky – you look back and it was probably the perfect performance really.”
While the bowlers were the best performers, efforts by the Black Caps batsmen to score 482 from a bowler-friendly wicket secured victory, with aggressive strokes and consistent partnerships demoralizing the South African bowling attack.
“The way we managed to put their bowlers under pressure – we scored about four runs and we continued to build partnerships,” Latham said.
“It really is a perfect plan – our lowest partnership was 18 and we were able to build over and over again after losing wickets. The challenge as a bowling team is when you don’t get those wickets back-to-back and we were able to negate that with back-to-back partnerships.”
Latham was also delighted with the returns of Matt Henry, who came into the squad for the unavailable Trent Boult, and in his first Test in eight months he was man of the match with nine wickets and 58 not bats. at No. 11.
“He’s been in the squad for so long and hasn’t played as much Test cricket as he would have liked but we certainly know what a valuable member he is to this side and for him to put it together. at the test is such a confidence boost for him. We’re definitely very happy for him,” Latham said.
“It’s a testament to the depth we’re creating in New Zealand cricket that guys who haven’t played a lot can step in and come and play straight away.”
South African skipper Dean Elgar has acknowledged the possible excuses offered to his side – from quarantine and not having a warm-up game, to losing the draw and playing under foreign conditions – but thought always that his team should have been much better.
“Extremely disappointing,” Elgar said.
“We were overqualified in all three departments and failed to execute the basics. It was not a good performance for us considering what we built up before coming to New Zealand.
“We have now seen conditions quite similar to what we should be used to, maybe it’s just the alien nature of being away from home and touring is a factor, but we should be a lot more competitive. the low.
“We have a few extra days – unplanned extra days – that we’re going to have to use to the fullest of our abilities – go back to the drawing board and take a few glances in the mirror.”